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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2005): Education - Overseas

AUSTRALIAN SOCIAL SCIENTISTS AND TRANSITION TO A MORE COMMERCIAL UNIVERSITY ENVIRONMENT

G. Harman

Higher Education Research and Development, vol.24, 2005, p.79-94

Major changes in the university environment have impacted on social scientists who are highly critical of the Commonwealth government's higher education policy and funding levels, and the increasingly commercial, entrepreneurial and managerial character of universities. They are frustrated with increasing workloads, heavier administrative duties, higher levels of regulation and reporting requirements, management incompetence and deteriorating social relationships in their departments. At the same time, many social scientists have proved highly adaptable, showing a high degree of commitment to their teaching and research. They also report impressive levels of research productivity and substantial involvement in providing policy advice to government and in commercial activities. Many work effectively with colleagues or in research teams, and often publish jointly with colleagues.

EDUCATION IN DIVIDED SOCIETIES

T. Gallagher

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmilllan, 2005

The traditional role of education was to promote social integration, but there has been an increasing recognition that most, if not all, societies contain significant social and ethnic divisions. Schooling systems have responded in a variety of ways, but it is unclear which type of system best promotes positive inter-community relations. This book examines the experience of a number of different systems, including schools used in the United States and Britain, federalized education in a number of the most diverse European societies, and the effects of separate schools in Northern Ireland and apartheid in South Africa. The book argues that the relationship between structure and outcome is highly dependent on local circumstances and that no system guarantees a predictable outcome. Rather, it argues that school systems should promote processes of dialogue and that this is best achieved in circumstances where relationships between different communities are as interconnected as possible.

EVALUATING NEW CRITERIA AND PROCEDURES FOR FUNDING SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION IN THE NETHERLANDS

S.J. Pijl and H. Veneman

Educational Management Administration and Leadership, vol. 33, 2005, p.93-108

Traditionally pupils with special needs have been taught in segregated schools in the Netherlands. Faced with an escalating demand for places at special schools, the government introduced a new system whereby funding is allocated to the individual child to purchase the educational support needed. Parents can then choose whether to have the child educated at a mainstream or special school. Using the case files of a sample of 919 pupils, article evaluates the new system against the criteria of objectivity, cost control and fairness.

EXPLORING A NEW INCLUSIVE MODEL IN FINNISH EARLY CHILDHOOD SPECIAL EDUCATION: A 3-YEAR FOLLOW-UP STUDY

M. Takala and P. Aunio

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.9, 2005, p.39-54

Between 1996 and 1999 13 kindergartens in Finland were given the services of an additional special needs teacher. The teachers' duties included early intervention work, consultation with staff, parents and health professionals and individual planning. Staff were generally satisfied with the new system, but the special teachers did not have enough time to meet all needs that existed. The experimental model is now a permanent system.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEMS: THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE

S. Curtis and R. Klapper

International Journal of Social Economics, vol.32, 2005, p.121-132

Article compares the experiences of students at Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire and a French elite Grande Ecole. Grandes Ecoles are private and highly selective institutions, and it was found that the burden of supporting the French students financially fell mainly on their (well-off) parents. The English students were expected to invest in their own education and showed more indicators of financial hardship, in that they were more likely to work part time, live at home and be heavily in debt.

RESPONDING TO CRISES IN TRANSNATIONAL EDUCATION: NEW CHALLENGES FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

V. Feast and T. Bretag

Higher Education Research and Development, vol.24, 2005, p.63-78

Researchers conducted focus groups with administrative and academic staff at an Australian university to explore issues affecting the delivery of educational programmes in Asia during the SARS epidemic. Potentially conflicting concerns emerged from the focus group discussions, with administrative staff worried about maintaining services, while lecturers were preoccupied with safeguarding assessment standards.

SPECIAL AND INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IN THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN: POLICY, PRACTICE AND PROVISION

A.C. Armstrong and others

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.9, 2005, p.71-87

The countries of the Eastern Caribbean have been committed to a common education reform strategy for more than a decade. At the heart of this strategy has been the goal of "education for all", which includes establishing support services for children with special needs. Article reports on the implementation of the reform strategy and the barriers to inclusive education that persist in the region.

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