Credit transfer from VET to higher education: A pathways policy meets a roadblock

Erica Smith, Roslin Brennan Kemmis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Higher education is increasingly available to a wider range of people, not just recent school-leavers with established academic ability. One way of encouraging this trend is to provide credit transfer into higher education (HE) qualifications for people's prior vocational education and training (VET) studies. However, it is generally recognised that while a range of pathways have been created, the numbers of students involved in such pathways are relatively limited. This paper explores some of the reasons this might be so, using, as a case study, an analysis of a national Australian government policy initiative. The initiative, known as 'VET FEE-HELP', involved the introduction of student loans for fees for higher-level VET studies and was designed partly to encourage credit transfer. Availability of loans to students was on the proviso that the course in which the student enrolled had a documented pathway providing credit transfer into a higher education course. This created a climate in which VET providers actively pursued partnerships with higher education. But recently, the credit transfer requirement of the policy has been removed. The paper concludes by discussing the issues for governments in finding appropriate policy levers to increase proportions of students transferring from VET to higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-244
Number of pages15
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

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