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Unifying Higher Education for Different Kinds of Europeans. Higher Education and Work: A Comparison of Ten Countries

Osmo Kivinen and Jouni Nurmi
Comparative Education
Vol. 39, No. 1 (Feb., 2003), pp. 83-103
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3099632
Page Count: 21
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Unifying Higher Education for Different Kinds of Europeans. Higher Education and Work: A Comparison of Ten Countries
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Abstract

This article discusses the European Union's ongoing campaign to create a common European Higher Education Area against a set of comparative results on the current state of university education within the envisioned area. Our data on 25,000 university graduates from ten European countries reveal both similarities and differences between these countries in the relationships between education and the world of work, degree structures, actual study duration, quality of education, and student mobility. Our results show that university education is interwoven with various social, cultural and economic factors. There are various national peculiarities that have evolved over decades in response to the problems thrown up by the expansion of higher education. Therefore, in order to be successful, pan-European higher education policy has to take into account the constant functional and institutional diversification of 'mass higher education' as well as the persistent cultural differences and regional inequality within Europe.

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