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The vocational curriculum in England 1974-1994 : a socio-historical study of the Business and Technology Education Council's National Diploma in Business and Finance

By Roy Fisher

Abstract

The BEC/BTEC National Diploma in Business and Finance was, from the late\ud 1970s to the mid 1990s, a major vocational award in England, Wales and\ud Northern Ireland. Although the majority of BEC/BTEC students were located\ud in the further education colleges within the somewhat marginalised postcompulsory\ud sector, the BEC/BTEC National level curriculum was directly\ud experienced by hundreds of thousands of students as well as their lecturers,\ud and indirectly by a range of educational stakeholders including employers\ud and university tutors coming into contact with former BEC/BTEC students.\ud Having transformed the rhetoric and substantially altered pedagogic practices\ud within further education the BTEC National Diploma was beginning to\ud establish an identity when it was, in effect, superceded by the Advanced\ud GNVQ in Business. Notwithstanding the significance of BEC/BTEC as a\ud major awarding body the associated curriculum attracted relatively little\ud interest from researchers, receiving only a fraction of the attention which has\ud been attracted by the more recent NVQs and GNVQs. This study is primarily\ud a curriculum history which aims to provide an account of a curriculum which\ud was conceived and implemented at a time before policy makers had come to\ud recognise the value of the post-compulsory sector as an engine for potentially\ud improving national economic performance, and as a catalyst for the creation\ud of a culture of life-long learning. The study attempts to theoretically\ud contextualise the BEC/BTEC curriculum as an important instance of\ud vocationalism. Ideas drawn from Gramsci, Althusser, Foucault and Lyotard\ud are utilised in order to provide a critical but multi-perspectival analytical\ud framework. The study incorporates an outline discussion of vocationalism in\ud England; an account of the genesis and development of BEC/BTEC as an\ud institution; an overview of various versions (or "generations") of the\ud BEC/BTEC National curriculum as well as those which have superceded it\ud (using course specifications and associated documents); and presents\ud perceptions of the BEC/BTEC National curriculum drawn from a\ud questionnaire survey and interviews. The BEC/BTEC National curriculum is\ud seen as an innovatory curriculum which, for many students, presented\ud important opportunities to progress. It is suggested, however, that ideological\ud assumptions implicit in the model of vocationalism as operationalised in late\ud Twentieth Century capitalism have necessarily emasculated the critical\ud potential and intellectual integrity of vocational education and training in\ud England

Topics: HG, LC5201, LB2300
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:4848

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Citations

  1. 1 can not comment on this as I do not know what GNVQ stands for or what relation it has with the BTEC curriculum.
  2. 1 do not know what the GNVQs are like. "
  3. 1 don't feel people respect the course as what they do A Levels. v
  4. 1 don't really know what a BTEC is. " Former BTEC Students (Pre-1987):
  5. 1 don't really know, but I believe staff will regard A Levels as higher qualifications. " [4] Former BTEC National Students
  6. 1 feel it set you up for the workforce better than A Levels, because it gives you an insight into job satisfaction. BTEC course are continuous assessment rather than exams although / prefer this, it doesn't suit everyone. "
  7. 1 feel that A Levels are more suitable for higher education. "
  8. 1 have a friend who is starting university and others doing BTEC who hope to go into HE. The lecturers at universities prefer A Levels rather than BTEC. " [2]
  9. 1 have gained many different skills from the BTEC course as a whole. "
  10. 1 think that BTEC courses are more job orientated than A Levels which probably don't even relate to each other. BTEC modules support each other. "
  11. 1 think that some of the tutors do not have the measure of the commitment to the students they should have.
  12. 1 think that they should teach relevant preparation for work in the outside world. "
  13. 1 think the final exams make up too many marks towards the final gra de. "
  14. 1 think the GNVQ will be regarded much less highly.
