DP15456 Closing the Gap Between Vocational and General Education? Evidence from University Technical Colleges in England

Author(s): Stephen Machin, Sandra McNally, Camille Terrier, Guglielmo Ventura
Publication Date: November 2020
Keyword(s): school value-added, Technical education, tracking
JEL(s): I20, I21, I28
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15456

England introduced University Technical Colleges (UTCs) in 2010, hybrid schools which combine general and vocational education. We use an instrumental variable approach to evaluate the causal effect of attending a UTC on student academic and vocational achievement and on their labour market outcomes. For pupils who enter at age 14, UTCs dramatically reduce their academic achievement on national exams at age 16. For students who enter at age of 16, UTCs boost vocational achievement without harming academic achievement. They also improve achievement in STEM qualifications, enrolment in apprenticeships, employment prospects (by age 19) and probability of studying STEM at university.