Symposium Books Logo

Higher Education in England and France Since the 1980s
Enlarge cover

Monographs in International Education

Higher Education in England and France Since the 1980s

C.M.A. DEER

2002 paperback 208 pages, £30.00, ISBN 978-1-873927-64-9
https://doi.org/10.15730/books.18

IN STOCK NOW FREE delivery on all orders
All books are sent AIRMAIL worldwide

About the book

This book provides a synthetic analysis of the rapid developments that have occurred in English and French higher education since the beginning of the 1980s. The purpose is not to decide which of the two systems is better today, nor is it about formulating advice on policy or best practice borrowing. The aim is to identify and clarify converging or diverging trends and policies, ideals and structures between the two countries since the 1980s in order to build a cross-national understanding of changes in this area of public policy.

The book is conceived as a follow-up to the framework of understanding developed by Margaret Archer in Social Origins of Educational Systems (1979). First, change is comprehensively interpreted using this approach. Then the power of other explanatory frameworks (in particular, that developed by Niklas Luhmann and contradicted by Jürgen Habermas) is assessed so as to determine which provides the most convincing account to help understand the recent developments observed. Far from being antithetical, the three models of understanding of social evolution (morphogenesis, self-differentiation and communicative action) prove to be rich in potential for cross-fertilisation.

Contents

Introduction

The Focus of the Comparison

Structural Patterns of Educational Change

Elaborative Structures and their Evolution in England and France since the 1980s

Expansion and the Problem of Access

Political Manipulation and Educational Interaction

Change in Higher Education and the Process of Differentiation in Modern Societies

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Acronyms

Introduction

This book provides a synthetic analysis of the rapid developments that have occurred in English and French higher education since the beginning of the 1980s. The purpose is not to decide which of the two systems is better today, nor is it about formulating advice on policy or borrowing best practice. The aim is to identify and clarify converging or diverging trends and policies, ideals and structures between the two countries since the 1980s in order to build a cross-national understanding of changes in this area of public policy.

France and England share many similarities in terms of industrial development and social organisation, yet over the last 20 years they have evolved politically within diverging ideological paradigms. This notion informed the initial focus for the study of their respective higher education policies. To some extent, the assumption behind this dichotomy was misleading, for the ultimate value and the meaning of any political move, administrative modification or legal decision can only be judged in the light of what was in place before. Although the initial focus of the inquiry was influenced by a then limited knowledge of the pre-existing and current situations, this did not preclude its eventual fruitfulness. The devil may be in the details but, once the details are known, the comparative perspective provides an invaluable tool for attempting to rise above them again and striving for synthesis.

The book is conceived as a follow-up to the framework of understanding developed by Margaret Archer in Social Origins of Educational Systems (1979). First, change is interpreted using this framework. Then the explanatory power of other theories (in particular, system theory developed by Niklas Luhmann and contradicted by Jürgen Habermas) is assessed against its limitations so as to determine which provides the most convincing explanatory account for the recent developments observed. Far from being antithetical, the three models of understanding of social evolution (Archer’s morphogenetic theory, Luhmann’s self-differentiation theory and Habermas’s communicative action theory) prove to be rich in potential for cross-fertilisation.

Contributors

Related and recent books

The University and the Teachers HARRY JUDGE, MICHEL LEMOSSE, LYNN PAINE, MICHAEL SEDLAK

The Education Systems of the United Kingdom DAVID PHILLIPS

Aspects of Education and the European Union DAVID PHILLIPS

The 'Accreditation' Model JOHN PRATT

An Atlantic Crossing? The Work of the International Examination Inquiry, its Researchers, Methods and Influence MARTIN LAWN

Modelling the Future MARTIN LAWN

Higher Education and International Capacity Building DAVID STEPHENS

Globalisation and Higher Education in the Arab Gulf States GARI DONN, YAHYA AL MANTHRI

Higher Education and the State ROGER GOODMAN, TAKEHIKO KARIYA, JOHN TAYLOR

International Higher Education's Scholar-Practitioners BERNHARD STREITWIESER, ANTHONY C. OGDEN

Students, Markets and Social Justice HUBERT ERTL, CLAIRE DUPUY

Book Reviews

Share