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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2004): Education - Overseas

ACTIVE LABOUR MARKET POLICY AND EMPLOYMENT FLOWS: EVIDENCE FROM POLISH REGIONAL DATA

P.A. Puhani

International Journal of Manpower, vol.24, 2003, p.897-915

High unemployment rates have caused Poland to engage in active labour market policies. Programmes have included training, subsidised jobs, direct job creation through public works, and loan schemes. Research analysed the effect of training programmes on the outflows from unemployment into employment, and also looked for evidence of displacement of established workers by programme participants. The empirical evidence gives no support to the view that public training programmes can be used to reduce unemployment, and there is no robust evidence of displacement effects from any active labour market intervention.

COMPARING EDUCATION-TO-WORK TRANSITION SYSTEMS

D. Raffe

Learning and Skills Research, vol.6, Autumn 2003, p.22-24

Reports findings of a project comparing education-to-work transition systems across a range of countries. Identifies a group of countries with strong occupational labour markets (Germany, Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands) where new entrants have more vocational qualifications, lower unemployment, and are more similar to experienced workers with respect to job mobility and occupational levels. In contrast, in Southern European countries, new entrants have little vocational specialisation, run a high risk of unemployment, and have low levels of job mobility, apprenticeship and in-company training.

CONSTRUCTION OF TEACHER LEADERSHIP IN THREE PERIODS OF POLICY AND REFORM ACTIVISM

J.W. Little

School Leadership and Management, vol.23, 2003, p.401-419

In the 1980s teacher leadership formed the centrepiece of career ladder initiatives in the USA that were designed to reward accomplished teachers while securing their commitment to teaching and marshalling their expertise in support of school improvement. From the late-1980s to the mid-1990s a surge of investment in whole-school reform produced a new definition of leadership roles and a new emphasis on leadership in pursuit of locally defined school improvement. By the late 1990s, policy had shifted dramatically as "high stakes accountability" took hold. In this period district and school administrators began to recruit teachers into leadership positions in the service of external accountability.

DECLINING INEQUALITY? THE CHANGING IMPACT OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKGROUND AND ABILITY ON EDUCATION IN AUSTRALIA

G.N. Marks and J. McMillan

British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 54, 2003, p.453-471

The article concludes that ability is an important influence on educational outcomes and indirectly influences occupational destinations. Its effects cannot be attributed to socio-economic background or other factors such as cultural capitol. Its effects on educational outcomes tend to be stronger than those of socio-economic background. However, among students with the same ability levels, those from higher socio-economic backgrounds have superior outcomes. The overall effects of socio-economic background on educational outcomes are declining, as are the effects of ability.

DISPOSITIONAL AND MATURATIONAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH COMPETENCY-BASED TRAINING

D.J. Kosbab

Education and Training, Vol. 45, 2003, p. 526-541

The article is based the hypothesis that vocational competence is dependent on dispositional development which results in a move towards maturation. Unemployed Australian adults enrolled on the nationally accredited, competency-based training package, (Certificate IV in Small Business Management), were questioned regarding their competency outcomes. Results revealed a conflict in terminology between the training packages, which described outcomes in competency-referenced terms, and the trainees, who preferred terms of dispositional outcomes i.e. values, interests and attitudes. However, despite this the trainees moved towards maturation as a result of the course, suggesting that the Certificate is effective.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING FOR ENTREPRENEURS: A CONSIDERATION OF INITIATIVES IN IRELAND AND THE NETHERLANDS

D. De Faoite and others

Education and Training, Vol. 45, 2003, p. 430-438

The article explores the importance of training and education to countries' economies, focusing particularly on whether taking into account the cultural values and mindset of those being taught helps to make training more effective. Different entrepreneurial training programmes in Ireland and the Netherlands are used as a case study.

EDUCATIONAL STRATIFICATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE: EVIDENCE FROM GERMAN UNIFICATION

C. Kesler

European Sociological Review, Vol. 19, 2003, p.467-482

The article explores inequalities in the German education system, examining secondary schooling in East and West Germany both before and after unification. Although numbers of students achieving certificates entitling them to attend university increased in the East during the 1990s, it concludes that inequalities in Eastern and Western Germany do not differ dramatically from each other and that educational equality has not increased.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN CHINA

J. Li, Y. Zhang and H. Matlay

Education and Training, Vol. 45, 2003, p.495-505

Although entrepreneurs contributed hugely to China's recent economic success, entrepreneurship education remains a relatively new concept. The article provides an overview of this and explores the reasons behind growing interest in the topic. It also lists the critical issues affecting entrepreneurship education in China, including job creation and changes in the graduate employment market.

