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Student traffic: two-way movement between vocational education and training and higher education

10 May 2005

Movement in Australia's tertiary sector - between and within higher education and vocational education and training - is a key feature of Australia's post-compulsory education system. Roger Harris, Robert Sumner and Linda Rainey investigate the extent and nature of student traffic between the two sectors, nationally and in South Australia from 1997 to 2002.

Movement from university to VET was dominated by women and mature-aged students studying part-time, and the move occurred some time after completing university. Often they chose to study in a different field of education to improve their prospects in their current career. On the other hand, VET to university students tended to be younger and studying full-time, and the move to higher education tended to occur soon after completing VET. Usually they chose to study in the same or a similar field of study to retrain for a different career.

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