Session G

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From working life into higher education

Per Andersson

In Sweden, a relatively high number of students have a background in working life before entering higher education. Measures have also been taken to widen admission among adults with working-life experience. The admission to Swedish higher education is governed through a two-step selection system. Firstly eligibility is assessed through varying measures, to secure that students have the ability to take the course or program in question. Secondly, if there are more eligible applicants than study places, a selection process is undertaken based on partly other measures. The focus of this paper is the first step, eligibility, and particularly applicants who were employing the 25:4 scheme, a measure for eligibility that was introduced to widen access to higher education in the 1970s, and which is now abandoned. The scheme meant that an age of 25 and 4 years work experience were main criteria in an alternative track for basic eligibility. The aim of this study is to analyse choices and trajectories in relation to higher education among 25:4 applicants, and their experiences of factors that could influence their choices. Thus, the study concerns theories on adults’ participation in education, which are related to a case from the practice of Swedish higher education.The analysis is based on a follow-up survey distributed to a sample of 25:4 applicants from the autumn admission round of 2008, the last admission round when the decision to abandon the 25:4 scheme still had not had any influence on applicants’ opportunities. The results identify patterns of application, admittance, completion of studies, and drop-out, in this group. Particularly, applicants’ experiences of choice and drop-out are focused upon. For example, it is shown that almost 90 % were admitted to their first-hand choice, which means that eligibility was central to be able to be admitted. Further, it is shown how the importance of a course is influenced by its value in terms of working-life opportunities, but also how individual knowledge interests and family situations influence the choices of the applicants.

A piece of the puzzle.

Job training and developing further competences for support staff in the elementary schools.

Hildur Betty Kristjánsdóttir & Valgeir B. Magnússon

1. Job training and developing further competences for workers in elementary schools other than teachers.2. We know that there is class division between different jobs within the elementary schools, like teachers, assistant teachers and school aids, canteen workers, janitor ect.By analyzing the needs of the workplace as a whole there is more likelyhood of finding common ground in workplace training and common direction. Each job is important and every staffmember has in common the welfare of the student.3. Within workplaces there are different groups of workers with different educational needs and background.  In this case we would research the elementary schools with focus on different groups of staffmembers. Teachers, school aids, assistant teachers ect. How is is it possible to unite staffmembers and establish more stable cooperation in continuous learning within the workplace and job training. Our research topic is: What is needed for the worker in the elementary school to conceive himself as a part of the school community?4. It is important to develop a learning community within the workplace, learning and personal development is integrated in the staffmemebers identity. If there are groups of staffmembers that are left out there is an imbalance that can lead to discrepancies when it comes to a wholistic approach in developing a learning community.5. In many workplaces some groups of staffmembers have the conception that the workplace is indifferent towards their career development and their feeling is that they are left out when it comes to continuous learning and job training. By analyzing the different needs of the workplace it is possible to make a more united approach.6. Our main target is to work with people that have not finished secondary education or other formal training.  Since 2009 we have effectively worked with the elementary schools in our area north Iceland,  coordinated training programmes and need analyzed the schools in connection with the demand for training. This approach has proven very successful and visible positive changes and progress within the the workplaces are to be seen.

 

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