Education, Work, Skills, and Inequality: An International Comparative Study (2012-2014)
Lesley Andres, Kjell Rubenson, and Hans Pechar
In this project, we are conducting a three country pilot case study in Canada, Sweden, and Germany with the goal of addressing the following questions: (1) what are the key assumptions and beliefs about education, skills, and the labour market within each given country; (2) what structures and processes shape the transition from lower level schooling to higher levels of education; (3) how has the structure of the education and training system and its relation to the labour market changed over the last 10-15 years; and (4) what are the key opportunities and challenges facing each country in terms of education and skill acquisition with the goal of increasing productivity and innovation while reducing inequality? Two theoretical perspectives inform this study: a welfare regime and a production regimeapproach. While the welfare regime literature illuminates why some regimes are conducive to human capital production and are able to create more equitable educational and eventual labour market opportunities, the production regime literature focuses on the ways that actors such as government, educational institutions, and unions optimize skill formation.
By employing an in depth and multifaceted similar/dissimilar case study approach, we are in the process of carrying out (1) detailed document analyses, (2) feasibility analyses of existing country level longitudinal data sets to determine how to maximize comparability, and (3) interviews with key stakeholders including officials in government, key industry stakeholders, administrators at formal educational and training institutions, and union leaders. Each country chosen for analysis represents unique characteristics of welfare and production regimes (Canada – liberal welfare regime, liberal market economy; Sweden – social democratic welfare regime, “flexicurity” coordinated market economy; Germany – conservative welfare regime, “Eurosclerosis” coordinated market economy).
This pilot project is a first step toward the development of a comprehensive large-scale project of education and training practices and needs in relation to employment in 15-20 countries.
Andres, L., & Pechar, H. (2013). Participation patterns in higher education: a comparative welfare and production regime perspective. European Journal of Education, 48(2), 247-261.
Pechar, H., & Andres, L. (2011). Higher education policy and welfare regimes: International comparative perspectives. Higher Education Policy, 24, 25-52.
The University Experiences and Outcomes of International and Domestic Students (2003-2006)
Paul Grayson, Lesley Andres, Janet Donald, Victor Thiessen
The purpose of this study to follow a cohort of international and domestic students over the first three years of their academic careers at University of British Columbia, York University, McGill University, and Dalhousie University. In 2003-04, information on student experiences was collected through focus group meetings with students and through mail-out surveys. These data were linked to outcome measures such as academic achievement and retention found in administrative records. Survey and focus group participants were followed in their second and third year of university study. Once the data were collected, we (1) compared the goals, experiences and outcomes of international and domestic students in general and in different universities; (2) examined the relationships between the experiences and outcomes of international and domestic students in general and in different universities; and (3) compared the goals, experiences and outcomes of international students coming from different countries. These findings are a major contribution to the limited body of comparative literature on experiences and outcomes of international and domestic students attending Canadian universities. Results allowed us to reconceptualize the theoretical and empirical models of educational experiences and outcomes to reflect today’s international and domestic student body. This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Pidgeon, M., & Andres, L. (2008a).“Lessons learned, wisdoms shared:” The third year experiences of international and domestic students at the University of British Columbia. Vancouver: University of British Columbia. (49 pages)
Pidgeon, M.., & Andres, L. (2008b).“We’ve almost made it!” A comparative study of the third year experiences of international and domestic students at four Canadian universities. Vancouver: University of British Columbia. (80 pages)
Pidgeon, M., & Andres, L. (2006a). Does “it” get any easier? A comparative study of the second year experiences of international and domestic students at four Canadian universities. Vancouver: University of British Columbia. (89 pages)
Pidgeon, M., & Andres, L. (2006b). “Experienced and some-what wiser.” The experiences of second year international and domestic students at the University of British Columbia. Vancouver: University of British Columbia. (89 pages)
Pidgeon, M., & Andres, L. (2005). Demands, challenges, rewards: The first year experiences of international and domestic students at four Canadian universities. Vancouver: University of British Columbia. (94 pages)
Andres, L., Lukac, B., & Pidgeon, M. (2004). What do first year international and domestic students have to say about their experiences at UBC? Vancouver: University of British Columbia. (88 pages)
Dynamics of Education, Employment, and Skill Acquisition: A Ten Year Portrait of the BC Class of ’88 (1999)
This grant focused on the value of applied and technical versus liberal education, questions which are fuelling the current policy debate on the nature and duration of education, training and skill acquisition required to meet the demands of the B.C. workforce. The purpose of this study was to extend existing research by employing a longitudinal data set of British Columbia youth to address current policy and theoretical issues related to educational participation and attainment, skill acquisition, and labour force participation. Results of this project were used to inform current trends in policy, such as funding of post-secondary places, and the to identify advantages and disadvantages of promoting applied academics and early career planning in the K-12 system in relation to issues of post-secondary access, retention, attrition, graduation, and employment. This project was funded by a UBC Hampton Grant.
