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Vocational upper-secondary education and the transition from school

This article addresses two main questions: do young people leaving vocational upper-secondary education make more successful transitions to employment than leavers from academic upper-secondary education, or than leavers from lower-secondary education? And does this 'vocational effect' vary systematically across countries? The article distinguishes two ideal types of transition system, based on the strength of linkages between vocational education and employment, and governed respectively by an 'employment logic' and by an 'education logic'. The vocational effect is predicted to be stronger in systems governed by the employment logic. This prediction, together with other hypotheses based on the ideal types, is tested using school-leaver survey data for the Netherlands (representing the employment logic), Scotland (representing the education logic), and Ireland and Sweden (representing intermediate cases). The ideal types are broadly supported, subject to limitations of comparability of the data.

This article addresses two main questions: do young people leaving vocational upper-secondary education make more successful ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Iannelli, Cristina; Raffe, David
Date: 2007
Geographic subjects: Ireland; Sweden; Scotland;
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Vocational education and training; Employment; Youth;

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Social inequality in higher education: is vocational training a pathway leading to or away from university?

This paper analyses theoretically the decision to enrol in university under the conditions of certain educational systems. In particular, the impact of an institutional alternative of vocational training (as in Germany) and the possibility of combining vocational and academic training are examined. The comparison of educational systems shows how different types may give rise to social class differences in participation in higher education. [The authors] trace back this comparison to individual decisions after leaving upper secondary education which [the authors] represent by a formal model. Here, [the authors] can refer to theories that were developed to explain social differences in other kinds of educational transitions. Using a model of utility maximization, [the authors] specify the returns to education in the form of expected future income within a certain time. By introducing social differences in the relevant parameters, [the authors'] model offers an explanation of why school-leavers from different social origins have incentives to choose different educational paths. [The authors] also find evidence that the populations in different tracks might differ with respect to average achievement. Finally, [the authors] give a brief discussion on implications for further research.

This paper analyses theoretically the decision to enrol in university under the conditions of certain educational systems. ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Hillmert, Steffen; Jacob, Marita
Date: 2003
Geographic subjects: Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Equity; Higher education; Research;

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Minority dropout in higher education: a comparison of the United States and Norway using competing risk event history analysis

The objective of this article is to compare college persistence patterns among minority and majority students in universities and colleges in Norway with that of the United States. Despite differences in the educational systems and economic regimes, both countries face the common challenge of ensuring educational equity, especially among students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and minority students. Using competing risk event history analysis, this article examines nationally representative samples of students to assess the relative year-to-year risk of dropping out from higher education among minority and majority students. We found that while the US higher education system tends to exacerbate initial socioeconomic inequalities between minority and majority students, there is no difference in the dropout risk among minority and majority students in Norway. Moreover, at the [Bachelor of Arts] BA level, we found that minority students graduate at significantly lower rates than majority students in the United States, even when we control for dropping out. Again, there is no such difference in Norway. This indicates that even though minority students in Norway are also disproportionately from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, they are encountering fewer obstacles in higher education than minority students in the United States.

The objective of this article is to compare college persistence patterns among minority and majority students in ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Reisel, Liza; Brekke, Idunn
Date: 2010
Geographic subjects: United States; North America; Norway;
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Higher education; Participation; Providers of education and training;

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Educational expansion and its consequences for vertical and horizontal inequalities in access to higher education in West Germany

For scholars of social stratification one of the key questions regarding educational expansion is whether it diminishes or magnifies existing inequalities in educational attainment. The effect of expansion on educational inequality in tertiary education is of particular importance, as tertiary education has become increasingly relevant for labour market prospects and life course opportunities. Our article studies the access to tertiary education of students with different social origins in light of educational expansion in Germany. First, we examine inequalities in access to four vertical alternatives of postsecondary education by means of multinomial regression with national data from four school-leaver surveys from 1983, 1990, 1994, and 1999. Second, for those students who enrol at a tertiary institution, effects of social origin on horizontal choices of fields of study are analysed. Results show that unequal opportunities to access postsecondary and tertiary institutions remain constant at a high level. Likewise, social background effects have not changed over time for the choice of field of study. Thus, students from different social backgrounds did not change their educational strategies irrespective of the ongoing expansion of secondary and tertiary education.

For scholars of social stratification one of the key questions regarding educational expansion is whether it diminishes or ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Reimer, David; Pollak, Reinhard
Date: 2010
Geographic subjects: Germany; Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Equity; Higher education; Labour market;

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The effects of non-employment in early work-life on subsequent employment chances of individuals in the Netherlands

In this article, the effects of non-employment in early work-life on subsequent employment chances of individuals in the Netherlands are examined. A main concern is whether the experience of non-employment in the beginning of the career (permanently) damages a worker’s later employment opportunities (that is, the likelihood of exit out of and re-entry into employment). The empirical analysis is based on five retrospective life-history surveys collected in the Netherlands in the period 1992-2003, with full information on employment histories of individuals. The analytic sample consists of 7,761 respondents, who left education since the 1950s. The results of the empirical analysis first of all show that the duration of non-employment in the first three years after leaving education (and not the number of non-employment spells in that period) increases the likelihood of exiting employment in the subsequent time period (up until 15 years after leaving education). This finding holds for both men and women. Second, a negative duration effect of non-employment on the likelihood of re-entering employment after a job loss is found, but for men only. These results imply that non-employment in early work-life indeed has a scarring effect on subsequent employment chances of individuals in the Dutch labour market.

In this article, the effects of non-employment in early work-life on subsequent employment chances of individuals in the ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Luijkx, Ruud; Wolbers, Maarten H. J.
Date: 2009
Geographic subjects: Netherlands; Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Labour market; Employment; Research

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