‘Second chance’ routes into higher education: Sweden, Norway and Germany compared

‘Second chance’ routes into higher education: Sweden, Norway and Germany compared

Journal: International Journal of Lifelong Education
Year: 2014
Authors: Orr D & Hovdhaugen
DOI: 10.1080/02601370.2013.873212
Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02601370.2013.873212?scroll=top&needAccess=true
Widening access to higher education is clearly part of the European policy agenda. Higher education ministers in the Bologna countries, as well as the European Commission, have all expressed a wish to make higher education more representative of national populations. This policy objective has been echoed at national level. One approach to widening participation is to provide ‘second chance’ routes into higher education. This is achieved by removing academic success at the secondary school as the determining factor for access to higher education. This paper compares the approaches to providing these second chance routes in Germany, Norway and Sweden. Each of these countries has organized second chance routes in a different manner, according to different principles and with differing obligations for the higher education institutions receiving the applicants. The paper closes with a review of the impact of second chance routes for widening participation and a discussion on the contribution such measures make to more inclusive higher education. The case studies support an expectation that second chance routes, although increasingly widely used, will remain a contested policy measure in the future.
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