Adjustments and penalties in pathways

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    This paper will present case studies of sub-degree pathways course options available at a ‘group of eight’ university to highlight the ways that they both enable and inadvertently can constrain access. The Review of Australian Higher Education (2008) recommended that by 2025, 40 % of 25 to 34 year olds will obtain a Bachelor degree qualification. Access and equity are a key feature of this policy goal and ambition. To facilitate this goal, sub-degree programs represent a key access option for many students who do not immediately and initially satisfy admission requirements. This may be due to a lower ATAR score or no score because of alternative education experiences , e.g VET . Students undertaking sub-degree programs do so with an understanding and expectation that they represent a ‘pathway’ leading to a bachelor destination course. Yet not all such programs provide straightforward access in a consistent fashion. This paper will illuminate how sub-degrees as a model of access and equity can at times operate as proving grounds, representing a less flexible and responsive enabling approach than imagined. In contrast to standard first year undergraduate programs sub-degrees such as the pathways diplomas highlighted in this paper reveal some hidden pitfalls arising from different expectations and course structures and rules.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSuccess and opportunity in challenging times
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia Conference
    EditorsWendy Barker
    Place of PublicationParramatta NSW Australia
    PublisherUniversity of Western Sydney
    Pages1 - 18
    Number of pages18
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventNational Conference of Enabling Educators 2015 - Parramatta NSW Australia, Parramatta NSW Australia
    Duration: 1 Jan 2015 → …


    ConferenceNational Conference of Enabling Educators 2015
    CityParramatta NSW Australia
    Period1/01/15 → …

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