Europe split over selection

May 8, 1998

DIFFERENCES between north and south European education systems are hampering attempts to develop joint lifelong learning policies, according to London Institute of Education research.

A paper to be published next month for the European Commission includes the first survey of all 15 European Union member states' education systems.

The paper, Convergence and Divergence in the European Education Systems (DG XXII), by Andy Green, shows that "common economic, demographic and cultural forces" have led to the growing convergence of policy objectives among member states, but little convergence of education systems themselves.

The paper, to be published by the European Commission DG XXII next month, will show how the "lifelong learning" agenda has become central across Europe.

Economic "globalisation", the greater importance of high-skilled, non-manual jobs, growing job insecurity, demographic change and higher unemployment have all led to a convergence of education policies, the study found.

But diverse traditions and social environments between member states are preserving markedly different systems.

One difference was in work-based post compulsory education and school-based systems.

"The German-speaking states have retained the status of the craft-type occupations, and have a predominantly work-based system with strong trade union links and a strong ethic of social partnership," said Dr Green. "This has allowed the apprentice route to remain popular and close regulation allows the system to be very beneficial."

Similarly, the German-speaking states, and the Netherlands, had rigidly preserved selective schooling, while the southern European states, including France, all tended to have comprehensive education.

The report concludes that distance learning could be one way to marry lifelong learning with the conflicting education systems.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Reader in Politics and Policy

St Marys University, Twickenham

Engineer

Cern

Professor of Anthropology

Maynooth University

Preceptor in Statistics

Harvard University

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Electrochemistry

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu
See all jobs

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework