Identifying strategies for promoting VET to higher education transitions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners

Identifying strategies for promoting VET to higher education transitions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners Conference Proceedings

AARE 2016: Transforming Education Research

  • Author(s): Smith, James, Pechenkina, Katya (Ekaterina), Gunstone, Andrew, Frawley, Jack
  • Published: 2016

Abstract: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in Higher Education (HE) is significantly lower than non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rates (Behrendt et al. 2012). National data indicates that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are less likely to complete Year 12 compared to non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are less likely to gain a Tertiary Entrance Rank (Wilks & Wilson 2015). According to the data Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are less prospective university students; less likely to gain entrance on their prior educational achievement; more likely to be mature age students >25 years); and have completion rates half that of their non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counterparts (Pechenkina, 2015). More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrol in Vocational Education and Training (VET) than in HE (Wilks & Wilson 2015), therefore supporting the transition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from VET to HE promises to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HE participation (Anderson 2011; Bandias, et al. 2013). This is crucial for rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who have completed a VET qualification (Bandias, et al. 2013). Unfortunately, such pathways are relatively uncommon with only 4.9% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students currently making this transition (Wilks & Wilson 2015). While enabling programs have received significant recent attention, the potential of the VET to HE pathway to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HE participation remains largely unexplored. Our research project expands on this by moving beyond the investigation of enabling programs, towards a deeper examination of additional practice-based (and evidence-informed) strategies being developed by dual sector universities. This presentation will present the research findings.REFERENCES:Anderson, I. (2011). Indigenous pathways into the professions. A paper commissioned for the Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.Bandias, S., Fuller, D. & Larkin, S. (2013). Vocational education, Indigenous students and the choice of pathways. National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), Adelaide. Behrendt, L., Larkin, S., Griew, R. & Kelley, P. (2012). Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People: Final Report. Fredericks, B., Kinnear, S., Daniels, C., Croft-Warcon, P. & Mann, J. (2015). Path+Ways: Towards best practice bridging and Indigenous participation through regional dual-sector universities. Report submitted to the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE), Curtin University: Perth.Pechenkina (2015). Nothing has changed since Indigenous higher ed review. The Conversation (https://theconversation.com/nothing-has-changed-since-indigenous-higher-ed-review-41354Wilks, J. & Wilson, K. (2015). A profile of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education student population. Australian Universities Review. 57 (2), 17-30.

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Smith, James, Pechenkina, Katya (Ekaterina), Gunstone, Andrew, Frawley, Jack, 2016, Identifying strategies for promoting VET to higher education transitions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners, Conference Proceedings, viewed 23 September 2019, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=10778.

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