UNIVERSITY AND/OR VOCATIONAL SCHOOL – WHEN AND WHY?

Mare Leino

Abstract


Since 2013, the university degree is free for everyone in Estonia. Vocational education has always been for free. University degrees have been valued as more academical, and vocational education because of the practical skills gained. There is a new trend in Estonia to enter into a vocational school after the university degree; and/or after one vocational education in to another vocational school. Study eagerness is always nice, but the question here is about the reason(s) – is this kind of behaviour rather the sign of lifelong learning, or of wrong choices? In this question the research problem is included also – in case of wrong choices the waste of resources can be considered (from the point of view of society).
In 2016, the National Audit Office of Estonia studied the progress of adults aged 25 and over, who had started acquiring vocational education (from 2010/2011 to 2014/2015 academic years) before and during their studies, and in working life after the completion of their studies. The focus was on adults, because the decreasing number of young people in the state means that adults are and will remain an important target group for vocational education. The aim of this research is to analyze the background of the fact that many adults in Estonia with vocational education (36%) or higher education (20%) have started acquiring vocational education alongside adults without any professional education (44%). The subjects/respondents of this research were people who decided to influence the quality of their life through education. The object of the research were shcolars’ opinions about the type of education.
In this research I focus on the opinion of students about university and/or vocational education. As an illustration, I discuss one case study of a highly educated person with two master degrees, who is going to start studying in a vocational school. The research question: which background impulses influence the choice of educational institution? The methodology of this research was qualitative (based on the small sample of respondents); the research method was a content analysis of shcolars opinions, and of the case study.


Keywords


university; vocational education; pro-social behaviour.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13165/SD-18-16-1-05

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789