Academic performance and work placements: does academic performance influence the decision to complete a work placement?

McCann, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-8584-2156 and Hewitt, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-7036-3451, 2022. Academic performance and work placements: does academic performance influence the decision to complete a work placement? Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning. ISSN 2042-3896

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Abstract

Purpose: There is strong evidence that year-long work placements make students more employable and produces better academic performance. Despite this, UK participation rates remain stubbornly low. We examine the influence of academic performance on students’ willingness and ability to complete work placements.

Originality: Our research adds to the literature investigating the influence of academic performance through academic self-concept on students’ investment decisions to include a work placement in their degree study and in students’ ability to secure a work placement.

Design: Our novel conceptual framework distinguishes students by their intentions regarding work placements indicated at enrolment as well as whether they completed a work placement. We use a sample of 226 business and economics students, employing propensity score weighted multiple regression to analyse the influence of academic performance.

Findings: Our results indicate that academic performance has a significant influence on the decision to include a work placement option at enrolment. For those students who do pursue work placements, first-year academic performance had a significantly positive impact on their ability to secure a placement job. Finally, completion of a work placement was beneficial to final year academic performance.

Practical implications: Work placements are beneficial. Since low academic performance deters students from pursuing such opportunities, universities may need to communicate the benefits better to encourage greater interest. Further, universities need to realistically manage the expectations of students with low academic performance who want to do work placements and provide targeted support during the application process. Furthermore, alternatives to work placements should be provided.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Academic performance and work placements
Publication Title: Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning
Creators: McCann, M. and Hewitt, M.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 15 November 2022
ISSN: 2042-3896
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1108/heswbl-11-2021-0224DOI
1619970Other
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 22 Nov 2022 11:12
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2022 11:12
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/47468

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