  15. 1 will feel inferior to the people who have successfully completed A Levels. " [3]
  16. 1 would rather do different subjects at A Level rather than just one at BTEC. It gives you more variety. "
  17. A better understanding of practical working activities. Very considerate to students. a
  18. A BTEC course teaches you a range of different skills rather than one solid subject. "
  19. A BTEC gives you a wide range of knowledge for many different Higher Education courses. " [5] Former BTEC Students (Pre-1987):
  20. A high degree of flexibility via core areas, options, etc. "
  21. A lack of rigour, especially in numeracy and mathematical aspects. Continuous assessment at the expense of exams enables poor students to dictate level, pace and content of courses. Most courses therefore seem to have very little content. "
  22. A Levels are better qualifications. "
  23. A Levels are more recognised " [2] Page -
  24. A levels are more suitable for me because of what I want to do in future. "
  25. A lot of assignments. "
  26. A lot of groupwork" [5]
  27. A lot of work involved and all due in at the same time.
  28. A lot of work, all assignments due at the same time. "
  29. A qualification for those not capable of undertaking A Levels. "
  30. A sound base of practical and theoretical knowledge for both employment and HE progression. "
  31. A stepping stone for entry onto HND and BA degrees. / would not have got into university if not for BTEC. "
  32. A student should know at the end of the course their likes and dislikes in the various elements of the course. 'y
  33. A worsening of an already poor situation. "
  34. Ability for individualisation.
  35. about the business world and the running of business. "
  36. Accepted as A Level equivalent.
  37. ack of confidence that the same standards are maintained in every college. Bureaucracy and jargon have put some employers off the scheme. Page - 87 Prejudice in favour of A Levels. Introduction of NVOs has confused students Page -
  38. After A Levels it would be more sensible to do a degree course rather than a BTEC. "
  39. After my A Levels I wish to go to university in order to acquire a degree. "
  40. Alternative to A Levels. Flexible. Industry related "
  41. Although the traditional approach to education seems to be preferred
  42. As a means of entry into the world of commerce. "
  43. As an Admissions TutorlCourse Leader I will wait and see what the quality of students turns out to be. We are currently asking for Merit standard. This may prove to be too low. "
  44. As an employer [now running own company] I would look more favourably on a job applicant with BTEC qualifications. "
  45. Assessment grades are limiting. " Page -
  46. Assessment grading. Work experience.
  47. Assessment methods play to peoples strengths. Group work. " Page -
  48. Assessment standards need to be regulated to a higher standard.
  49. Assessment. Making assignments 'real'. Integrating core skills. "
  50. Assignment basis provides the student the opportunity to develop their own investigation. "
  51. Assignment deadline clashes.
  52. Attainable. Coreloptions structure. Sound branding. Recognition. Dedicated course teams. "
  53. background sometimes find it difficult to cope with exams -a problem if they are on degree courses and to a lesser extent if on BTEC HND courses. "
  54. Basically see BTEC as a substandard substitute forA Levels. " [3]
  55. Because I wanted to do A Levels and didn't think about doing anything else. Also / wasn't told as much about BTEC as A Levels. "
  56. Because they don't sound as if you can get to university with them and
  57. Because they don't sound as if you could get to university with one. "
  58. Being job related ties students to narrow path of opportunity at an early age. "
  59. Being on a BTEC course you do not have a lot of pressure about exams. u
  60. Best move I ever made! "
  61. Broad 'tar brush' treatment of subject matter leaves important gaps in student knowledge - it also gives a false sense of confidence. ' Educators - HE Admission Tutors:
  62. Broad practical knowledge. "
  63. BTEC GNVOs are, in my experience, the best thing since sliced bread! two-tier system. "
  64. BTEC in my experience briefly explains the whole area of the business world, but an in depth explanation would prepare students better for a degree. " Page -
  65. BTEC is generally a good thing and is certainly more flexible than A Levels. But, BTEC is supposed to be employer linked but where is the evidence of employer finks.
  66. BTEC students should be advised to study for professional qualifications. "
  67. BTECs still not specifically mentioned in University Compendium for many institutions. Not directly comparable to A Level points so have to be negotiated separately. " [2]
  68. Business relatedlpersonal skills. "
  69. But they probably prefer to teach A Level students. "
  70. Can be variable. Durham University told me to drop BTEC and concentrate on A Levels. " [3]
  71. Can sometimes miss out on underlying theory.
  72. Compared to A Levels there is more variety in the number of subjects on offer. "
  73. Confidence. Presentation skills. Discussion skills.
  74. Consistency across course is not the same. Assessment by personal tutors. "
  75. Continual and intemal assessment reduces credibility of qualification. Poor, too narrow, grading scale. Students see it as a 'soft option'. "
  76. Continuous assessment is excellent and prepares you for the real world better than a course which is based on exams. "
  77. Control of own workload - need to prioritise across assignments. Learning to work as part of a team. Need for continual effort not last minute cramming.
  78. Could not have made a better choice. " Page -
  79. Coursework assessment does not prepare students for degree study. Educators - Student FE Lecturers:
  80. Depending on the course and on what kind of job you get. " [4]
  81. Depends if Higher Education route is still with BTEC or not. " [3]
  82. Depends on grades.
  83. Depends on which course the person is on - if HND OK - if degree less enthusiastic. " [3] Educators - Student FE Lecturers:
  84. Development of business skills. Good self discipline. Nationally recognised. " Employment Related - Professional Body Representatives:
  85. Development of presentation skills and research work. "
  86. Development of skills - though I think BTEC assessment of skills is stupid. "
  87. Develops good time management in students. Students are able to carry out fairly long term projects. Cover a wide range of subjects. '
  88. Develops problem solving techniques. Develops time management skills to meet deadlines. Makes you think and generate ideas. Improves presentation skills. Develops working in groups. "
  89. did not regret my two years. "
  90. Do not know what it entails. " Page -
  91. Do not know. ' Page -
  92. Don't know what BTEC GNVQs are. "
  93. Don't know what they are.
  94. Don't know, don't care. "
  95. Don't respond to local needs. " Page -
  96. Doubts are often expressed about the validity of grading etc.
  97. Doubts are often expressed about the validity of grading etc. " Educators - HE Lecturers:
  98. Easy to understand. Good tutors. Wide range of subjects covered. "
  99. Employer perceptions. Student perceptions i. e. second best. "
  100. Employment Related (All)
  101. Enables students incapable of achieving A level to progress into Sixth Form and possibly HE. "
  102. End of year exams. Tutor contact. "
  103. exams. Group orientated. Assessed by assignments. Preparation for employment. Gives you knowledge of work plus an academic qualification. "
  104. (1981). Experimental Psychology: Research Methods and Statistics.
  105. Focus on skills. Innovative approach to teaching and leaming (e. g. groupwork, project work, action based leaming. "
  106. Former
  107. Former BTEC National Students
  108. freedom to research and use your own determination to achieve grades. Good introduction to computer technology and presentation techniques. "
  109. Generally not recognised by some universities as much as A Levels. "
  110. Generally they seem to be regarded less highly than the BTEC and seem to need an A Level to support them if they plan to do an HE course. "
  111. Generally well regarded. " [3] Page -
  112. Gives confidence and helps build relationships. "
  113. Gives more knowledge when entering the business world. "
  114. Gives students the opportunity to develop at their own pace, build confidence and IT and communication skills. " Employment Related - Employers:
  115. Good basic coverage of relevant financial areas. '
  116. Good basic introduction to workplace practices, finance, organisations etc. More work orientated than other 'academic'courses. "
  117. Good confidence building and leadership qualities. Good group work. "
  118. Good experience from work placement.
  119. Good for preparing you for oral presentations and coursework. Very practicaL "
  120. Good grounding in specific areas. Studying for two or three years to use as a stepping stone towards further qualifications. The individual gets an idea of what would be expected from further studies. '
  121. Good interpersonal skills and team building. Confidence building1presentation work. Integration of skills across the course. Build up of staff1student relationship. ' Page -
  122. Good preparation for entering the business world. "
  123. Good range of skills taught in relation to outside demand. Develops team work. A student who doesn't like exams could fall back on coursework.
  124. Grading classifications are somewhat broad Not every employerlprofessional body may attach value to the BTEC qualification. "
  125. Happy with A Levels and then onto university. "
  126. Have not researched the new GNVQs".
  127. have only dealt with BTEC students applying forACCA Leve12 courses. Their ability is extremely variable dependent upon the institution the student attended. "
  128. Helps your team skills. Enables you to research projects. Subjects are relevant to higher education and can be built upon. Gives you confidence to speak out. "
  129. High coursework content. Relevance to 'real life' situations. More enjoyable than A Levels. Encourages team working. "
  130. I have never seen that a BTEC course would help me in my future career. "
  131. I've never seen any publicitylacademic review
  132. Ideal job related qualification. Flexibility within the course. Students can advance on course with trailing subjects rather than held back if helshe fails one. "
  133. If you want to do an HND which is also practical - unlike degree. " [3]
  134. Image! Weaker students seem to be able to 'hide' when it comes to group work. Generally a lower quality of student which means overall standard is lower. "
  135. in Business was an excellent all round practical course. / would do the same again with no regrets. "
  136. In my view the BTEC qualifications open doors to opportunities which
  137. In order to get on a legal practice course sometimes institutions ask and look for A Level qualifications. The legal profession don't recognise BTEC. "
  138. Involves students in teamworking. An entry qualification to higher courses. Course does not depend on one or a few end of year exams.
  139. it enables a pathway for some students with lower academic standards to progress at theIr own speed and subsequently to do very well. Group work is part of the learning style. " Page -
  140. It gives a good basic business background that students can pursue if wanted'
  141. it gives more of an insight into real life rather than just constantly feeding facts. "
  142. it gives you an opportunity to develop skills in areas where you are weak and it gives you a chance to repeat a module if you get a referral. "
  143. It gives you work skills. "
  144. it is accepted by a number of professional bodies as an altemative entry requirement or for exemption purposes. "
  145. It is different from school because you are not pushed to do the work so it tends to make you more independent. "
  146. It is not as strict as A Level. "
  147. It is now seen as a good qualification for enhy into higher education. Many higher qualifications recognise it for entry. "
  148. its a good all round course which employers recognise. "
  149. Lack of a high profile can lead to problems, especially with parents and young people. 11 Current BTEC National Students:
  150. Lack of academic rigour. Internal assessment resulting in vadable standards between institutions. / know of ex-colleagues falsifying results (not here). Students become more confident but they fail to know the limits of their knowledge.
  151. Lack of consistency in standards between different institutions. Students wish to progress to degree studies but vocational nature of the course conflicts somewhat with this aim. "
  152. Lack of groupwork being worthwhile when you're in a group which job. "
  153. Lack of preparation for academic work including production of discursive essays. "
  154. Lack of proper essays. Not as well recognised as A Levels. At university some people didn't even know what a BTEC was. "
  155. Lacks intellectual rigour which A Levels confer.
  156. Lacks the same regard as A Levels. "
  157. less suitable for the academically inclined who want to go to degree courses. "
  158. Level of knowledge. Lack of exam technique. "
  159. Like employers they like to have some idea of the standards pursued at the college concerned. " [3]
  160. liked the continuous assessment instead of a big exam at the end of the year.
  161. Links to industry1commerce. Knowledge of sources of informatiorVIT '
  162. Little experience of . GNVQ as entry qualification yet Portfoliolcompetence approach not well suited to current structure of HE 1"I'aarge numbers, limited resources). " Educators - HE Admissions Tutors:
  163. Lots of materials offered. Links with organisations. "
  164. Low quality work. Legalised copying. Watering down of standards. No decent maths in it at all. "
  165. lt was sufficient to earn me a place at
  166. Many still tend to value A Levels as a mark of academic achievement and BTEC as of less value - depends how in touch with the world of industry and employment they are. " [3] Page -
  167. Missed first year of Banking exams due to relevant subjects.
  168. Mixing study and practical application. Emphasis on well organised and well directed work. Emphasis on ability to communicate. Gives confidence. "
  169. More careers [guidance] in the first year and visits to the work place to see how businesses operate. "
  170. More emphasis should be given to the office environment. Administration in Business was an excellent class which I found very useful. "
  171. More needs to be done to inform we oldies who did A Levels and degrees what all these new tangled qualifications actually mean. " Employment Related - Professional Body Representatives:
  172. More specific to business. Easier for students. Fairly impossible to fail. "
  173. More subjects. Friendly atmosphere. Approachable lecturers. Challenging assignments. Considerable satisfaction. "
  174. Moves me on to higher education. No exams. "
  175. My experience is confined to those teaching on professional courses.
  176. NBetter preparation for real life. Seff development and confidence in working with others. Teaching style better. "
  177. NEmployers may see you as inferior to A Level students.
  178. Nit gives information and practical experience for a working situation, and also gives academic experience that you can transfer to higher education. " Page -
  179. NNot as much work goes into BTEC as A Levels. "
  180. No big exams at end of year. '
  181. No experience of these yet.
  182. No experience of this. '
  183. No knowledge of GNVQs. "
  184. No plans to take a vocational course. "
  185. No work experience except for 3 weeks. "
  186. None! Perhaps more work on IT. "
  187. Not a good preparation for an academic degree course involving a large element of formal assessment by examination. "
  188. Not as academically rigorous as A Levels. "
  189. Not as much pressure with exams. Good practical experience.
  190. Not being student's own work. "
  191. Not extemally examined. " Educators - School Teachers:
  192. Not looked upon as high qualifications. "
  193. Not really thought of highly by employers. "
  194. Not regarded highly enough. "
  195. Not well known yet. People still look on it as a course for people who can't do A Levels. "
  196. Not writing essays, doesn't prepare you for uni. "
  197. OAssignments count towards final grades. Case studies for exams. " Page -
  198. OMuch more preparation for real working life, good for confidence, more knowledge for HE business courses. No exams! l"
  199. Options wide ranging. Work experience. "
  200. Orientated towards a more practical and relevant course content That must be beneficial when one starts to work. "
  201. Overall an excellent course. "
  202. Page - 65 Educators - Student FE Lecturers:
  203. Paper work for both students and staff. Grading guidelines. "
  204. People do not equate BTEC the same as A Levels.
  205. People need to appreciate the demands of a BTEC. "
  206. Perceptions of staff who have no experience of BTEC are negative. " [2]
  207. Personal skills - particularly report presentation is often better from students offering BTEC National qualification. "
  208. Poor in communication and expression.
  209. Positive - can combine vocational and academic study by offering GNVQ plus one A Level. m
  210. Positive - qualification appears to be more rigorous than BTEC National -possibility of additionality and active encouragement of this will hopefully attract a wide ability band of students. " Employment Related - Professional Body Representatives:
  211. Positive - standardisation for employment. "
  212. Positive as it will allow more and more people to experience BTEC. "
  213. Positive because NVOs are the way forward in terms of practical qualifications. "
  214. Positive development of the BTEC curriculum. / they are a good experience. " Page -
  215. Positive if a unifonTMandard level can be developed across all of industrylbusiness - otherwise just another certificate that is not recognised outside of a particular sector. "
  216. Positive in that there is a focus on HE relevant leaming processes. Negative in that there is a dilution of vocational applicability. "
  217. Positive, as its more practical. "
  218. Potentially positive, but introduction marred by problems with PC range and end of unit tests. The major problem lies in fragmentation and duplication of knowledge. "
  219. Practical abilities and skills gained - able to produce correct reports which A Level students do not have - also greater use of IT than A Level. "
  220. Practical application. More employment orientated. More skills developed. "
  221. Practical aspects e. g. working as a team, communication skills. '
  222. Practical courses. Less emphasis on exams. " Current BTEC National Students:
  223. Practical knowledge of business. Leam good communication skills.
  224. Practical, work related Variety. Student centred. Students work together. "
  225. Practicality. Encourages independence. Emphasises groupwork and team building. Allows developmentlownership. "
  226. Prepare for work. Good subject range. Use of communication skills. u
  227. Prepare you for real life experience.
  228. prepares you for employment. "
  229. Presentations - necessary for HE and job interviews. Allows for imagination and innovation. Encourages growth of ideas. "
  230. Presentations. Work experience.
  231. Quality of students is very variable - lack of consistency of standards. Lack of critical thought.
  232. Quantity of paperwork. "
  233. Relate education to industrial needs. More relevant than A Levels for many students. Involve work experience. "
  234. Relationship with local College staff. Recognised qualification by employers, students and parents. "
  235. Relevance to the world of work. Provides marketable skills. Can provide vocational training which is highly relevant to getting a job. Emphasis on Yeaming by doing. National recognition. Attempt to maintain national standard. "
  236. Relevant to employers. Good course content. Accepted as a route for entry to professional qualificationsIdegrees. " Page -
  237. Report writing. Basic business awareness. v
  238. Reputation. Not as worth as 3A Levels forgetting into university.
  239. Seen as more appropriate for the less academic. Not as well known as A Levels. "
  240. Several Careers Services have done surveys of the acceptability of BTEC Nat. for HE courses which are relevant. For mature students, we found Admissions Officers are usually well disposed to BTEC qualifications. " [3]
  241. Skills based Time management Research skills.
  242. Some scepticism, but most views are quite objective. Students will be counseled to do BTEC or otherwise on quite appropriate grounds. " [3] Educators - HE Lecturers:
  243. Some skills training. "
  244. Some students tend to cheat with coursework by working together when it should be an individual attempt. More difficult to access degree courses. "
  245. Sometimes fails to give students exam practice. Employers don't fully understand what the courses are about which hinders students in their job prospects and could degrade the qualifications in the long run. "
