Promoting Students’ Transitions to Successive VET Levels through Continuing Learning Pathways

Biemans, H.J.A.; Mariën, H.; Fleur, Erik; Beliaeva, Tanya; Harbers, Jan


Continuing learning pathways have been proposed as curriculum design solutions to reduce student drop-out rates and to promote their transitions to successive levels of the educational system. The present study aimed to compare the effects of a specific continuing learning pathway in Dutch VET (the Green Lyceum or GL, which combines a lower secondary pre-vocational school-based (VMBO) programme and a middle-management VET (MBO) programme in an integrated learning trajectory offered by agricultural (or ‘green’) VET institutes) with a more traditional route (a regular middle-management VET programme) in terms of students’ learning performance at MBO level and their transitions to a higher professional bachelor programme (HBO). GL students more often obtained a MBO diploma at EQF level 4 in the nominal study time period than comparable students in terms of cognitive level in regular MBO. Moreover, former GL students more often proceeded with an HBO programme than comparable students coming from regular MBO. Finally, students coming from the GL less often opted for HBO programmes in the agricultural domain than comparable students coming from regular ‘green’ MBO and more often decided to start with programmes corresponding with other sectors. To conclude, the combination of design characteristics of these continuing learning pathways seems to promote students’ transitions within the VET system and, thus, can inspire the design and implementation of comparable learning routes to solve transition problems.