Editors’ Choice Award
Dr Markus Klein from the University of Strathclyde’s School of Education and his colleagues Prof Cristina Iannelli (University of Edinburgh) and Prof Emer Smyth (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin) have been shortlisted for the 2016 British Educational Research Journal’s Editors’ Choice Award.
Their article examines the relative importance of upper secondary subject choice and attainment in explaining social inequalities in access to higher education (HE) in Scotland and Ireland. These two countries differ in the extent of curriculum differentiation, in the degree of standardisation in school examination and in HE entry criteria. In particular, in Scotland subject choice in upper secondary education is more differentiated (both in terms of number and type of subjects taken) and allocation of places in HE is less standardised and more dependent upon the subjects studied at school than in
Ireland. The empirical results from their study confirm that social inequalities in HE entry and access to prestigious universities are more strongly explained by subject choices in Scotland while attainment is more important in Ireland.