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Volume 7 Number 4 2012   ISSN 1745-4999

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international perspectives on complex challenges and imaginative solutions


Vic Lally & Lesley Doyle. Editorial

Akio Inui & Yoshikazu Kojima. Identity and the Transition from School to Work in Late Modern Japan: strong agency or supportive communality?

José Antonio Arrueta & Helen Avery. Education Reform in Bolivia: transitions towards which future?

Paxton Andrew Zozie & Peter Benwell Kayira. Transition and Tertiary Education: a case study of Mzuzu University, Malawi

Lesley Doyle. Conceptualising a Transition: the case of vocational and academic learning in England, Scotland and the USA

Paul T. Crawford. Educational Transitions in the United States: reflections on the American Dream

Vic Lally & Madeleine Sclater. The Inter-Life Project: inter-cultural spaces for young people to use creative practices and research to assist with life changes and transition

Marianne Teräs. Intercultural Space as Transitional Space: movements, transformations and dialectical relations

Birgitta Nordén, Helen Avery & Elsie Anderberg. Learning in Global Settings: developing transitions for meaning-making

Merike Darmody. Institutional Habitus and Secondary School Transitions: comparative study of Ireland and Estonia

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Education Crisis



Post-Compulsory and Higher Education Network

Progression and transitions – more than university and A-levels

Thursday 8th November, 2012

SRHE, 73 Collier Street, London, N1 9BE



This seminar focuses on diversity and difference in young people’s transitions at the end of secondary education in England. While recent media interest has focused on ‘AAB’ and transition to high tariff universities, for many students transitions involve a diversity of routes other than A-levels, and do not necessarily mean moving on to HE. Drawing on their extensive research, Professor Ann Hodgson and Professor Alison Fuller offer their analyses of the challenges and complexities of youth transitions at a time of policy turbulence and change in education.


14+ participation, progression and transition to higher study and employment: an ecological framework

Ann Hodgson, Professor of Education and Co-Director of the Centre for 14+ Research and Innovation, Institute of Education, University of London

This presentation will propose a possible new way of looking at the issue of school-to-work and school–to-higher education transitions through a three-dimensional ecological model, focusing in particular on ‘local learning ecologies’.  I will suggest that this model can be used as a means of understanding the interaction of a range of multi-level factors that play out at the local level to either constrain or support the participation, progression and transition of young people within upper secondary education and into higher study and employment in England.


Hybrid qualifications, institutional expectations and youth transitions: a case of swimming with or against the tide

Alison Fuller, Professor of Education and Work and Director of Research Centre

Southampton Education School, University of Southampton

This presentation uses the concept of hybrid qualifications to expose the way in which the English system, with its longstanding academic and vocational divide, fails to support the transitions of young people with ‘average’ educational attainment. The concept of hybrid qualifications was developed during EU funded research undertaken in 2010 – 11 with project partners from Germany, Austria and Denmark. It was conceived to mean those qualifications generally achieved by young people aged 16-18 which would facilitate entry to the labour market or access to university.  In the English system we defined Level 3 qualifications such as the BTEC National suite of Diplomas, Applied A-Levels, the Advanced Diploma and the qualifications contained within the Advanced Apprenticeship as contenders for hybridity.  Compared with the clear pathways for entry to bachelor degrees that are articulated for those who have attained traditional academic qualifications (namely A-levels), the routes for those leaving school with vocational qualifications are poorly and narrowly-defined and fragile.  Using the rich, narrative data gathered from interviews and focus groups with students, tutors and key stakeholders, we illustrate how for this group transition often involves ‘swimming against rather than with the tide’.


