Flexibility of Educational Systems and Social Inequality in Educational Outcomes


Research leader:

Velden, R van der

Research team: Barbara Belfi (ROA), Roxanne Korthals (Inspectorate of Education), Mark Levels (ROA), Rolf van der Velden (ROA), Dinand Webbink (EUR), Katarina Wessling (ROA), Kars van Oosterhout (ROA), Per Bles (ROA)

Funded by: Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO)

Duration: 2017-2021

Project description

Several aspects of the flexibility of educational systems such as external (end-of-phase adjustment: stacking degrees) or internal (within-phase adjustment: dealing with misallocation by track mobility, retaining grades, acceleration or individual support programmes) flexibility have been studied distinctly. However, they have not yet been systematically integrated within an overall-view on flexibility as a system characteristic. Moreover, it has not been studied yet to which extent flexibility can reduce (or even increase) social inequality in educational outcomes (skills, final degrees, labour market prospects, and civic outcomes). This project aims to fill this gap by analysing the relation between policy reforms, different types of flexibility, and outcomes both from a Dutch and an international perspective.

The main aims of this project are: to develop indicators for the external and internal flexibility of the Dutch educational system educational and to test these indicators empirically; to develop a national database documenting relevant policy reforms; and to analyse educational flexibility in an international perspective over time utilising existing data sources (e.g. PISA, OECD database).

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