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Which education systems support a more equal and effective acquisition of skills at a later age? Prof. Andy Green

Andy Green is Professor of Comparative Social Science at the UCL Institute of Education, and Director of the ERSC Research Centre on Learning and Life Chances (LLAKES). His main field of research is the comparative (historical and sociological) study of education and training systems, their origins, and social and economic consequences. He has acted as a consultant to various international bodies, such as CEDEFOP, the European Commission, the OECD and UNESCO and has published widely on a range of social and education issues, with major works translated into Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. His major recent books include: Education and State Formation: Europe, East Asia and the USA, 2013; Regimes of Social Cohesion: Societies and the Crisis of Globalisation, 2011; and Education, Equality and Social Cohesion, 2006; Andy Green was elected Academician of the Academy of Social Science in 2010. His most recent book, The Crisis for Young People: Generational Inequalities in Education, Work, Housing and Welfare is available on open access from Palgrave at:


Which education systems support more equal and effective acquisition of skills at a later age?

Research tells us much about the effects of primary and lower secondary schooling on skills inequality, but we know less about the impact of the next stage of education. This presentation uses a difference-in-difference analysis of data on literacy and numeracy skills in PISA 2000 and SAS 2011/12 to assess the contribution of upper secondary education and training systems to inequalities in skills opportunities and outcomes. It finds that greater parity of esteem between academic and vocational tracks, as found in German-speaking and Scandinavian countries, has some positive effects in mitigating skills inequality. However, the most important factors seem to be high completion rates from long-cycle, upper-secondary education and training and mandatory provision of mathematics and the national language in the curriculum.

Last updated: 28 August 2017