Marketization, Managerialism and Welfare State Professionalism
Edited by Tanja Klenk and Emmanuele Pavolini
Chapter 4: Marketization and managerialization of education policies in a comparative perspective
Education systems in Western Europe have historically been quite diversified in terms of institutional design and timing of development (Busemeyer and Nikolay 2010). Looking at the recent literature on the issue of different models of organizing education, West and Nikolai (2013) propose a typology based on four ‘education regimes’ for Western European countries. Their analysis focuses on institutional features associated with inequality of educational opportunity, educational outcomes and education expenditure. The two scholars identify four clusters of countries: the Nordic, Continental, Mediterranean and English-speaking regimes. Each education regime is associated with particular institutional features, educational outcomes and levels of public expenditure. The classification of countries bears similarities to those identified in the literature on welfare states. The Nordic regime (Sweden, Finland and Denmark) shows a high level of public education spending, low levels of private education spending, a high share of population with at least an upper secondary education degree and a limited level of segregation of educational tracks thanks to a non-selective, publicly funded comprehensive school system, with no tracking until the age of 16. Moreover the proportion of 15-year-olds with poor levels of reading is below average and the relationship between reading performance and social background is at or below the international average. Participation in vocational education programmes is above average, and the percentage of early school leavers is low.
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