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Fully integrating upper-secondary vocational and academic courses: A flexible new way?

Cain Polidano () and Domenico Tabasso ()

Economics of Education Review, 2016, vol. 55, issue C, 117-131

Abstract: The tracking of students in upper-secondary school is often criticised for narrowing the post-secondary pathways of student in the vocational education and training (VET) track, which can stigmatise VET. To tackle this problem, countries have introduced courses that integrate aspects of VET and academic study, which provide the dual purpose of preparing students for work and vocational study and providing university pathways for more academic students in the VET track. In this study we assess the latter purpose by examining the outcomes of university aspirants who take these courses in their final year of school. Using rich survey and administrative data from Australia and propensity score matching we find that these courses are associated with lower academic performance and a lower chance of attaining a university offer. Decomposition results show that poor performance in integrated courses is the main driver, which points to potential tension between the two purposes.

Keywords: Propensity score matching; University access; Vocational education and training (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 I23 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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