An analysis of Youth Guarantee Fees-free programme outcomes in a New Zealand wānanga
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Citation:Colmore-King, T. (2018). An analysis of Youth Guarantee Fees-free programme outcomes in a New Zealand wānanga (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Leadership and Management). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4631
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4631
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. What are the objectives of the Youth Guarantee Policy and why were they created? 2. What are the national outcomes of the Youth Guarantee Fees-Free initiative, why are they occurring, and how do they compare to the Wānanga Youth Guarantee Fees-Free outcomes? 3. Why do Wānanga Youth Guarantee Fees-free students enroll on Fees-free programmes and do their reasons align with the objectives of the programme? 4. What factors influence Wānanga Youth Guarantee Fees-free student engagement, student retention, course completion, qualification achievement and progression into higher levels of study or work. ABSTRACT: The Youth Guarantee Policy was enacted in 2009 to increase the educational achievement of New Zealand youth and improve transitions between school, tertiary education and work. The Youth Guarantee Fees-free (YGFF) initiative and subsequent programmes have been implemented to provide the opportunity for unqualified youth to study free-of-charge at tertiary education organisations. The Wānanga (where I previously worked) has delivered YGFF programmes since 2011, producing mixed student outcomes. Student retention in the programme, course completion and qualification achievement were all below the minimum education performance indicators set by the Tertiary Education Commission. Furthermore, student progression into higher levels of study was not reliably tracked and progression into work was unknown. This research was undertaken to analyse the discrepancies between the objectives of the Youth Guarantee Policy and the Wānanga student outcomes that were occurring (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 2009). This qualitative study utilised documentary analysis to analyse the Youth Guarantee policy context and the national outcomes of the YGFF, as well as, a student questionnaire to gather student perceptions. The analysis found that YGFF programmes have contributed to increases in qualification achievement, but around half of all students do not complete the programme. Also, participation in YGFF programmes has not increased the likelihood of progression into higher levels of study or work. The student questionnaire revealed that many students enroll for reasons that do not align with the objectives of the programme, three quarters of students experienced barriers to their achievement and more than a quarter acknowledged a learning difficulty. Most students could not identify an academic or vocational pathway. Overall, the Wānanga outcomes were typical of the national outcomes. This study recommends that funding models need to account for student progression and flexible achievement. Providers need to have robust enrolment processes and support staff to manage the complex challenges students experience. More time needs to be dedicated to exploring future student pathways and processes need to be implemented which place students directly into higher levels of study or work.