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ERIC Number: ED551316
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 54
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 20
ISBN: 978-1-9251-7309-3
Does Scored VET in Schools Help or Hinder Access to Higher Education in Victoria?
Polidano, Cain; Tabasso, Domenico; Zhang, Rong
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
Despite comprising only a small fraction of all vocational education and training (VET) in Schools enrolments, programs that count towards both national VET qualifications and university entry potentially fill an important role in the upper-secondary school curriculum. The aim of this study is to take a first step in gaining an understanding of the efficacy of VET in Schools courses by estimating the relationship between enrolling in Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) VET subjects and university access. The authors chose to examine the outcomes from VCE VET courses because they represent a model of assessment, known as "scored VET", that closely resembles that applied in general courses. In particular, the assessment involves both written exams and numerical assessment of performance in job-specific tasks associated with units of competency. In this study, the analysis is carried out on a sample of school completers in Victoria in 2011 who lodged a first preference for enrolment in a university course prior to sitting their final year exams. To meet the aim of this study, the following key research questions are addressed: (1) What is the relationship between taking a Victorian Certificate of Education VET subject and university entry scores?; (2) To what extent is any relationship explained by scores in VCE VET subjects (direct effect) as opposed to scores in all other subjects taken by VCE VET students (indirect effect)?; (3) Does any relationship depend upon the type of VCE VET subject chosen?; (4) What is the relationship between participating in VCE VET subjects and the chances of being offered a place at university?; and (5) What is the relationship between participating in VCE VET subjects and the chances of attaining a first, third or sixth university entry preference? It was found that among students who intend to go to university, controlling for a range of differences between those who do and who do not take a VCE VET subject, that those who take a VCE VET subject have a six-point lower score on average than those who do not take a VCE VET subject (111 compared with 117 out of a possible 205). This represents around a 5% lower university entry score on average and is robust to the range of alternative key assumptions that underpin the analysis. Across VCE VET subject groupings, the authors found some variation in magnitude of the estimated negative association, with significant negative associations found in four of the seven subject groupings (engineering and technology; community, outdoor and recreation; hospitality; information technology) and no statistically significant negative results found for the rest (business and finance; dance and music; equine industry). Importantly, the authors stress that this study only examines the impacts of taking VCE VET subjects on direct access to university. Other important outcomes from VCE VET programs, such as indirect access to university (for example, by completing a diploma course), participation in post-school VET study, retention in post-school study, and employment outcomes are not investigated here, but should be considered in any overall evaluation of these programs. The following are appended: (1) Assessment; (2) VCE VET subjects; (3) Technical appendix; (4) Probit results and balancing test results; and (5) Sensitivity analysis.
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; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia