An Exploration of Progression Rates of Widening Participation Students on to an Integrated Master of Engineering

Tania Humphries-Smith, Clive Hunt


This paper reports on an investigation into the potential to widen participation to Higher Education provided by a flexible learning MEng Engineering. The MEng is part of an integrated programme that provides progression routes from a traditional day release Apprenticeship, through HNC, FdEng at a Further Education College to a flexible learning BEng/MEng at a Higher Education Institution. The programme was originally developed to answer a demand from local industry to upskill the engineering workforce, however, the nature of the provision means that it meets much of the best practice for widening participation. The investigation concludes that while the programme provides an opportunity for mature learners to undertake higher education, it largely provides an alternative pathway through vocational education to higher education qualifications for a white male middle class cohort. It also highlights that entry to apprenticeships that lead to progression opportunities is controlled not by educational institutions but by industry.

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International Journal of Higher Education
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