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Open access enabling courses: Risking academic standards or meeting equity aspirations
journal contributionposted on 18.07.2018, 00:00 by Mahsood Shah, R Whannell
Open access enabling courses have experienced growth in Australia. The growth is evidenced in student enrolments and the number of public and private institutions offering such courses. Traditionally these courses have provided a second chance to many students from various equity groups who have been unable to access tertiary education due to poor academic achievement in high school or lack of post-secondary education. In recent years, open access enabling courses have attracted both young and mature-age students from mid and high socio-economic backgrounds, and international students. Open access enabling courses are similar to final year of high schooling and enable students to access degree courses. These courses are not regulated and not part of Australian Qualifications Framework and nor are they subject to any external accreditation or assessment. This paper argues that in the quest to achieve equity aspirations in the absence of appropriate regulation and accreditation in a rapidly expanding market, institutions are at risk of failing to monitor the academic quality and standards and the extent to which students are prepared for success in undergraduate study. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.