Irena Kogan, Michael Gebel, Clemens Noelke
Educational expansion and social inequality in Central and Eastern European countries (published in Bulgarian)

Sociologi?eski problemi, 2010: 42, Heft 1-2, S. 94–117
ISSN: 0324-1572

This article summarizes the results of a largescale comparative study on the social selectivity of education attainment in Central and Eastern European (CEE). CEE countries provide an interesting case study in view of their variation in processes of post-secondary education expansion and differentiation as well as their degree of vocational orientation at the secondary level. Drawing on high quality, national micro data, we find that students from disadvantaged family backgrounds who manage to enter post-secondary education are ‘diverted’ to second-tier post-secondary institutions, while long-term university programs are more dominated by students whose parents have an academic background. At the secondary level, we confirm the pattern of negative selection of students from lower social backgrounds into lower vocational programs, which is well known for Western European countries. Interestingly, this diversion effect at the secondary level is especially pronounced in CEE countries that inherited a strong secondary vocational system and reinstalled early tracking.