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  • This is the plan_v2amended submission_Sally Welsh - Copy

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Research in Post-Compulsory Education on 05/11/2020, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13596748.2020.1802939

    Accepted author manuscript, 673 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 5/05/22

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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‘This is the plan’: mature women’s vocational education choices and decisions about Honours degrees

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
Article number1
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Research in Post-Compulsory Education
Issue number3
Volume25
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)259-278
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date5/11/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This paper discusses a piece of qualitative research that explored the narratives of a group of mature women when they discussed influences on their post-16 educational decisions. This encompasses their initial vocational education and training (VET) and their choice to study higher education (HE) programmes in England. The research draws on Nancy Fraser’s dual-perspectival notion of social justice to analyse how gender may have affected their educational choices. The research also explores some of the tension experienced in feminist research practice. Data collection was undertaken primarily via semi-structured individual interviews with six female Foundation degree graduates who decided to study an Honours top-up degree. In addition, a research journal was also used to explore a feminist standpoint approach and the research relationships. A thematic analysis of the data found that gender plays a crucial and complicated role in vocational choices. The findings also highlight that although VET is not a second choice, the low pay and misrecognition of ‘pink collar’ work leads the women into HE study. HE is used to gain credibility and employment security. The research concludes that top-up degrees offer the women individualised solutions to the low status and economic precarity vocational education provides.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Research in Post-Compulsory Education on 05/11/2020, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13596748.2020.1802939