FAMILY BUSINESS TRAINING: A CANADIAN PERSPECTIVE

C. Collins, D. Buhalis and M. Peters

Education and Training, Vol. 45, 2003, p.474-482

Although family firms play an important role in the working of the Canadian economy, they have a low survival rate. This has been attributed to lack of training and the article introduces a training strategy for both large and small family businesses. While large firms can afford training costs, the majority of Canadian family firms are small businesses and thus the article concludes that a collaborative effort from universities, family business organisations, government agencies and financial institutions is needed in order to develop a systematic training agenda.

FROM CORDOBA TO WASHINGTON: WTO/GATS AND LATIN AMERICAN EDUCATION

D. Schugurensky and A. Davidson-Harding

Globalisation, Societies and Education, vol.1, 2003, p.321-357

Argues that the USA is poised to take advantage of the free market in education that would be created if Latin American countries sign up to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). They could be adversely affected in terms of their sovereignty on cultural policy, the quality and accessibility of their public education systems, the training of scientists and researchers oriented towards national development, and the contribution of their education systems to the common good and to the equalisation of opportunities in largely unequal societies.

GLOBALIZATION AND REFORM IN HIGHER EDUCATION

H. Eggins

Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2004

This book charts the key issues that are involved in reforming higher education to meet new global challenges. It considers:

  • the reform of governance and finance;
  • the funding of higher education;
  • managerialism, accreditation and quality assurance;
  • the use of performance indicators, faculty roles and rewards;
  • the cultural, social and ethical dimensions of change.

The concluding section consists of two case studies:

  • the first is a detailed discussion of the Australian's government's introduction of higher education reforms;
  • the second assesses the transformation of higher education in South Africa in the face of contemporary global and local change.

"HARDLY NEUTRAL PLAYERS": AUSTRALIA'S ROLE IN LIBERALISING TRADE IN EDUCATION SERVICES

C. Ziguras, L. Reinke and G. McBurnie

Globalisation, Societies and Education, vol.1, 2003, p.359-374

Australia has become one of the most ardent supporters of free trade in education services. The Australian government has made changes to domestic education regulations to ensure they are consistent with market liberalisation and has facilitated the exploration of concerns about issues such as quality assurance, consumer protection and public subsidies through various international forums including APEC, the WTO and the OECD.

HEGEMONIC EXCEPTIONALISM AND LEGITIMATING BET-HEDGING: PARADOXES AND LESSONS FROM THE US AND JAPANESE APPROACHES TO EDUCATION SERVICES UNDER GATS

K. Mundy and M. Iga

Globalisation, Societies and Education, vol.1, 2003, p.281-319

Japan and the USA have taken similar approaches to negotiations for liberalisation of trade in educational services. Both countries have economies that are heavily dominated by service sectors and both have a longstanding commitment to the development of the WTO and a multilateral trade regime. Yet neither country has shown much commitment to liberalising trade in educational services domestically. For Japan, this reticence stems from its position as a net importer of educational services and from its government's longstanding commitment to central oversight of education. For the USA, the reticence arises from pressure from domestic coalitions (including the academic community and private sector providers) which benefit from a heavily subsidised and protected domestic market.

THE INCLUSION OF LEARNERS WITH BARRIERS TO LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT INTO ORDINARY SCHOOL SETTINGS: A CHALLENGE FOR UGANDA

K. Kristensen, M. Omagor-Loican and N. Onen

British Journal of Special Education, Vol. 30, 2003, p.194-201

The article examines inclusive education in Uganda. It begins by giving an overview of special needs education and the conditions under which it is being implemented before outlining the research methodology. Two questionnaires - one targeted at district education officers and school inspectors and the other at teachers (both ordinary and special needs) and special needs education co-ordinators - were sent out. Group discussions were also held with school children, one group with special needs, one without. Results showed that inclusive education was in general supported, although those directly involved were more positive. However, several difficulties in putting inclusive education into practice were voiced, amongst them lack of training and inadequate materials. The article concludes with a list of recommendations in order that the system may be further improved.

THE LERNFELDKONZEPT: CRISIS AND REFORM IN GERMAN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING

H. Ertl and P.F.E. Sloane

Learning and Skills Research, vol.6, Autumn 2003, p.25-27

The German vocational training system combines learning in colleges with work experience in companies. The current crisis in the system is due to a shortage of training places in companies. The proposed reform envisages replicating tasks and activities which normally confront trainees during work experience in college.