  246. Sometimes too many assignments. "
  247. Staff rate A Levels higher.
  248. Staff shortages etc. can lead to courses varying in quality at different colleges. "
  249. Standard of teaching in some cases. Level of work. Expectations of students by teachers are low. "
  250. Standards. The standards vary from institution to institution. Generally the standards are perceived as being lower than the so called equivalent qualifications. They still seem to be perceived as 'second class' qua Iffica tions. "
  251. Still quite a lot of prejudice against BTEC National, especially at the older universities. New universities may be more willing to accept. " [2] Employment Related - Careers Advisers:
  252. Student centred learning on a practical course for the market place and the world of work. "
  253. Students 3.20 . 74 Statements made in the "Any Comments" box: Employment Related - Employers:
  254. Students can learn at their own pace. "
  255. Students would benefit from increased input about job search and local labour markets. " [4] Current BTEC Students:
  256. Taught well and structured well. "
  257. Teachers don't hassle students enough for late assignments and attendance and ignorance. '
  258. Teaches a wide variety of skills. "
  259. The assessment criteria of PasslMeritlDistinction is much too close. eventually you get what you pay for. "
  260. The assignments are given all together and not much time was given to do them, and when they were completed there was a period where we couldn't do nothing hardly. But I used the time to do research and gain further info from the core book. "
  261. The assignments come all at once. " Page - 89
  262. The assignments need to be more spread out giving students more time. "
  263. The benefits are you leam a lot of skills in a variety of topics. "
  264. The BTEC course taught me to more confident when working with others. I was able to take charge when needed but also felt I could sit back and work effectivel alone as well. y
  265. The BTEC did not prepare me well for my exams as / had to write four essays per exam and I was used to writing reports. More emphasis on essays is required. "
  266. The BTEC students we get on the degree are generally OK until the third year where their degree classifications are generally lower than students who have equally applies themselves. ' Educators - School Teachers: -Page -
  267. The course content is too broad and students cannot relate the knowledge gained to jobs. " Employment Related - Professional Body Representatives:
  268. The course gave me a good foundation to build on when / started working. "
  269. The course gets involved in business situations. You develop a lot more team work than A Levels as a lot of the assignments involve working as a team. "
  270. The course only had a weighting of 2A Level grades B and C for university entrance. "
  271. The course prepares you well for both higher education and employment. "
  272. The courses encourage a Thinking'approach, and provide a wide mix of subject coverage. "
  273. The freedom of time allocation allowed in HE is often difficult for these students to adjust to. The change of culture appears to be a major shock. "
  274. The Institute [Chartered Insurance Institute] co-operated with BTEC
  275. The interchangeability of modules makes it very difficult to decide just what the end qualification actually represents. "
  276. The lack of minimum entry requirements. "
  277. The main strength is that it is nationally recognised and requires a
  278. The main weaknesses of the BTEC courses I have come across is that they are run over-crowded and a poor level of teaching at a lot of colleges.
  279. The means of assessing the course vary from subject to subject and college to college i. e. one college sets exams another doesn't. This would seem unfair and not standardisedy
  280. The new universities seem happier with BTEC than the established ones. " [3]
  281. The practical work. The presentations. " Page -
  282. The same study skills are needed for FE and HE, plus the ability to organise workloads and work under pressure to deadlines. " [4] Page -
  283. The score relates specifically to staff in the School of Business, who presumably use academic criteria as the main point of reference. " [1 ] Educators - HE Admissions Tutors:
  284. The stigma which is still, unfortunately, attached to a BTEC course. "
  285. The strong orientation around groupwork and the good variety of modules. I think its an excellent course and / would recommend it to anyone.
  286. The subjects covered over the two years helped me considerably over the first year [at university].
  287. The teachers are helpful and sympathetic. "
  288. The teachers were vety helpful and understanding and the way in which they explain and interpret information is very clear. "
  289. The things taught in the options are not always up to date. " [2]
  290. The usual elitism is present.
  291. The variation of work carried out on the course is excellent. The course covers a wide range of topics including computers which is really useful to leam. "
  292. The weaknesses are the lack of commonality between colleges and within colleges. The standards have also been put under pressure by funding pressures. " Educators - HE Lecturers:
