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ERIC Number: ED536626
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 34
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-9220-5622-1
Associate Degree or Advanced Diploma? A Case Study. Occasional Paper
Karmel, Tom; Lu, Tham
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
This paper presents a case study in which the authors attempted to understand the impact, on student choice, of reforms in tertiary education in Australia, namely, a shift towards a demand-driven system and the blurring of the distinction between vocational education and training (VET) and higher education. The authors compared the advanced diploma and the associate degree in engineering and related technologies offered as a pathway to a four-year degree, using data available in October 2011 on the websites of providers and from the Victorian Government, the first jurisdiction to adopt an entitlement model and the state in which most mixed-sector tertiary institutions operate. The authors show that, while higher-level VET qualifications may come at a cheaper up-front cost, they are increasingly being seen as a poorer investment than a university course of study. In particular, the cost of delayed entry to the labour market, curriculum mismatch, and the greater ease of getting a loan for a university qualification will influence a student's decision to undertake higher-level VET qualifications. Appended are: (1) Overview of the operation of government-supported places and income-contingent loans; (2) The tuition costs a government-subsidised student has to pay to convert an advanced diploma or an associate degree into a bachelor degree in engineering, 2012; and (3) Tuition fees per year for Associate Degree in Engineering Technology at RMIT University. (Contains 1 figure and 14 tables.)
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia