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Issues in Educational Research, 2019, Vol 29(4), 1348-1368.
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Academic journeys of socially disadvantaged students in Chile's more equitable pathways to university entry

Walter Walker-Janzen
Universidad Católica Silva Henríquez, Chile

Mauricio Véliz-Campos
Universidad de Talca, Chile

Leonardo Veliz
Deakin University, Australia

More equitable pathways to university have been recently implemented in Chile. An alternative entrance pathway program was launched in 2009 at a Santiago-based university. This study aimed to describe the personal and academic journeys of the first three cohorts of students under this scheme, with a focus on the qualitative features that underpinned unexpected positive retention and program completion rates. Informed by a mixed methods methodology, using descriptive statistics and 26 interviews, 20 with graduates and six with their lecturers, the study suggests that such successful academic performance, remarkable retention and graduation rates relate to the participants' early inner drive to pursue university studies, wherein university epitomised a journey to professionalism and a way out of financial scarcity. The participants placed emphasis on the need to be assisted through a scholarship scheme and placed much value on their family support, the learning environment, and on their lecturers in particular. From the lecturers' data, it emerged that central to graduates' performance and overall academic achievement was their tenacity and determination to sustain their motivation to successfully accomplish their academic goals.
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Authors: Dr Walter Walker-Janzen, Foundation Studies, Universidad Católica Silva Henríquez, Santiago, Chile, is Professor in Mathematics and Statistics, and has worked in education for over 20 years. His publications are within the areas of mathematics, higher education and international relations. His current research projects focus on education in vulnerable contexts.
Email: walker@ucsh.cl

Dr Mauricio Véliz-Campos earned his doctoral degree in TESOL and Education at Exeter University. He is a Senior Lecturer at Universidad de Talca, Chile. His research interests include the study of the various variables affecting English pronunciation learning at teacher education level, namely language aptitude, language learning strategies, and language motivation.
Email: mauricio.veliz@utalca.cl

Dr Leonardo Veliz earned his PhD at Deakin University where he currently lectures in undergraduate and postgraduate programs. His research interests include teacher cognition, language teacher education, and metaphor and multimodality.
Email: leonardo.v@deakin.edu.au
Web: https://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/people/leonardo-veliz

Please cite as: Walker-Janzen, W., Véliz-Campos, M. & Veliz, L. (2019). Academic journeys of socially disadvantaged students in Chile's more equitable pathways to university entry. Issues in Educational Research, 29(4), 1348-1368. http://www.iier.org.au/iier29/walker-janzen.pdf

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Created 10 Oct 2019. Last correction: 10 Oct 2019.
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