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Education policy: Mapping the landscape and scope

Sandra Bohlinger, Thi Kim Anh Dang and Malgorzata Klatt

This book maps recent developments in the landscape of education policy in higher and vocational education, the returns of education, curriculum design and education reforms, driven by social, economic, political and cultural factors. Contributed by over twenty authors from five continents, this collection provides diverse, innovative and useful perspectives on the ways education policy is researched, implemented and enacted. It helps researchers, policy makers, students and practitioners to better understand processes of policy making, its theory, practice and outcomes. Despite national differences, many shared features and challenges emerge from this book as education systems face the common need to reinvent their existing systems and processes.

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Immigrant students’ educational pathways in Spain: Reflections on their engagement in vocational courses


In 2008 the Commission of the European Communities published the document “GREEN PAPER on migration & mobility: challenges and opportunities for EU education systems”. This document analyzed the main specific challenges that the European education system faced with regard to schools with large numbers of children from a migrant background. Education is considered a key to ensure that these pupils are equipped to become integrated, successful and productive citizens of the host country. However, the educational attainment of migrants and ethnic minorities is, on average, lower than that of other groups. The Green paper affirms that “at secondary level, a clear degree of segregation in enrolment emerges as migrant pupils are over-represented in vocationally oriented schools that typically do not lead to higher education” (p. 6).

As a consequence of the rapid increase in the number of migrant students, the Spanish school system faced important challenges. The OECD PISA survey on standard academic skills of 15-year-olds confirms that migrant pupils in this age group tend to perform less well than other pupils (OECD, 2013).

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