Sandra McNally, University of Surrey and London School of Economics
Closing the Gap Between Vocational and GeneralEducation? - Evidence from University Technical Colleges in England
Countries such as the UK and the US, with a weak recent history of vocational education, have begun to set up specialist schools in technical education. We evaluate the effect of attending these new institutions in England. These are ‘University Technical Colleges’ (UTCs), which aim to integrate technical, practical and academic learning for students aged between 14 and 18. They are a type of free school that have been set up in range of locations across England. We evaluate their effect on student outcomes using an Instrumental Variable strategy which makes use of a student’s proximity to the institution. Our findings show a very mixed picture. While UTCs are good at delivering technical education and placing their students on to apprenticeships, they are very poor at teaching either basic or higher level academic education.