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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Books. Convergence and Divergence in European Education and Training Systems
Convergence and Divergence in European Education and Training Systems
Andy Green, Alison Wolf and Tom LeneyInstitute of Education1999ISBN: 0854735739£15.99
Keywords: Education, Training, Europe, Convergence
Education and training systems are subject to all the forces shaping the global economy. This has led some experts to predict that national systems will give way to a global education and training market. The most obvious support for the theory comes in the area of management education, where top business schools compete fiercely for the best students on an international level.
Convergence and Divergence in European Education and Training Systems, however, shows that convergence is not generally happening in education and training in Europe. Despite the existence of such EU initiatives as the Socrates education programme and the Leonardo vocational-training programme, which may have helped to bring about some convergence in broad policy aims across the continent, specific policy and actual structures and processes remain national.
Even where systems are going in the same broad direction, they are starting from different points and going at different speeds. The authors argue, for example, that most countries are trying to decentralize their education and training systems, but this takes distinct forms. Most EU countries now have comprehensive lower secondary schools, although some - most notably Germany - remain selective in this sector.
England and Wales are moving towards greater Government control over curricula and qualifications, which features in most continental systems. But England and Wales are moving away from continental practice by giving schools a large amount of managerial autonomy and increasing market competition between institutions. The pre-eminent role given to market forces in the UK is closer to US practice than that of most EU nations.
The publication provides much to interest anyone involved in the international aspects of education and training, particularly those arranging exchanges. There is also plenty of food for thought for researchers examining the more general issue of globalization.
The book is available from Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL.