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British educational trajectories from school to university: evaluating quantitative evidence in policy formulation and justification

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The increasing volume of available 'big data' contains great potential for public policy to be evidence-based – as long as they are properly analysed and fully appreciated. This paper examines a case where that did not happen, and as a consequence an ideological-driven policy change was supported by a poor analysis of the available data. Using the same data, analyses employing a novel procedure falsify the government's arguments: many well-qualified students for courses in the country's leading universities may not be offered places there in the absence of data on their academic progress during their two years of post-secondary education.
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Keywords: CONTINGENCY TABLES; SCHOOL EXAMINATION PERFORMANCE; UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS; UNIVERSITY DEGREE PERFORMANCE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected] 3: Email: [email protected] 4: Email: [email protected] 5: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2017-04-01

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