The Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) has funded a suite of research projects across the country which look at differential progress and outcomes of different groups of students through university. Our project Transforming transitions focuses on BTEC students.
The educational trajectories of BTEC students through university are different from those of traditional students, particularly in selective, research-intensive universities. As a group, BTEC students’ differential outcomes have often been overlooked in favour of more dominant discourses surrounding the outcomes for socially disadvantaged students, BME students, or students with special needs. Yet, BTEC cohorts represent some of the intersectionality of factors which can contribute to differential outcomes. They are more likely to be from areas with low participation in higher education and demographic groups associated with lower outcomes; they are more likely to be male; and ethnic minority students are more likely than their white counterparts to have vocational qualifications.
The Transforming Transitions project will be conducted over two years in partnership with the University of Exeter, University of Birmingham, Loughborough University and Queen Mary, University of London. It will also involve Exeter College, Leicester College, Hereford Sixth Form College, City and Islington College.