Opportunity or barrier? The effect of the two-cycle Bologna structure on social inequalities in the tertiary educational system of Flanders. Research paper SSL/2016.05/4.1.3

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As stipulated by the Bologna Declaration of 1999, the Bologna structure should offer first-cycle (bachelor) graduates the opportunity (1) to continue their educational career into the second-cycle (master), or (2) enter the labour market with the attained degree (Eurydice, 2012). In this study, we take a closer look at the post-bachelor options in the Bologna structure taken by students in Flanders. Using administrative data on all higher education enrolments, we conduct multilevel analyses to explain who decides to progress towards a master programme, and who decides to leave education in order to enter the labour market. We find very large differences between the two types of bachelor programmes that are offered in the Flemish higher educational system, with an almost universal continuation to a master programme for graduates from an academic bachelor, and much more diversity among the graduates from a professional bachelor. The results also show some socio- demographic differences, with higher continuation rates for men than women and diminishing continuation rates with increasing age of obtaining the bachelor degree. The financial situation of the students and their nationality on the other hand do not have consistent effects. Finally, we do not find any indications that the labour market perspectives of the field of study matter.
Originele taal-2English
Plaats van productieLeuven
UitgeverijSteunpunt Studie- en Schoolloopbanen
Aantal pagina's41
StatusPublished - 2016

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