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Publication - Publication

15 to 24 Learner Journey Review phase one: analysis

Published: 21 Mar 2018
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Economy, Education, Work and skills
ISBN:
9781788517003

Analysis undertaken as part of stage one of the Learner Journey review examining current education and training provision for 15 to 24 year olds in Scotland.

84 page PDF

1.7 MB

84 page PDF

1.7 MB

Contents
15 to 24 Learner Journey Review phase one: analysis
4. Articulation between HNQs at College and University Degrees

84 page PDF

1.7 MB

4. Articulation between HNQs at College and University Degrees

This section looks to examine the available information around articulation between HNQs at College and University Degrees. Articulation is the movement of students from Higher National Qualifications ( HNQs) at college into second or third year of a university degree.

When an individual enters a university degree, following completion of a HNQ, there are a number of ways in which previous study is recognised. These are:

  • Progression – where a student enters first year of a degree programme with an HNC/D, therefore receiving no recognition for prior HE study.
  • Advanced Progression – where a student, typically, enters second year of a degree programme with a HND, therefore receiving only partial credit for prior HE study.
  • Advanced Standing – where a student enters second year of a degree programme with a HNC or third year of a degree programme with a HND, therefore receiving full credit for prior HE study. [19]

The Scottish Funding Council's ( SFC) vision for articulation is to support colleges and universities in the development and maintenance of articulation pathways and routes that ensures no loss of time for the student and value for public money. Their ambition is for articulating students to grow from the current - less than 50 per cent - of HN entrants to 75 per cent over the next ten years. Articulation provision could grow from 11 per cent to 25 per cent of all provision but in order to do that, provision may have to come from the universities that currently have lower numbers of articulating pathways. [20]

It should be noted that 2013/14 articulation data is used throughout the paper as more recent data is not yet available. The SFC are however currently developing a National Articulation Database and they are expecting more recent articulation levels to be higher than previous years.

How many HNQ students are moving to degree provision with Advanced Standing or partial credit for previous study?

SFC articulation data highlights that that in 2013/14, just under half (47 per cent) of HNC/D leavers who go on to university do so with Advanced Standing (full academic credit), as shown in Table 4.1. A further 7 per cent of HNC/D leavers only receive partial credit for their prior study and 41 per cent of HNC/D leavers entering university do not articulate and receive no academic credit for their HNC/D level study, entering university at year 1.

Table 4.1: Number and proportion of HNC/D entry to HEI undergraduate courses 2008/09 to 2013/14

Unknown Progression Advanced Progression Advanced Standing Total
Number % Number % Number % Number %
2008/09 382 6 2,217 37 746 13 2,583 44 5,928
2009/10 490 7 2,630 39 763 11 2,932 43 6,815
2010/11 522 8 2,649 38 702 10 3,046 44 6,919
2011/12 413 6 2,848 41 645 9 3,095 44 7,001
2012/13 533 7 2,978 38 738 9 3,578 46 7,827
2013/14 479 6 3,364 41 537 7 3,871 47 8,251

Source: SFC (February 2016) ' Articulation: mapping of activity and draft vision and 10-year strategy '

SFC highlight three main reasons why a student may receive partial or no credit for prior HE study, these are:

  • Student choice – student preferred to enter at lower level of degree study.
  • Mismatch of curriculum – student may have changed course of study so degree does not match HN study.
  • University choice – student was not allowed to use HN as entry to higher level, even if there was a curriculum match.

The first two reasons are largely out with an individual institutions control, although it is likely that confidence may play a large part in students preferring to enter at a lower level of degree study. This could potentially be supported and developed through transition, with a focus on improving the required academic skills for degree study.

For the third reason, this is an area that is within the control of individual institutions – both colleges and universities – to maximise the articulation opportunities available to students applying for degree programmes. This can be achieved by shaping curriculums and degrees to match where possible.

What are articulation rates across different institutions?

The majority, 84 per cent, of articulation activity is undertaken by the post-92 institutions [21] , as shown in Chart 4.1. SFC highlight that there are a number of reasons for this namely that "they have a clearer understanding of HNQs; they have closer relationships with local colleges; and they are hosts for the regional articulation hubs thus enhancing their reputation". [22] However, SFC believe that it is not sustainable for the same institutions to bear the responsibility for meeting the largest share of a national target.

