Changes in Structure and Access to Post-Compulsory Education in European Community Countries: With Special Reference to Scotland and Denmark

Corner, Trevor E (1991) Changes in Structure and Access to Post-Compulsory Education in European Community Countries: With Special Reference to Scotland and Denmark. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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SECTION I The research aims that guided this study's general development, and the limitations that these imposed, are given in chapter one. Some important changes in post-war European education are outlined and references made to the sections of the study where these perspective are amplified further. A short critical review is given of the contribution of comparative analysis in the study of educational systems and the use of case studies in the interpretation of general educational change. SECTION II Chapter two illustrates European cultural and social patterns and some implications that arise within education. It examines this cultural mosaic through linguistic and social variables because of the fundamental importance these have for learning and education. Other dimensions referred to are regionalism, centre-periphery models, cultural dominance, minority rights and mobility. The Arfe Report and other analyses of the diversity of European culture and educational provisions set important trends. After a review of European cultural and regional minorities, it is proposed that educational change in contemporary Europe should recognise four dimensions: 1) contributions of small education systems, 2) indigenous regional minorities, 3) immigrant minorities from ex-colonised countries requiring new types of education, and 4) the fragile, but growing, perception of Europe as a holistic entity. Chapter three illustrates the changing role of post-compulsory education by analysing the reorganisation of education systems in the Benelux countries and other small countries in Europe. The Benelux countries have established themselves as important actors in the development towards the European Single Market concept. At the same time, and despite highly complex educational systems, they have been in the forefront of changes in the 'privatisation' of education through market forces, which is interpreted in the study as a search for flexible responses to survival and change. It seems yet to be established whether the market-driven forces, operating at the upper-secondary and higher stages of a country's education system, can carry through permanent changes in European systems. Fundamental to this is the question of whether mechanistic change entrenched through monetary policy can affect the deeper structures of learning and curricula in the longer term. SECTION III Chapter four discusses several themes in Scottish education, especially the historical case for maintaining the 'democratic intellect' as a response to the need for flexible general education. It is proposed that the concept of the 'democratic intellect', which parallels the democratising element of the Danish notion of 'peoples enlightenment', can be accommodated into contemporary education through merging the 'academic' universities and 'vocational' central institutions. The case for more open access is based on comparing developments of selection and choice in Scottish post-compulsory with that of European and American education systems; the evidence presented shows that restricted access is still a dominating force, exercised through the twin notions of 'discipline' and 'disciplines', and controlled through financial policies of centralised governance. Chapter five introduces Danish education as a part of cultural and economic interchange within the Nordic region. Increasing educational mobility through the activities of the Nordic Council is described and related to the models of mobility established within the European Community. Through changes in Danish educational policy dating from 1982, a description is given of the transition from education informed by social-democratic values to those of conservative-liberal ideals, dominated by quality in education and based on monetary control of education which has similarities to developments in the Benelux Countries and the United Kingdom. One of the most important contributions to European education that Denmark has made is the concept of 'popular enlightenment'. The contribution of such a concept has in maintaining Danish educational traditions is discussed in the light of the contemporary policies of 'quality' and 'internationalism'. New routes to higher education through second chance programmes and the broad provision of adult education have maintained the traditions of Danish education, whilst absorbing the tendency to vocationalise and shorten higher education programmes. Overall, and in common with Scottish education, it is suggested that pressures of European market strategies have tended to produce quality control of education rather than quality in education. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Education history, Higher education
Date of Award: 1991
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1991-78320
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 15:33
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 15:33

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