Policies on Early School Leaving in Nine European Countries: A Comparative Analysis

November 7, 2014

The first publication of the RESLEU research project has been prepared with the contribution of CPS Researchers Julia Szalai and Agnes Kende.

The analysis shows that Europeanisation takes place on the basis of countries' diverse interpretation and implementation of a common grammar, by means of the national policy and under the framework of programs of cooperation, support, research and development set by different international organisations and with EU funding, evaluation systems and soft law. Moreover, the analysis of the goals, 'drivers' and rationales underpinning education and social policies related to ESL suggests that the economic concern prevails over educational and social goals. In spite of the fact that in some countries, such as UK and the Netherlands, this concern is more visible, in others the encompassing discourse on the need to respond to the new labour market needs is pervasive. In Belgium and Poland, for instance, this driver is more nuanced as social and educational concerns could also be identified. In Austria, both economic and social drivers can be identified. The study also allows underlining a close relationship between social and economic policies, on the one hand, and educational policies, on the other. In line with the Lisbon Strategy, education is pointed out simultaneously as a factor of economic competition and a factor of social cohesion. In this sense, 'drivers' and 'rationales' identified are to be seen in a continuum where tensions between social and educational goals and new labour market needs are present to diverse degrees. Notwithstanding, educational and social drivers and rationales addressing equality of opportunities and educational development are uncommon.

Policies on Early School Leaving in Nine European Countries: A Comparative Analysis (Download)