In 2006 Skillset commissioned the HEA Art, Design and Media Subject Centre to investigate issues surrounding the development of a new 14 -19 diploma. In particular, they wanted to know what features the diploma would need to possess in order that HEIs would view the qualification as equivelant to A-levels and Foundation Diplomas. Initially it was assumed that this research would arrive at a simple list of curriculum recommendations such as 'proficiency in Photoshop' and 'knowledge of key figures in filmmaking' etc. However, as the research began it was quickly found that such issues of 'what students know' were far less important than issues such as the values students hold and where they went to school. The research involved observing interviews, speaking to candidates and admissions tutors, and analysing prospectuses and UCAS data. Using Bourdieu's concepts of social and cultural capital, the paper concluded that rather than focussing on specific curriculum content (even though these things are important) the new diploma would need to develop students' cultural knowledge of the field and that the qualification as a whole would need to be marketed vigorously. However, more importantly from a PR perspective, institutions that offered the qualification would need to engage heavily with parents, students and HEIs to ensure that students were not disadvantaged due to admission tutors' lack of knowledge of their 'reputation'. The report was utlised in the development of the new diploma, launched in 2007, and an edited publication is currently under consideration by the ADM-HEA.
|Publication status||Published - 2006|