NEW ZEALAND'S BIZ TRAINING PROGRAMME: SERVICE PROVIDER PERSPECTIVES

C. Massey, D. Tweed and K. Lewis

Education and Training, Vol. 45, 2003 p.439-448

The article explores the BIZ programme, which was established by the New Zealand Government to build management capacity amongst the owners and managers of New Zealand's small and medium enterprises (SMEs). BIZ providers were interviewed to assess how well the programme was meeting its objectives. Questions were framed around nine different topics, including service delivery, programme impact, client eligibility, the role of the BIZ unit and improving the programme. The article concludes that, in general, respondents were enthusiastic about BIZ and that the model was working well although improvements could be made across a number of areas.

OUTSOURCING AND THE PROVISION OF WELFARE-RELATED SERVICES TO UNEMPLOYED YOUTH IN NEW ZEALAND

R. Strathdee

Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol.28, 2004, p.59-72

In order to improve the effectiveness of training programmes for the unemployed, the New Zealand government has introduced competition between providers and has implemented a system of outcomes-based funding. Paper explores the impact of these reforms on the practices of tutors working with the young unemployed. Argues that outsourcing linked to outcomes-based funding has a deleterious effect on tutors' conditions of employment and encourages them to focus on preparing trainees for low-skilled jobs. Tutors seek to secure their own employment by improving their trainees' employability in the contingent labour market.

THE POLITICS OF POLICY RESISTANCE: RECONSTRUCTING HIGHER EDUCATION IN KOSOVO

I. Bache and A. Taylor

Journal of Public Policy, vol. 23, 2003, p.279-300

Article considers attempts to transfer policies from Britain in the reconstruction of higher education in Kosovo after 1999. Argues that there is a need for the public policy literature to explore the dynamics of relationships between dominant donors of ideas and practices and subordinate recipients. In particular there is need to theorise the nature and intensity of domestic resistance to external policy inputs.

PRIVATISATION, DOMESTIC MARKETISATION AND INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIALISATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION: VULNERABILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHILE AND ROMANIA WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF WTO/GATS

M. Ginsburg and others

Globalisation, Societies and Education, vol.1, 2003, p.413-445

Authors examine two distinct political regimes that have seen significant convergences of policy and policy outcomes. Both Chile and Romania have seen high levels of privatisation, marketisation and commercialisation arising from internal and external pressures to implement neo-liberal ideologies. Chile has been exposed to these changes since 1981 and Romania since the early 1990s, making both countries particularly vulnerable to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Developing countries like Chile and Romania with a solvent middle class and high aspirations for education are a target for education firms eager to make a profit.

PRODUCTIVE PEDAGOGIES AND THE CHALLENGE OF INCLUSION

J. Allan

British Journal of Special Education, Vol. 30, 2003, p.175-179

The article explores the challenges involved in achieving an inclusive education system. Recommendations are taken from two studies - the Queensland School Reform Longitudinal Study and the Scottish Parliamentary Inquiry into special needs. The barriers preventing inclusive practice are investigated before a list of "double-edged responsibilities" challenges practitioners, policy makers and educators alike.

RAISING STANDARDS OR RAISING BARRIERS? : INEQUALITY AND HIGH-STAKES TESTING IN PUBLIC EDUCATION

G. Orfield and M. Kornhaber

New York: Century Foundation Press, 2003

As part of the national movement for standards-based reform in public education, more and more states- about twenty-five at present- require students to pass large-scale tests as a condition of receiving high school diplomas, and a growing number of states and school districts now require students to pass standardized tests as a condition of grade-to-grade promotion. What are the forces that have pushed high-stakes testing to the forefront of K-12 educational policy in the United States? Are such tests the best way to gauge educational attainment? In particular, the authors examine the impact of these tests on African American, Latino, poor and bilingual students.

THE SCOPE FOR STATE INTERVENTION IN YOUNG PEOPLE'S LEARNING AND TRAINING

E. Smith

Journal of Education and Work, Vol. 16, 2003, p.385-406

The article evaluates the scope for state intervention in the training of young people in their first jobs in Australia. It reports on a qualitative study of 11 teenagers entering full-time employment in New South Wales, relating to the breadth and depth of their learning in their jobs, and the factors that facilitated or inhibited their learning. Findings suggest some areas where state intervention might be possible to improve the learning of young people in their first jobs. These include:

  • education of employers about domains of learning;
  • encouragement of a training culture within organisations;
  • encouraging parental involvement.

TRAINING PACKAGES IN AUSTRALIA

C. Chappell

Learning and Skills Research, vol.6, Autumn 2003, p.31-32

Australian government policy has for 15 years aimed to align education and training systems to meet the demands of rapid economic change. An important feature of the reforms has been the development of competency-based vocational education programmes, built on industry-defined standards and national qualifications, identified in nationally endorsed "training packages"

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