  293. The work is not spread over the course enough. "
  294. The work is varied"
  295. The work is very repetitious. v Page - 90
  296. The workload can be very stressful at times i. e. all course work being handed in at the same time. "
  297. Their general high regard held by both HE and employers. The flexibility
  298. There is more practical preparation then A Levels. "
  299. There is no conformity.
  300. There is not much difference between the two courses, so positive. "
  301. They are better than A Levels as they prepare you for real life experiences. " [4]
  302. They create a highly structured environment for those students that need
  303. They do not know what the course is. " [2]
  304. They give a broad background knowledge. They enable entry into HE.
  305. They give you better practical qualifications for a working environment than A levels.
  306. They prepare you for future work or education. "
  307. They prepare you for the business world and information technology. "
  308. They probably have as much respect for people on these courses as A Level and other students. " [4] Current BTEC National Students:
  309. This Institute [institute of Public Service Administrators] is interested in BTECINVQ development issues since we are not an examining body. Our basic qualification for membership is an appropriate BTEC Higher Certificate or Diploma.
  310. This is due to the low performance of BTEC National students. Also lack of knowledge on the part of admissions tutors.
  311. Tome team work preparation. "
  312. Too many assignments. Not enough information given. Excessive time demands. "
  313. Too many of the assignments are handed out at any one time and the study blocks need to be more interesting. "
  314. Too many to list. "
  315. too much paper work. Can be superficiaL Teaching can be very variable. Extemal moderation is weak. More creative thinking required to create valid and interesting work. Students more prone to copying. a
  316. Too much wasted time between lessons. Lessons should be run continuously with only a lunch-break. "
  317. Transferable skills. Relevant to workplace. Relatively interesting to the student. Student centred. "
  318. Trepares you well and employers look for more vocational qualifications. 'v
  319. Tutors seem to suggest it is better for a vocational HE course than A Levels but I am not sure about Humanities degrees. " [3] Current
  320. Tutors too tolerant. "
  321. uEmployer perceptions. Emphasis on groupwork.
  322. Under-rated by many. Standards need to be set higher. "
  323. Unfortunately A Levels appear easier to matriculate. " [2] A Level School Students:
  324. Unlike A Levels, to pass the BTEC all we had to do was
  325. Unsure what GNVQs are.
  326. Validity of assessment methods.
  327. Variable standards between centres. Difficulty in involving employers in moderation process. Language (BECspeak7. Mismatch in approach providing a poor preparation for later professional studies. "
  328. Varied assessment methods. Practical emphasis. Attempt to relate theory to the workplace. Courses are topical and up to date. " Educators - HE Admission Tutors:
  329. Varies from tutor to tutor - some not very aware of BTEC.
  330. Variety of assessment methods. Relevant to employment. Wide vatiety of subjects. "
  331. Very good course. A good education for any career in industtylcommerce. "
  332. Very useful background.
  333. Very variable, especially on those courses which traditionally use A Level. "[3] Employment Related - Professional Body Representatives: -Page -
  334. Vety resource intensive. Requirements of BTEC have moved courses awa from degrees (yet still seen by many as a route into degrees). "
  335. vMajor strengths are the spread of knowledge and [the] coursework contribution. The coursework contribution is what attracted me to a BTEC qualification. "
  336. Vocational application. Development of researchlindependent study skills. '
  337. Vocationallpractical basis. Student centred approach.
  338. Vocationally orientated. A real option for students not quite academic enough or willing to go through A Levels. "
  339. vThey prepare you for the real world. The final grade comes from both course work and exams. "
  340. We get work related skills as well as working with each other.
  341. What are GNVQs? "
  342. Wide range of subjects.
  343. Wide use of computers. "
  344. With regard to university I have found that the BTEC course has helped me with many of my subjects, in some circumstances with a better understanding and advantage over A Level students e.
  345. Work experience/practical element is highly thought of by students.
  346. Work placement. Integration of modules. ' Page - 66 Educators - School Teachers:
  347. Work skills and knowledge skills. These are strengths as well as benefits. "
  348. Working on your own. Giving presentations. The general syllabus covered. "
  349. Yes, as they relate to competences at work. However employers must be aware of how the different levels relate to other traditional qualifications. m
  350. You already know how to prepare talks and discussions. " [4]
  351. You get into the routine of coursework and assignments. You have basic knowledge for Marketing, Industrial Relations,
  352. You get more experience and employers are recognising it more now. '
  353. You learn how to do presentations.

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