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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2011): Education - overseas

Building organisational capacity in school education

S. Dinham and F. Crowther (editors)

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 49, 2011, p. 616-738

The concept of capacity building came to prominence in the early 1990s in the context of national and international development. Initiatives such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have been instrumental in assisting the least developed nations through providing advice, training and support so that these nations can address endemic problems and build capacity for greater self-reliance and prosperity. According to the editors of this special edition of the JEA, school capacity-building would appear to be of unequivocal importance in any serious consideration of 'sustainability', not just of education but in wider societal and environmental terms. The authors of the articles in this special edition of the journal were selected for two reasons: their international credibility as up-to-date researchers and scholars with understanding of important aspects of sustainable capacity-building; and their capacity to comment with authority on current school capacity-building initiatives in a national context of relevance to this volume. The seven papers in the issue provide quite acute insights regarding the approaches to capacity-building being undertaken in different national contexts.

Developing communities: serving ACE through tertiary education

F. Sofo

Education + Training, vol. 53, 2011, p. 484-498

The purpose of this paper is to review the focus and practice of Adult and Community Education (ACE) as well as its conceptualization and delivery and to suggest parameters for an approach based on excellence, a balanced scorecard and performance to meet community needs. The review examines key aspects of the field of ACE and its strategic shaping, especially towards professionalization and a masculine-oriented approach portrayed through Australian tertiary ACE courses. New understanding emerged that sees the practice of ACE in tertiary institutions already leading to the professionalization of work roles such as community educators, developers and counsellors. Through universities, ACE has embraced developments in information and communication technology and new productivity agendas without losing its caring approach. A proposed framework suggests that it is time for ACE to be transformed in the modern era, to become more systematized, to collaborate more deeply with universities and to strengthen its ability to balance a nurturing focus with a stronger masculine strategic approach.

Handbook on globalisation and higher education

R. King, S. Marginson and R. Naidoo

Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2011

Higher education has entered centre-stage in the context of the knowledge economy and has been deployed in the search for economic competitiveness and social development. Against this backdrop, this highly illuminating Handbook explores worldwide convergences and divergences in national higher education systems resulting from increased global co-operation and competition. The expert contributors reveal the strategies, practices and governance mechanisms developed by international and regional organizations, national governments and by higher education institutions themselves. They analyse local responses to dominant global templates of higher education and the consequences for knowledge generation, social equity, economic development and the public good. This comprehensive and accessible Handbook will prove an invaluable reference tool for researchers, academics and students with an interest in higher education from economics, international studies and public policy perspectives, as well as for higher education policymakers, and funding and governance bodies.

Multi-layered accountability: performance-based funding of universities

N. Frølich

Public Administration, vol.89, 2011, p. 840-859

Performance-based funding was intended to respond to concerns about the cost-effectiveness of higher education, to stimulate student progression, and to enhance the development of new and attractive study programmes. In general, performance-based funding was introduced as a quick fix to improve accountability and transparency. The relationship between performance-based funding, accountability and transparency is, however, not direct. This paper explores the relationship through a theoretical discussion and empirical analysis of the case of quality reform and performance-based funding in Norwegian universities.

Political parties and higher education spending: who favours redistribution?

C. Rauh, A. Kirchner and R. Kappe

West European Politics, vol.34, 2011, p. 1185-1206

In line with recent approaches to examining differing partisan influence across education sectors, this article applies the assumption that political parties in government cater to their constituencies in financing the higher education sector. While the traditional literature treats all investment in human capital formation as the domain of the left, these results provide support for the more recent insight that classical partisan theory should be reversed for public spending on higher education in a stratified education system with high intergenerational transfers. In Germany's socially selective system of tertiary education, higher and upper middle class families send their offspring to university. Thus any increase in public spending on higher education disproportionately benefits these social classes which traditionally support right wing parties. An analysis of spending on higher education in the 16 German states between 1992 and 2003 shows that right wing parties in power increased higher education spending, thus benefiting their voters.

Rethinking trade in education services: a wake-up call for trade negotiators

A.H. Lim and R. Saner

Journal of World Trade, vol. 45, 2011, p. 993-1034

Over time, trade in education services, particularly at the tertiary level, has been growing in importance. Drivers include a combination of demographic changes, technological advances, national development goals, and government reforms to higher education funding and provision. The educational market has grown in size with more exporters entering the field to satisfy growing demand worldwide. The education sector operates in a global context with institutions supplying services across borders on an unprecedented scale. This article describes the educational services market, identifies the key actors in the field, both importers and exporters, and discusses market opportunities and risks for countries interested in taking an active role.

School board member professional development and effects on student achievement

K. Roberts and P. Sampson

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 25, 2011, p. 701-713

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the issue of professional development education for school board members in the USA. The research question that guides this mixed study is: does school board member professional development have an effect on student achievement? The standardized protocol for this study was to send a developed questionnaire to 50 directors of state school board associations. An inductive analysis was made of the state school board directors' responses on whether they felt professional development had a positive effect on student achievement. Their responses were then compared with Education Week's 2009 rating of state education systems. Based on responses from 26 responding school board association state directors, the study found that most states do not require professional development for school board members. State school board association directors did feel that school board professional development had a positive effect on student achievement. Of the states that did require school board professional development, they received an overall rating of B or C according to the Education Week 2009 rating, while those states that did not require professional development received a rating of C or D.

Selectivity and flexibility in the German secondary school system: a configurational analysis of recent data from the German socio-economic panel

J. Glaesser and B. Cooper

European Sociological Review, vol. 27, 2011, p. 570-585

There is an ongoing debate in many European countries about both equality of opportunity and wastage of talent, and the ways in which different systems of secondary education contribute to these. This article explores the ways in which the highly stratified German secondary school system's institutional arrangements shape pupils' pathways through secondary education and how these interact with parents' education and social class. Pupils are sorted when they leave primary school, on the basis of that school's recommendation about which type of secondary school is most suitable. Three types of secondary school are available: the Hauptschule, which prepares pupils for skilled manual work, the Realschule, which prepares pupils for apprenticeships, and the Gymnasium, which prepares pupils for higher education. The paper analyses factors influencing whether pupils make use of the available opportunities for changing track. Results show that young people from privileged backgrounds are more likely to benefit from available flexibility, whereas disadvantaged pupils are more likely to drop out of the academic track.

The transition from school to the workplace for students with learning disabilities: status quo and the efficiency of pre-vocational and vocational training schemes

M. Gebhardt and others

European Journal of Special Needs Education, vol. 26, 2011, p. 443-459

In Germany, school leavers who do not progress to higher education are encouraged to seek an apprenticeship on the free market. However pupils with special educational needs are at very high risk of not finding an apprenticeship and mainly end up on a one-year school-based pre-vocational programme, followed by a state-funded school-based vocational programme. Rates of transition from these school-based programmes to paid work in the general labour market are low.

Transition scenarios for young people with learning disabilities in Spain: relationships and discrepencies

M. Pallisera

European Journal of Special Needs Education, vol. 26, 2011, p. 495-507

This study examines the transition of young people with learning difficulties from school to adulthood in Spain. They face many obstacles to successful transition due to the multitude of services and professionals involved, the diverse views on what represents integration, and lack of coordination between school and adult services. The article concludes with proposals for facilitating the transition to adult life from an inclusive perspective.

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