EMPLOYMENT / EDUCATION / TRAINING

Impact of ‘transition blind spots’ on Access to Higher Education Diploma students with a military background: why filling gaps in Information, Advice and Guidance matters

November, 2018
Article:

The ‘Access to Higher Education Diplomas’ (AHED) is a level 3 qualification that offers a non-traditional route into Higher Education for those aged 19 years and over who do not have the necessary A-levels. This research article describes the experiences of (mainly) ex-Service Personnel as they journey to and through AHEDs, the majority having come from the lower ranks of the Army, to which many enlist with little or no formal qualifications. The findings describe how gaps in information, advice and guidance on AHEDs impacts negatively on those Service Leavers without A-levels, who aspire to fulfilling post military careers that require a degree. This paper discusses how addressing these gaps can support military-civilian transitions. It also introduces the idea of ‘transition blind spots’ and concludes that this new concept could help us to understand other challenges faced during military-civilian transition.

Abstract

This paper contributes to an under-researched area within the field of military-civilian transition. It explores innovatively the experiences of (mainly) ex-service personnel as they journey to and through 'Access to Higher Education Diplomas' (AHED), the majority having come from the lower ranks of the Army, to which many enlist with little or no formal qualifications. Drawing upon empirical research, commissioned in response to anecdotal evidence which suggests a decline in the number of AHED students with a military background, the paper argues that gaps in Information, Advice and Guidance (lAG) on AHEDs contribute to what I have termed 'transition blind spots' in the trajectories of these Service Leavers (SL). By addressing the issues discussed in this paper, there is potential to mitigate impact from these 'transition blind spots' and facilitate the SL transition through the provision of fully-informed lAG on AHEDs. This paper concludes that this new concept might usefully be employed to identify and understand other challenges faced during military-civilian transition.

Full Reference

Macer, M. (2018). Impact of 'transition blind spots' on Access to Higher Education Diploma students with a military background: why filling gaps in information, advice and guidance matters. Journal of Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 20(4), 169-190.

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