Quality and equity of European education

H. Guldemond, W. H.A. Hofman, R. H. Hofman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Internationally an increase in attention for institutional related aspects of schooling is observed. Most research has taken place in individual countries. A thorough international comparison of specific institutional effects of schooling could merit important policy implications for individual countries and be useful in that they provide some indication of how the country is performing in comparison to other countries with similar social, economic and educational circumstances (Bishop and Wössmann, 2001; Willms &Somers, 2001). Although a lot has been published about the quality of countries' education systems it is still not very clear how much is in fact explained by institutional characteristics. Furthermore, multilevel between-country studies focusing on institutional features of education systems are scarce. The objective of this Chapter is to analyse the relative impact of parameters of institutional contexts on quality and equity of schooling systems in general. This bears relevance because students in some education systems do not have the same educational opportunities than in others and this inequality could well be related to variation in institutional contexts. Research should make clear what produces such variations and what factors are related to more equal opportunities for pupils. Another reason is that international comparison of education systems shows that institutional factors seem to explain substantial cross-country variation in student performance (Bishop and Wössmann, 2001). Furthermore, these researchers argue that privately-governed schools are more likely to posses "incentive creating" institutional characteristics and that competition from privately-managed schools within the country's education system seems to be associated with positive effects on the total quality of the education system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInstitutional Context of Education Systems in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationA Cross-Country Comparison on Quality and Equity
EditorsR. H. Hofman, W. H. A. Hofman, J. M. Gray, P. Daly
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4020-2745-1
ISBN (Print)978-90-481-6715-9, 978-1-4020-2744-4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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