University Pathway Programs: Types, Origins, Aims and Defining Traits

  • Cintia Inés Agosti
  • Eva Bernat


This chapter is an introduction to this volume. The chapter traces the factors that caused the emergence of university pathway programs at a national and global scale. It delves in matters of nomenclature, types of programs offered and the links between universities and private providers in program delivery. When discussing the aims and traits of university pathway programs, the chapter includes three models that developers, teachers and students of such programs might find useful to inform their approach to language proficiency, academic literacies and pastoral care issues. These models are: a heuristic of English language proficiency (Humphreys 2015), the academic literacies methodological approach to learning and teaching (Lea and Street 2006) and a consideration of five areas of students’ needs that must be met to facilitate their successful transition to higher education (Lizzio 2006). The chapter then presents the goals, structure and content overview of the book. It ends with a consideration of the difficulties faced by those involved in different areas of university pathway programs development and delivery.


Pathway programs Academic literacies International students’ needs Equity in higher education Enabling programs Widening participation 



The authors are very grateful to Dr. Pamela Humphreys for giving them access to her unpublished doctoral thesis and for her valuable feedback on this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts, International Studies DepartmentMacquarie UniversityNorth RydeAustralia
  2. 2.Australian School of Applied ManagementMelbourneAustralia

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