More Diversion than Inclusion? : Social Stratification in the Bologna System

Neugebauer, Martin

Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2014
The title of a journal, publication series: Arbeitspapiere / Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung = Working papers
Volume: 159
Place of publication: Mannheim
ISSN: 1437-8574
Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Mannheim Centre for European Social Research - Research Department A
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Abstract: In the course of the Bologna Process, long one-cycle degrees have been replaced by a two-cycle structure in many European countries. This has created a new form of differentiation within higher education. Focussing on Germany, this paper examines social origin effects, measured in terms of parental education, at the newly created transition between the first (Bachelor) and the second (Master’s) cycle. Based on a recent cohort of n=14,857 Bachelor graduates, I find that parents’ education has a pronounced influence on the probability of their children’s enrolment in a Master’s programme, comparable in size to the effect of parents’ education on children’s initial tertiary enrolment. This finding complements another study, which has recently shown that the shortening of the first cycle has not counteracted the underrepresentation of students from lower social origins. Taken together, these findings suggest that social stratification may have increased in the new Bologna system, a finding, which stands in sharp contrast to the official goal of the Bologna Process. In a second step, this paper shows that the observed gap in Master’s enrolment rates is – to more than 80 percent – the result of indirect influences. Students from lower educated families graduate from universities of applied sciences, demonstrate lower performance, and have to finance their studies through their own employment, which in turn lowers the probability of Master’s continuation. Other important indirect effects relate to field of study, and educational paths chosen prior to tertiary enrolment. The study discusses policy implications and suggests avenues for further research.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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