Bridge-Year Courses as Expectable Exceptions: Transition into Post-Compulsory Education in the City of Basel
06 - Präsentation
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Transitional education programs as for example bridge-year courses are becoming important institutions in the transition from compulsory to post-compulsory education and later on working environments. In Switzerland one out of five students is using such an option to progress to institutions of vocational education training (VET). Expanded in the late nineties as temporary exception to face problems of youth unemployment bridge-year courses are becoming more and more an expectable, additional school year for some youngsters. In the City of Basel three out of four students of the basic ability stream group directly proceed into such programs. Nevertheless, the interest of the scientific community remains relatively low. In fact, we still do not know much about the perceptions of these students, and how their transition from education to employment proceeds in a long-term perspective. In my PhD project I am focusing on educational and professional trajectories of young adults in Switzerland. The study bases on a longitudinal survey of all students attending compulsory schooling and bridge-year courses in the city of Basel. In a mixed-method approach of quantitative (descriptive statistic) and qualitative data-collection (guided interviews) the dissertation first analyzes the future paths of these students (post-compulsory education, jobs, unemployment, other solutions) in relation to gender, migratory background and social class, and secondly, discusses the experience and meaning-making of the selected informants during their educational, professional or welfare trajectories. The study lays particular emphasis on the one third of young adults who are expected to do some extra-work to find an apprenticeship. There the paper argues, that in fact, especially for students with a low socio-economical background compulsory school is expected to last at least ten instead of nine years. Compared to students with a high socio-economical background they have a three time higher expectation to attend a Bridge-Year-Courses after compulsory school, as well as a three time higher expectation to precede to a two-year VET-program instead of a three or four-year VET-program.