Understanding the Role of Careers Guidance in supporting Participation in Higher Education
This research project aims to address gaps in our understanding about the determinants of educational and career choices of post-16 learners in the UK, their learning trajectories and transition to work and the influence of various labour market interventions on this transition by exploring the role of careers guidance and advice in encouraging young learners in Wales to progress onto Higher Education. In order to understand the influence of receiving appropriate careers advice on the likelihood of student progression to higher education and employment and to build a stronger case for maintaining/expanding career services in Wales, the study will explore the progression of learners in Wales at key points in their educational journey and identify influences on their enrolment in higher education.
This project is envisioned to assist policy makers and educational researchers in understanding the higher educational landscape in Wales, with a particular emphasis on university admissions, attending university, and assessing the contributions of labour market interventions, namely careers guidance, in improving this scenario.
The study aims to address the following research questions. Firstly, are students in Welsh schools and colleges who receive careers guidance more or less likely to apply to university than students who do not receive careers guidance? Secondly, having applied for university, are those who have received careers guidance more or less likely to actually attend university. Finally, among those who attend university, does receiving careers guidance prior to university increase the likelihood of successfully completing HE courses?
The results of the research may also be of interest to those from the HE sector who are involved in Widening Access, as one of core aims of careers services is to provide an impartial advice to all young individuals and help overcome social exclusion by providing access to appropriate career information to inform careers choices in post-compulsory education, training and employment. Accordingly, the results of the study will be disseminated to organisations involved in widening access activities in Wales. Additionally, the findings may be disseminated through promotional materials produced by Careers Wales to support its services for its clients and wider careers networks in the UK.