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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2010): Education - overseas

Ambivalent relations: the 'tricky footwork' of parental involvement in school communities

J. Blackmore and K. Hutchison

International Journal of Inclusive Education, Vol. 14, Aug. 2010, p. 499-515

This case study from the state of Victoria, Australia, examines teachers' and parents' responses to educational policies advocating greater parents' involvement. It explores the intersections of gender and class in the context of changing home/school relationship characterised by policies and processes of institutionalisation, familialisation and individualisation that are shaping parental involvement. The authors find that the current constructions of parent/school relationship around partnership for student learning fail to recognise the complexity of parent/teacher relations and its gendered nature. Feminist critical policies, framed by sociology of the family, inform the understanding of the ways changing discourses and practices currently are informing parental involvement in a culturally and socioeconomic diverse school.

Australian higher education leaders in times of change: the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor

G. Scott and others

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 32, 2010, p. 401-418

There is ample evidence that universities are at a turnaround moment in their history and that their leaders have a critical role to play in making sure they remain well positioned in a highly volatile operating context. Using both qualitative and quantitative data, this paper gives an insider's view of what the roles of deputy and pro vice-chancellor are like on a day to day basis and how such leaders went about learning how to perform them. It shows how these data can be used to identify potential future leaders early in their careers, and how effective leadership development programmes can be created to train them.

The extent of teacher participation in decision-making in secondary schools in Zimbabwe

N. Wadesango

School Leadership and Management, Vol. 30, July 2010, p. 265-284

This study investigates the extent of teacher participation in decision-making in secondary schools in Zimbabwe employing qualitative/interpretative research methodology and using the case study research design as the operational framework for data gathering. Data was collected through interviews, documentary analysis and observation of two staff meeting per school from five secondary schools in the Gweru educational district of Zimbabwe. The research found that teachers were insignificantly involved in decision making despite their eagerness to get involved; with decision often taken unilaterally by school heads and imposed on teachers for implementation. The paper recommends heads of schools give teachers room to come up with ideas and look at all contributions objectively.

Higher education in the United Arab Emirates: an analysis of the outcomes of significant increases in supply and competition

S. Wilkins

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol.32, 2010, p. 389-400

During the last decade, several countries across the Middle East have established higher education hubs, some of which have grown rapidly by attracting foreign universities to set up international branch campuses. The United Arab Emirates is by far the largest host of international branch campuses globally, having over 40 providers at the end of 2009. The UAE higher education market has become highly competitive and, in the private sector, supply now exceeds demand. This paper analyses the outcomes and impacts of this situation on student recruitment, the student experience, quality and institutional strategies.

Inclusive education in the Middle East

E. Gaad

London: Routledge, 2010

The potential of adopting inclusive education to support learning for all is an international phenomenon that is finding its way to the Middle East and the Arabian region. The book examines the current status of inclusive education in Arabia and the Middle East through an assessment of the latest international, regional, and local research into inclusive education. With a focus on the more complex areas of related cultural practice and attitudes towards inclusive education in this dynamic and fast-changing part of the world, it offers a research-based analysis of the current educational status of the Arabian Gulf and some Middle Eastern countries that adopted inclusive practice in education, and others that are yet to follow.

Indigenous children of India: enrolment, gender parity and drop-out in school education

K.M. Joshi

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 30, 2010, p. 545-558

Improving access to education is a priority in India, but to be effective policy needs to take account of the differing needs of vulnerable groups and girls. The indigenous or tribal people of India are the most deprived ethnic groups in terms of health, education and economic status. This has led to low enrolment in and high drop-out rates from school education, with girls being worse affected than boys. The paper concludes with some recommendations for improving access to school education for indigenous children.

Moving towards an educational policy for inclusion? Main reform stages in the development of the Norwegian unitary school system

S. Nilsen

International Journal of Inclusive Education, Aug. 2010, Vol. 14, p. 463-497

The purpose of this article is to study educational policy in Norway in the field of the unitary school system and to analyse whether the development can be seen as a move towards increasing inclusion. It finds that educational policy, when seen over a long time span, has progressively aimed towards the development of a common compulsory school that has increasingly encompassed more schools across social and geographical divides. At the same time, the development has been characterised by tensions; e. g. between standardisation and differentiation. Gradually, policy makers have stressed that as many pupils as possible should be allowed to grow up at home, with special education co-ordinated with the ordinary school as much as possible. Later on, inclusive education has been clearly formulated as principle of education, with ordinary schools broadening their responsibilities to accommodate the diverse learning needs of students.

Organisational responses to public sector reforms in higher education in Uganda: a case study of Makerere University

R. Bisaso

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol.32, 2010, p. 343-351

This study describes how Makerere University responded to the drastic changes introduced by neoliberal public sector reforms in Uganda. The institution successfully used financial decentralisation to facilitate its transition from a purely public body to an entrepreneurial public-private university. This financial decentralisation led to unintended consequences in the shape of unfocused expenditure patterns, decline in quality and loss of institutional cohesion. Further changes introduced from 2000 have prioritised quality assurance and improved institutional cohesion, funding allocation and expenditure control.

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