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ESRA 2023 Preliminary Glance Program

All time references are in CEST

Contexts of VET and HE: Measuring, linking, and analyzing data 1

Session Organisers Dr Katarina Wessling (ROA, Maastricht University)
Dr Dominik Becker (Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Bonn)
TimeWednesday 19 July, 09:00 - 10:30
Room U6-20

After completing general secondary school, students can – depending on the educational system – enter different forms of vocational education and training (VET) or Higher Education (HE). These different forms of post-school education take place in contexts, e.g., vocational schools, firms, colleges, universities of applied sciences, or research university. In countries that offer on-the-job VET programs or dual-study programs, students are trained jointly in firms and in vocational schools or colleges.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of channels and mechanism through which theses contexts influence individuals’ skill acquisition and labor market outcomes, data (in particular linked data) on these contexts is necessary.

In this session, we discuss data and substantive research on the measurement and analysis of contextual settings in the above sense, and their consequences for individuals’ educational and employment outcomes.

We are interested in the following research topics:

Data linkage: Linking firm-level and vocational school-level, college-level and/or university-level data with student/apprentice-level data
Measurement of context conditions in VET, firms, or HE:
- Expectations (and effectiveness) of VET school, HE institution teachers or firm instructors
- Instruction quality in VET school, HE institution or on the firm level
- Social, ethnic, gender, skill, or other forms of composition in VET school, HE institution or in firms
- Changes or modifications in training and study programs within or between occupations/fields of study (e.g., implementation of technological change or other forms of innovativeness)
- Implementation and evaluation of blended and online learning in VET school, HE institution or in firms
Analyses of effects of context conditions in VET, firms, or HE:
- Effects on objective labor-market outcomes, e.g., skill acquisition, wages, employment prospects, mismatch, occupational status, or occupational mobility
- Effects on subjective labor market outcomes, e.g., vocational interests, work values, career plans,

Keywords: VET school, HE institutions, firms, data linkage, measurment, context effects

Linking Survey Data with Context Information: Feasibility and First Results for a Survey on German Professors

Mrs Ulrike Schwabe (German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW)) - Presenting Author
Mrs Lisa-Marie Steinkampf (German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW))

In recent times, academic careers in Germany are changing – not least due to several political measures. As official available register data have only limited analytical potential, large-scale survey data is needed to answer policy relevant questions and to evaluate political reforms like the introduction of junior and tenure track professorships. However, survey time is usually restricted and the specific target group of highly qualified professionals is in particular concerned by very limited time resources. Therefore, we link survey data with information on higher education institutions (e.g. status of excellence, size, university profile and share of female professors) and policy data on different levels (e.g. State Higher Education Acts for the level of “German Länder” and measures for reconciling work and family life for the level of higher education institutions).
For our contribution, we use data from a recently conducted survey project among German professors, the "prof*panel”. First, we present challenges and pitfalls on data integration which includes (i) search effort, (ii) data and privacy protection issues and (iii) the linking process itself. To illustrate the potential for researching academic careers, we secondly present first multi-level analyses for determinants of pursuing an academic career. We contrast the traditional career path, the habilitation (‘second book’), with “new” career paths like junior and tenure track professorships.

Tenacious goal pursuit and flexible goal adjustment in transitions to VET: Do regions matter?

Ms Nele Theuer (Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training) - Presenting Author
Dr Katarina Weßling (Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training)

The transition to vocational education and training (VET) is an important developmental goal in adolescents’ life course (Buchmann & Kriesi, 2011). Hence, it is important to understand how this transition might be influenced positively. Researchers have already identified a number of relevant factors for successful transitions to VET, e.g. socioeconomic factors, gender and individual resources (Beicht et al., 2008; Solga & Kohlrausch, 2013). A different perspective focuses on the impact of regional opportunity structures (Hillmert et al., 2017; Weßling, 2015).
This study aims at combining these aspects for a better understanding of how they work together: Specifically, it is argued that regional opportunity structures moderate the relationship between individual resources and transitions to VET. Two stable self-regulation dispositions will be analysed: tenacity and flexibility. Both are known to be relevant in goal striving processes: It is argued that flexibility is an effective resource when contextual opportunities are low, whereas tenacity is helpful in transitioning to VET when opportunities are high (Brandtstädter & Renner, 1990).
We use data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) – SC4 (Blossfeld & Roßbach, 2019) and combine it with regional information on the ratio of VET positions and VET applicants (Bundesagentur für Arbeit, 2011). This data differentiates not only between employment agency districts but also between aspired VET occupations, which allows a fine-grained measurement of opportunity structures. Transition success is operationalised threefold, namely as a) attainment of any VET position, b) attainment of the preferred VET position and c) satisfaction with the obtained position.
Preliminary analyses indicate no significant moderating effects of opportunity structures on the relationship between individual resources and transition success. However, it might be that differences between regional contexts exist that this study failed to detect properly due to methodological constraints. Further analyses aim to shed light on these shortcomings.

Impacting factors of recruiters´gender preferences when recruiting VET applicants for gender-dominated occupations: a vignette study.

Miss Luisa Minssen (Federal Institute of Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA)) - Presenting Author
Professor Mark Levels (Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA))
Professor Harald Pfeifer (Federal Institute of Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) )
Dr Caroline Wehner (Federal Institute of Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), IZA Institut zur Zukunft der Arbeit, UNU-Merit)

Since decades, literature on gender discrimination reports an unevenly distribution of men and women across occupations. Recruiters are potential drivers in gender discrimination because they tend to prefer applicants who have similar characteristics like their own. More recent studies report a shift towards less female discrimination, and more male discrimination. However, little is known if this shift in gender discrimination takes mainly place in the labour market or also in the apprenticeship market, which is an important driver for integrating youth in the labour market. Moreover, there is not much research on how recruiters´ sociodemographic characteristics impact a recruitment probability when recruiting apprentices. We investigate the heterogeneity of a recruiters´ gender preferences when recruiting vocational education and training (VET) applicants for gender dominated occupations. We distinguish between potentially driving factors of recruiters´ characteristics such as age, gender, job position, and migration background. We conduct a factorial survey (FS) experiment among 1872 firms in Germany and use a random effect model to estimate the heterogeneous gender preferences of recruiters when recruiting VET applicants for gender-dominated occupations. Our unique dataset of 1872 firms enable us to distinguish between male-, neutral-, and female-dominated occupations. We find that female VET applicants are less preferred for male-dominated occupations and preferred for neutral- and female-dominated occupations in comparison to male VET applicants. Moreover, older recruiters or firm owners prefer female VET applicants less for male-dominated occupations, while they prefer them more for female-dominated occupations in comparison to male VET applicants. In contrast, recruiters with a human resource background (i.e., human resource heads) prefer female VET applicants more for male-dominated occupations and less for female-dominated occupations in comparison to male VET applicants. We find no impact of the recruiters´ gender or migration background with regard to recruitment preferences.