Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Alternative entry programs to university for mature age students: program characteristics that encourage or inhibit mature student participation
    Cullity, Marguerite Mary ( 2005)
    Australia has a long history of accepting unmatriculated, return-to-study and equity group mature age learners into undergraduate courses. Universities enrol mature age students on the basis of, for example, their equity background, prior learning, work experiences, scores on a mature age entrance test, or results in an alternative entry program. This study examined the nature and outcomes of four alternative entry programs (AEPs) to higher education for mature age learners (21 years plus). Alternative entry programs provide mature age students with a way to explore their academic aptitude for, and confidence to, study. Prior to this research there was a lack of knowledge regarding the characteristics and outcomes of AEPs for mature age students. In addition, there was no study that examined a series of AEPs to show the relationship between AEP characteristics and learner outcomes. The inquiry addresses this shortfall. The project takes a qualitative case study approach. It provides a way of understanding the uniqueness, particularities and complexities of four AEPs for Australian resident mature age learners. The inquiry indicates implications of current policy and practices. Also it considers ways to advance program characteristics and outcomes. Finally, the data generated a framework that reveals i) how aspects of AEP management and design interact with mature learner characteristics; and ii) how these elements either encourage or inhibit mature age student to participate in a program. The research finding challenge, first, government policy makers, university managers, and AEP staff to consider the nature of an institution’s alternative entry course. It also shows how AEP management and design can affect mature age student participation. The project reveals that the nature of an AEP is determined by a coalescing of institutional, government and, sometimes, community attitudes and initiatives.
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    Relationships between the University of Melbourne and the secondary schools of Victoria, 1890-1912
    Clements, McKenzie Alexander ( 1979)
    For fifty years, from 1856 to 1905, the matriculation examination of the University of Melbourne dominated secondary education in the colony of Victoria. The colony's only public examination, it served the purpose of University entrance examination, civil service examination, school exit examination, and last, but not least, a public check of the efficiency of secondary schools. The matriculation examination was criticised severely in the late 1880s and throughout the 1890s, following spirited debate in England on the value of competitive examinations, but it seemed that the colonial secondary schools were locked into the examination and that reform was unlikely. Suddenly, in 1904 and 1905, the hold of the examination was loosened; in 1912 it was loosened still more. For fifty-two years after the reform of 1912 secondary school examinations in Victoria were administered by the Schools Board of the University of Melbourne. The three developments by which this remarkable change was effected were the Registration of Teachers and Schools Act of 1905, the institution by the University in 1904-1906 of a system of junior and senior public and commercial examinations, and the establishment in 1912 of the Schools Board, which contained a majority of representatives of the schools. How did these reforms, so unexpected and far-reaching, come about? The answer is sought in a detailed investigation of the state of the Victorian secondary schools between 1890 and 1901, especially in a period of five or six years around the turn of the century, and of the politics of Victorian secondary and higher education between 1890 and 1904, and between 1905 and 1912. The investigation divides naturally into three parts: Part I consists of a study of Victorian secondary schools over the period 1890-1905; Part II of an analysis of relationships between the secondary schools and the University of Melbourne over the same period; and Part III of a description and interpretation of the events between 1906 and 1912 which culminated in the formation of the Schools Board. (From Abstract)
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    Pathways: a policy study
    Bennett, Dorothy Lois ( 1994)
    Improving pathways between the sectors is an aspect of educational policy within Australia which has risen to high visibility in recent years. It has been an important part of Commonwealth policy on reform of both higher education and training sectors. Improved pathways are seen to assist in up-grading workers’ qualifications in the minimum time, and more cost-effectively; to assist in enabling a better balance of post-secondary education and training to be provided; to increase the status, visibility and use of TAFE middle-level credentials; and to achieve better equity in higher education provision. The economic and equity arguments are married, by asserting that a wider base will be ultimately more economical. Of equal importance is the convergence of vocational and general education as a preparation for life and work. Using the Swinburne University of Technology Pathways Project 1992-3 as a case study, this paper demonstrates that valuable models of more highly articulated curriculum and structures are possible within a pathways concept. In addition, improved credit transfer agreements and implementation strategies at institutional level are shown to materially assist TAFE students’ access to higher education courses. However, there are limitations to how far “Pathways” type approaches can succeed in implementing government policy while the sectors are encouraged to remain so polarised, and while universities have no real incentive to increase their TAFE articulating students. While they remain strictly vocational in nature, TAFE qualifications cannot achieve full recognition in a degree. A more generalist qualification, like the associate degree, would arguably be more successful in creating the convergence of general and vocational education, and greater credit transfer. Likewise, an expansion of TAFE’s mission could bring a better acceptance of TAFE as an alternative higher education pathway option.