Hybrid qualifications in Denmark

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1 Seminar at Roskilde University February 20th - 21st 2011 Hybrid qualifications in Denmark Results from interviews 1. The context for hybrid qualifications in Denmark 2. Intentions behind the new hybrid program (eux) 3. Target groups and recruitment of hybrid program 4. Hybrid qualifications or double qualification? 5. Position of stakeholders in the hybrid program 6. Policy recommendations for improving hybrid qualifications 7. Questions and dilemmas

2 The context: two tracks in the Danish higher secondary education Until now no regular pathways offer hybrid qualifications From 2010 a new hybrid program offered Labour Market Academic skilled. 47% years duration Master 5 years Bachelor 3 years Higher education 51 % General education Preparation for higher education Short HQ 34 % VET - Dual system Preparation for the labour market Interviews: increasing barriers to progression from VET to HE % Basic school 9 10th grade 40 % Years of education Hybrid qualifications project Denmark Seminar in Roskilde University Denmark February 20 th 21 st 2011

3 1. Tracking in Danish higher secondary education (age 16 19) Track General education Vocational education Types of qualifications Structure Academic qualifications that give access to higher education: - Universities - University colleges 4 programs: Traditional academic Gymnasium, stx Business oriented Gymnasium, hhx Technically oriented Gymnasium, htx Higher Preparatory Exam, hf Vocational qualifications that give access to the skilled labour market : - Union membership - Unemployment benefits 12 basic courses (½ - 2 year) 125 main programs with additional specializations Institutions School- /work-based Length Gymnasiums (stx) Vocational colleges (hhx and htx) Adult Education Centre (hf) Full time school-based 3 years generally (stx/hhx/htx) 2 years for Higher Prep. Exam (hf) Vocational colleges: - Technical, business, agricultural and care & service work. Dual system programs 1/3 school-based, 2/3 work-based 3 4 years generally - A few longer: 5 years - A few shorter: 1½ - 2 years

4 1. Context: Tracking in Danish higher secondary education Track General education Vocational education Governance State governed combined with institutional autonomy. Gymnasiums are becoming independent ( state freehold ) Corporatist self-governance Vocational colleges are independent institutions ( state freehold ) Funding Access /recruitment Learning culture State funding of Gymnasiums and students grants (for students over 18 years). Free tuition. Restricted admission Valuing the correctness of codified knowledge. Structured by school /academic subjects State funding of colleges. Free tuition. Companies pay wages to apprentices. Generally free admission. Valuing the usefulness of vocational knowledge and skills. Structured by the work tasks Teachers Teachers with academic education (master degree plus further pedagogic training) Mainly teachers with vocational background and work experience. The new hybrid program is based on Dual VET and adds on general qualifications - Faces the challenge of bridging two separate logics: education vs employment

5 1. Hybridization of higher secondary education in Denmark Vocational Gymnasium introduced in 1980es: Business and technical Gymnasium - give no access to the skilled labour market Additional general qualifications in VET introduced in year 2000 Very few students use this opportunity Pilot hybrid program dual of VET + technical gymnasium started in 2005 Pilot project with 5 year programs ran in 3 vocational colleges Permanent hybrid program of dual VET + Higher Prep: legislation passed in 2010 Not all sectors have started the program expected to expand in 2011

6 Existing two separate tracks: Vocational and general education Schoolbased workbased Vocational education - Dual system 4 years Eux: hybrid program Technical Gymnasium full time school based 3 years Christian Helms Jørgensen Educational Studies Roskilde University Denmark

7 2. Intentions behind the new hybrid program (eux) To increase permeability in the educational system from higher secondary vocational education to Higher Education. To increase recognition and accreditation of competencies from learning in irregular pathways. To increase the esteem of vocational education To increase recruitment of more academically strong students to the vocational colleges and the dual system of VET

8 2. Intentions behind the new hybrid program (eux) To establish a shorter and integrated program for the students who otherwise would have to go through double education. To counteract and diversify the academic drift by offering a new hybrid program. - Establish a more mainstream and recognized pathway to higher education in order to replace a number of earlier ad-hoc solutions.