Ann Hodgson has worked as a teacher, lecturer, LEA adviser, editor and civil servant, joining the Institute of Education, University of London in 1993, where she is now a Professor of Education, Assistant Director (London) and Co-director of the Centre for Post-14 Research and Innovation. Current projects include Global Learning for Global Colleges, funded by the Department for International Development; Developing a National Qualifications Framework for Qatar; Improving professional learning for the Institute for Learning; acting as the academic partner for London Councils on 14-19 education and training; developing 14+ Progression and Transition Boards with a number of local authorities; and surveying teacher and lecturer views of 14-19 policy in partnership with NUT and UCU.  Ann has published widely in a variety of forms on topics related to post-14 education policy, vocational education and training, lifelong learning and curriculum and qualifications reform.  Recent books include: Post-compulsory education and lifelong learning across the United Kingdom: policy, organisation and governance (IOE Publications 2011), co-edited with Ken Spours, and Martyn Waring; Education for All: the future of education and training for 14-19 Year Olds (Routledge 2009), co-authored with other Nuffield Review directors and researchers; Education and Training 14-19: curriculum, qualifications and organisation (Sage 2008), co-authored with Ken Spours; and Improving Learning, Skills and Inclusion: the impact of policy on post-compulsory education (Routledge 2008), co-authored with Frank Coffield, Sheila Edward, Ian Finlay, Ken Spours and Richard Steer.

Alison Fuller is Professor of Education and Work, and Director of Research Centre in Southampton Education School, University of Southampton ( Alison has directed many research projects in the areas of education – work transitions, apprenticeship, vocational education and training, workplace learning, and widening participation including for the ESRC, EU and EHRC and has published widely. She has recently completed a project for the Gatsby Charitable Foundation on technician level roles in the healthcare sector. Her most recent book (edited with Professor Rachel Brooks and Dr Johanna Waters) Changing Spaces of Education: new perspectives on the nature of learning has recently been published by Routledge (2012).


Event booking details

To reserve a place at this seminar please register at telephone +44 (0) 207 427 2350.   SRHE events are open to all and free to SRHE members as part of their membership package. The delegate fee for non-members is  £45 from 1 August. Non-members wishing to join the Society may do so at the time of registration and the delegate fee will be waived. Please note that places must be booked in advance and that a £45 fee for non-attendance will be charged if a place has been reserved but no notice of cancellation/non-attendance has been given in advance.


Yours sincerely

Francois Smit, SRHE Event Manager, Society for Research into Higher Education, 73 Collier Street, London N1 9BE, Telephone 0207 427 2350, Fax number 0207 278 1135,




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Glenn Rikowski’s paper, Critical Pedagogy and the Constitution of Capitalist Society has been published at Heathwood Press as a Monthly Guest Article for September 2012, online at:


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The Lamp Post


Call for papers or proposals:

I am soliciting papers for the panel:

Panel 20: Globalizing Technology and Innovation Policies: Interpretative and Critical Approaches Chair: Jeremy Hunsinger, Center for Digital Discourse and Culture, Virginia Tech
Send proposals to:

This panel addresses technology and innovation policies as politico-ethico-juridico- technical systems comprised of arrangements of things and peoples. Through it, we are particularly interested in the transitions these systems undergo as they migrate from local and national applications to transnational and global systems. These systems undergo significant translations, modifications, and reorganizations as they come to match the sensemaking practices of global and transnational interests and their policymaking regimes. Examples of such transitions and translations ongoing now are: questions of information technology, intellectual property, genetically modified organisms, internet governance, STEM education funding, Mode 2 centered research funding and many, many others.

Given the plurality of possibilities for this panel, it is important to maintain two themes in your submissions: 1. center on technology, innovation, or research policy, 2. the trend from local to global in the application of these policies.    As fitting with the core concepts of the conference, this panel will consider critical and interpretive approaches with those two themes

Submissions due 5 February, 2011

Jeremy Hunsinger
Center for Digital Discourse and Culture
Virginia Tech

Whoever ceases to be a student has never been a student.
-George Iles

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Richard Alpert


Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)

Academic Practice Network

Problematising the relations between students’ pasts, presents and futures in higher education

SRHE 44 Bedford Row, London, WC1R 4LL

22 September 2010 1pm – 4pm

‘Using Habermas to evaluate pedagogic justice’: Dr Monica McLean, Reader in Higher Education, School of Education, University of Nottingham  — Drawing on Jurgen Habermas’ critical theory, Monica will present a conceptualisation of university pedagogy, which constructs students as future citizens and emphasises the development of ‘communicative reason’ as a goal of university teaching .   She will then discuss whether such a conceptualization has any resonance with student perceptions of teaching and learning in university sociology departments, which are the focus of an ESRC-funded project ‘Quality and Inequality in university undergraduate degrees’.

