Students’ Learning Performance and Transitions in Different Learning Pathways to Higher Vocational Education

Harm Biemans*, Hans Mariën, Erik Fleur, Hilde Tobi, Loek Nieuwenhuis, Piety Runhaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


To improve students’ transitions between successive educational levels, continuing learning pathways are being designed and implemented in many countries. This study was carried out to examine the effects of the Green Lycea (GL) as critical cases of continuing learning pathways in vocational education in The Netherlands. The GL were compared with a traditional pathway (pre-vocational secondary education and secondary vocational education offered as separate programmes) in terms of students’ learning performance and transitions. GL students and comparable students following the regular pathway yielded the same mean final exam scores for four core subjects in the first phase of their educational programmes, despite the fact that GL students took this exam one year earlier than regular students because of the acceleration of the learning trajectory in the GL programme. Regarding the students’ transitions, the GL and the traditional pathway yielded comparable percentages of students who either did or did not obtain a pre-vocational secondary education diploma; For the GL, however, the percentage of students who proceeded in secondary vocational education was higher. To conclude, it seems to be possible to improve students’ transitions between successive educational levels (with their learning performance being an important precondition) through continuing learning pathways such as the GL. In this regard, GL design characteristics as described and examined in this study can be valuable ingredients for continuing learning pathways internationally as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-332
JournalVocations and Learning: Studies in Vocational and Professional Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Continuing learning pathways
  • Educational transitions
  • Green Lyceum
  • Learning performance
  • Vocational education and training


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