9 3. Target Group and recruitment Students from non-academic backgrounds to hybrid program that provides higher education entrance qualifications. Students from academic backgrounds to a hybrid program that provides vocational skills and higher education entrance qualification. Ambitious students who would normally choose vocational gymnasium, but are interested in acquiring qualifications to enter the skilled labour market. Stronger and more ambitious students already in the vocational program. Students who are tired of school but want to keep their options for higher education open.

10 4. Hybrid qualifications or double qualification? General education New hybrid program (eux) Vocational education Academic subjects Teachers with academic education Located at Gymnasiums and vocational colleges Restricted admission State funding of schools and students grants. Some new hybrid subjects but most subjects separate Some cooperation in interdisciplinary teams and some separate teaching Located at vocational colleges and companies (placement ) Certain academic levels required, otherwise free - training placement required State funding for the basic course. Companies pay wages to apprentices most of the time. Work tasks and vocational disciplines Teachers with vocational education Located at vocational colleges and companies Generally free admission but training placement required to complete program Companies pay wages to apprentices.

11 5. Position of multiple stakeholders in the hybrid programs Department of education Social partners Companies Interests and advantages Permeability Increase esteem of VET Avoid double education The pilot hybrid program is regarded as a success Raise the image of VET Counteract academic drift Partners have maintained control of hybrid program Access to more academically oriented apprentices Future recruitment of engineers with hybrid qualifications Hybrid qualifications create a linkage between production and research/development deps. Challenges Integrating elements from two separate systems Reconciling multiple stakeholders Recognition of qualifications The trade unions can lose the most qualified members The employers confederation are not in line with SMEs Increased costs due to longer periods in college (off-the-job) Providing sufficient number of training placements Establishing new job positions for hybrid employees

12 5. Position of multiple stakeholders in the hybrid programs Higher education institutions Students Interests and advantages Higher potential of student recruitment The hybrid program bypasses the lack of RPL/APEL at the polytechnics And some missing links in the educational system Double education in the time of just one Students receive a wage during their study higher than state grants Keeping the future open opportunities to progress in higher education later on Challenges Worried about higher resources requirement for hybrid students The hybrid program does give access to all higher education programs Very demanding program Increased competition for internships and displacement effect Maintaining a strong social environment when students have to shift between classes

13 5. Position of multiple stakeholders in the hybrid programs Vocational colleges Increasing esteem of VET Attracting academically stronger students Compete for students with the gymnasiums A mainstream pathway to higher education to replace local forms of hybridization Replacement effect of hybrid programs can reduce access to training placements for ordinary apprentices Difficult to complete the very compressed hybrid programs Hybrid program = elite program that can reduce esteem of the ordinary program Recruitment problems due to high demanding program Achieving real integration of teaching and teachers Recruit students from outside

14 6. Policy recommendations for improving hybrid qualifications Success requires support at all levels from ministry to overcome structural barriers: e.g. in teachers cooperation across the two tracks Initiatives to secure additional training placements to avoid crowding out effect More comprehensive reforms are needed to achieve vertical integration in the educational system (permeability) Hybrid programs do not by themselves solve the problem of low esteem of vocational education in Denmark. Establishment of new educational opportunities in higher education for students with hybrid qualifications. Establishment of joint campuses for Gymnasiums and vocational colleges

15 6. Policy recommendations for improving hybrid qualifications More transparency in higher education institutions recognition of vocational qualifications today left to the individual institution to decide. Higher education institutions should offer more flexible and part-time studies with evening classes for adults with a vocational education so that it is possible to combine part time work with part time study. Some high level programs in vocational colleges should be assigned status as post secondary educations and thus contribute to raise the esteem of vocational education.

16 7. Questions and dilemmas Length should be sufficient long to obtain a high quality, but short enough to make a difference in comparison with taking a double education. Length should be short to attract more students, but long to avoid that only elite students can complete. An option for the many - or the elitist few? Will EUX provide the missing step on the educational ladder towards Higher Education for ordinary vocational students - or is it just another competing offer to elite students? Will the hybrid program increase the esteem of vocational education by attracting more ambitious students or reduce the esteem of vocational education by drawing the strongest students out of the ordinary programs? Thank you for your attention comments and questions are welcome! Hybrid qualifications project Denmark Seminar in Roskilde University Denmark February 20 th 21 st 2011

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