‘Conceptualising the first year student experience: the dominance of the ‘transitions’ metaphor’: Dr Paul Ashwin, Lecturer in Post-compulsory Education, Lancaster University — In this seminar, Paul will argue that the literature on the first year experience in higher education has tended to conceptualise the first year experience in terms of the transition to higher education. Whilst this conceptualisation has obvious strengths, he argues that it tends to separate students’ experiences within higher education from their experiences prior to higher education. He will show how the choice of lens that it used to characterise particular educational processes can have significant implications for the outcomes of research and the focus of recommendations for policy and practice that are made on the basis of this research.

Network Convenors: Prof. Paul Blackmore (KCL) and Prof. Joëlle Fanghanel (Thames Valley University)

22nd September 2010

Network Events are free to SRHE members as part of their membership package.

There is delegate fee for non-members is £25, and £20 for students


Email:  Tel: 020 7447 2525 Fax: 020 7447 2526 Website:

Nicola Manches

Administrative Assistant

Society for Research into Higher Education

44 Bedford Row

London WC1R 4LL

Tel:  +44 (0) 20 7447 2525

Fax: +44 (0) 20 7447 2526

SRHE Annual Research Conference 2010

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Please forward the details of the UCAS Research Forums to anyone who may be interested in attending, or having their name put on our mailing list for future forums (see titles and abstracts below).


We are now taking bookings for the forum being held at UCAS, Cheltenham, on 21st May, when Miriam David will be giving a presentation on diversity and widening participation in higher education.

Email: to book your free place.



21st May, 14:00-16:00: Miriam David, ESRC Teaching & Learning Research Programme, Institute of Education

Diversity and widening participation in HE

This talk will be based upon Miriam David’s forthcoming edited book entitled Improving Learning by Widening Participation in HE (Routledge), which is based upon the findings from the seven projects funded through ESRC and TLRP on this topic, which ran from 2005 to 2008.

UCAS research forums aim to provide:

* Increased understanding of the UK’s education policy context

* Greater appreciation of the admissions experiences of UCAS’ stakeholders (applicants, higher education institutions (HEIs), schools and colleges)

* Robust approaches to research in the area of admissions and widening participation.

There is no charge for attending the forums, but places will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Please contact to book a place at any of the forums and/or to be added to the research forum mailing list



Future forums:


30 June, 14:00-16:00: Clare Holdsworth, University of Liverpool

‘They just change the bus route’: Students’ mobility decisions and orientation to Higher Education

One of the most anticipated, and at times regretted, outcomes of the recent expansion of higher education (HE) in England is the concomitant shift towards local recruitment of students, as opposed to the ‘traditional’ pattern of leaving home to go to university. While students’ mobility choices may be considered an outcome of their financial concerns, empirical research on students’ mobilities reveals a more complex reasoning. In particular it demonstrates the differential attitudes to and expectations of HE associated with mobility choices. This paper will review the evidence of changing patterns in students’ mobility and how mobility choices are associated with distinct orientations towards HE. In particular I consider how the decision to study local is associated with vocational/skill-enhancement approaches to HE rather than embracing Liberal Arts ideals.


17 September, 14:00-16:00: Bahram Bekhradnia, Higher Education Policy Institute

The experience of students into and within university

This seminar will address issues to do with access to university and the experience of students with different types of qualification when at university. It will draw in particular on the HEPI studies of the different experiences of students with vocational and academic level 3 qualifications, and the HEFCE research on ‘Who does best at university’.


4 November, 14:00-16:00: Matthew Williamson and Giles Martin, Queen Mary, University of London

Transitions to higher education: research into students’ expectations and experiences of learning and teaching

The seminar will be given by Dr Matthew Williamson and Dr Giles Martin of Queen Mary, University of London and will be presenting results of their research into student transition into higher education. This research, which focuses on expectations and experiences of learning and teaching and the ways in which students negotiate the transition from the teaching they have experienced before entering higher education and the methods they are exposed to, and skills they have to develop, once they start at university. The project used a survey of all new undergraduates, together with a series of interviews with selected students and visits to schools and colleges in the local area for observation and interviews. The seminar suggests ways in which students and staff can be better prepared for the transition into higher education.



Please contact to book a place at any of these forums.

Kind regards,


Dr. Harriet Dunbar-Goddet, Senior Research Officer, Policy and Communications, UCAS, T 01242 223723, F 01242 544954;

UCAS, Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, GL52 3LZ



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