Chart 4.1: Current percentage share of articulation activity – AY 2013/14 – by category of institution
Chart 4.1: Current percentage share of articulation activity – AY 2013/14 – by category of institution

Source: SFC (February 2016), ' Articulation: mapping of activity and draft vision and 10-year strategy '

What is the percentage share of articulation activity by age?

Chart 4.2 provides a breakdown by age band for all articulating students in Scotland in 2013/14. The largest proportion of those – at 2,748 students – are in the 16-24 age band, which is equivalent to 71 per cent of all articulating students. The SFC highlight that this is both the highest percentage and number of students in this age band since 2008/09.

The SFC go on to say that the smallest proportion if for the 40+ age band, with only 175 students (5 per cent of all articulating students). This is lower than in 2008/09 and is the lowest percentage and number of students in this age band since 2010/11, when there were 234 students aged 40 and over articulating, making them 8 per cent of the overall articulation activity.

The middle age band of 25-39 is just under 1,000 students and sits at 24 per cent of the overall articulation activity. This is the same as in 2008/09 but lower than in 2012/13, when they accounted for 27 per cent of activity.

In terms of widening access on the basis of age group, articulation serves across the board. However, the SFC note that it is not surprising that it is the 16-24 age band who are most prevalent as articulating students, as this age band also makes up the largest number of HN leavers from colleges.

Chart 4.2: Percentage share of articulation activity by age – AY 2013/14
Chart 4.2: Percentage share of articulation activity by age – AY 2013/14

Source: SFC (February 2016), ' Articulation: mapping of activity and draft vision and 10-year strategy '

What is the gender split of articulation activity?

In 2013/14, articulating students were more likely to be males than females with a gender split of 53 per cent versus 47 per cent respectively. The reverse is true when considering the gender balance in universities for undergraduate entry in 2013/14 where we find that a higher proportion of entrants are female than male. [23]

SFC note that the gender split for articulation activity is considered to be positive in terms of tackling gender imbalance in degree study.

What is the percentage share of articulation activity by ethnicity?

Table 4.2 provides the ethnicity breakdown for all articulating students in 2013/14. The majority of articulating students were categorised as white (89 per cent).

To provide context, the SFC Learning for All 2015 publication [24] provides detail on the proportionate split between Scottish domiciled White and Black/Minority Ethnic ( BME) students at universities in 2013/14. It finds that the ratio is 93.6 per cent white and 6.4 per cent BME. This would therefore suggest that a slightly larger proportion of articulating students identify as BME (at least 9 per cent), than the wider university population.

Table 4.2: Percentage share of articulation activity by ethnicity – AY 2013/14

Ethnicity Proportion of all articulating students
White 89%
Asian/Asian British 5%
Black/Black British 2%
Chinese 1%
Mixed 1%
Not Known 1%

Source: SFC (February 2016), ' Articulation: mapping of activity and draft vision and 10-year strategy '

What is the percentage share of articulation activity for those students who self-identify as having a disability?

Disability, as with all other protected characteristics, relies on self-declaration by the student. In recent years, there has been a general rise in the numbers of declarations made and this can be attributed to an improvement environment of disclosure within institutions, as a result of legislation and understanding on the needs of disabled learners.

SFC believe this improvement has translated into articulation as well, as disability figures for all articulating students mirror those of all university students in 2013/14. 89 per cent of all articulating students declared no disability versus 89.3 per cent of all Scottish domiciled students declaring no disability in the Learning for All 2015 publication. Therefore there is no difference to be seen in disability declarations between articulating students and other students.

What do we know about articulation activity by SIMD categorisation?

Chart 4.3 displays both the total number of articulating students as well as the number of these students from SIMD 20 postcodes for each year from 2008/09 to 2013/14. Table 4.3 provides this information as proportions.

Chart 4.3: All articulating students and number which are SIMD 20, 2008/09 - 2013/14
Chart 4.3: All articulating students and number which are SIMD 20, 2008/09 - 2013/14

Source: SFC (February 2016), ' Articulation: mapping of activity and draft vision and 10-year strategy '

Table 4.3: Proportion of all articulating students that are SIMD 20, 2008/09 – 2013/14

Year 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
% of articulating students from SIMD20 20.5% 23.9% 22.8% 22.5% 23.6% 23.2%

Source: SFC (February 2016), ' Articulation: mapping of activity and draft vision and 10-year strategy '

In the most recent year, 2013/14, of the total 3,871 articulating students in universities, 898 of them were from SIMD 20 postcodes (23.2 per cent). The Learning for All 2015 publication provides the comparable figure for Scottish-domiciled students in Scottish universities from SIMD 20 postcodes in 2013/14 is 12 per cent. Whilst the proportion of articulating students from SIMD 20 postcodes has increased since 2008/09 (20.5 per cent), we can observe that the proportion has remained broadly consistent over the considered period.

SFC believe this demonstrates that articulation provides a clear widening access route to degree for students.

What are the outcomes for individuals who articulate with Advanced Progression or Advanced Standing? Do they differ from those who have entered with just progression or straight from School?

Scottish Government analysts have undertaken an initial draft analysis of the HESA data set to track a cohort of individuals through their first degree. Five groups were examined. These individuals are all Scottish Domiciles and full-time and started studying for a four year first degree in 2011/12:

  • Entry into first year and aged 17 and under (those typically from S5).
  • Entry into first year and aged 18 (those typically from S6).
  • Entry into first year and aged under 20.
  • Articulation with advanced standing or advanced progression and aged under 20.
  • Direct entry to second or third year university from School.

Table 4.4 shows the level of qualification awarded to each of these groups of learners based on graduating at any point within five years. It shows that 10.9 per cent of those that articulated from college graduated with first class honours which is less than any other group. It also shows that articulating students were more likely than any other group to graduate as "unclassified". With 18.8 per cent of articulating students graduating as "unclassified" compared to just 5.9 per cent of the group which entered university typically from S6. Articulating students were also less likely to be awarded upper second class honours than any other group yet more likely to be awarded lower second class honours.

Table 4.4: Qualifier rates for full-time first degree Scottish domiciled at Scottish HEI from 2011/12 entrants, entering a four year course and graduating at any point within five years

  Aged 17 and under Aged 18 Under 20 Articulation College School to 2 nd/3 rd year
First class honours 20.9 18.5 18.6 10.9 21.6
Upper second class honours 46.6 55.2 54.4 38.3 51.4
Lower second class honours 15.5 15.7 15.8 28.1 13.5
Third class honours/Pass 3.4 1.4 1.5 3.1 4.5
Unclassified 10.7 5.9 6.2 18.8 5.4
Classification not applicable 2.9 3.4 3.4 0.8 2.7

Source: Initial Scottish Government draft analysis of HESA statistics
Note: small cohorts of people for articulation, school to 2 nd/3 rd year and aged 17 years and under categories.
*Age taken at 28 th February to best match school year.

What do we know about the retention of articulating students versus non-articulating students?

The SFC found that for the 2013/14 articulating cohort, the retention rate – i.e. those continuing to the next year of university study – was 91 per cent. This is just short of the 91.8 per cent percentage of all retained students in the Scottish university sector for 2013/14. [25]

However, a 2016 Applied Quantitative Methods Network paper considers student retention in Scotland. [26] One of the key findings of this work was that articulating students are more likely to drop out from HE than other students. It is noted that this finding indicates that the transition into degree programmes is challenging for these students and additional support is required for college graduates who progress to HE. The academic demands at university are likely to be different from the ones experienced at college and may require a better preparedness of students who use the college route to gain access to university.

What do we know about the retention of articulating students by SIMD20 status?

As noted above, the SFC found that 23.2 per cent of articulating students in 2013/14 were from SIMD 20 postcodes. Of these 898 SIMD20 articulating students, 818 were retained – a retention rate of 91 per cent which is just short of the retention rate for all other articulating students as a whole.

What do we know about retention of articulating students by gender?

The SFC analysis found that of the 3,526 articulating students who were retained in 2013/14, 1,686 were female (48 per cent) and 1,839 were male (52 per cent). For context, the gender split for the 2013/14 articulating cohort as a whole is 53 per cent male and 47 per cent female.

The SFC go on to note that of the 322 who were not retained (8 per cent of all articulating students), the highest proportion were male at 188 students (58 per cent) versus 134 female students (42 per cent).


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