Andres, L. (2003). More than sorcery required: The challenge of matching education and skills for life and work. In H. Schuetze & R. Sweet (Eds.), Alternation Education and Training: Preparing for Work in the New Economy (pp. 113-134). Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press.
Andres, L. & Grayson, P. (2003). Parents, Educational Attainment, Jobs and Satisfaction: What’s the Connection? A Ten Year Portrait of Canadian Young Women and Men. Journal of Youth Studies, 6(2), 181-202.
Collaborative Network on Longitudinal Research (1995-1998)
Lesley Andres, Paul Anisef, Harvey Krahn, Dianne Looker, Victor Thiessen
The Collaborative Network on Longitudinal Research provided a forum for ongoing communication among and comparative research by Canadian researchers who are actively engaged in longitudinal research on the transition of youth to adulthood. The Network built on the foundation of existing provincial and regional research already developed in Canada. Participants in this Network included Lesley Andres (Education, University of British Columbia), Paul Anisef (Sociology, York University), Harvey Krahn (Sociology, University of Alberta), Dianne Looker (Sociology, Acadia University), and Victor Thiessen (Sociology, Dalhousie University). Through a research design that allowed us to compare a wide range of sub-samples over an extended period of time, we addressed specific education and work-related policy issues. The temporal differences across our data sets permit new cross-sectional analyses of different age cohorts in different historical periods. We addressed policy issues such as unemployment among high school leavers and post-secondary graduates, labour force participation patterns, articulation opportunities between secondary and post-secondary systems in different provincial jurisdictions, changing patterns of family formation, and conceptions of family roles, education, and work over the early adult years. Funding for this Network was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Andres, L., & Looker, E.D. (2001). Rurality and capital: Educational expectations and attainment of rural, urban/rural and metropolitan youth. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 31(2), 1-46.
Andres, L., Anisef, P., Krahn, H., Looker, D., & Thiessen, V. (1999). The persistence of social structure: Class and gender effects on the occupational aspirations of Canadian youth. Journal of Youth Studies, 2(3), 261-282.
Andres, L. & Krahn, H. (1999). Youth pathways in articulated post-secondary systems: Enrolment and completion patterns of urban young women and men. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 29(1), 47-82.
Investigating Transfer Project (1996)
The purpose of this project was to address some of the gaps in the research on transfer by providing an in depth qualitative account of B.C. students’ perceptions of the transfer experience. In Phase I students who transferred from community college to university were interviewed to determine the nature of transfer, and difficulties and successes encountered before, during, and after transfer. In Phase II students enrolled in one B.C. community college in 1997 were followed over time to determine students’ transfer intentions, steps taken to transfer, and experiences related to the transfer process. Phase III involved an analysis of the history of provincial and institutional transfer policy. Together, the results of the Investigating Transfer Project provide a detailed description and analysis of students’ experiences of the transfer process, and contribute toward the ongoing revision of transfer policy and practice in B.C. For example, recommendations emerging from these studies have led to the development of a transfer handbook for British Columbia post-secondary students. This project was commissioned by the British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer.
Andres, L. (2002). Educational and occupational participation and completion patterns of the Class of ’88. A ten year perspective. Vancouver: Commissioned report by the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer. (53 pages)
Andres, L. (2001). Transfer from community college to university: Perspectives of British Columbia students. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 31(3). 35-74.
Andres, L. (1998). Investigating transfer project. Phase II. Community college students’ perceptions of transfer. Research report prepared for the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer. (42 pages)
Andres, L., & Dawson, J. (1998). Investigating transfer project. Phase III. A history of transfer policy and practice in British Columbia. Research report prepared for the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer. (37 pages)
Andres, L., Qayyum, A., & Dawson, J. (1997). Investigating transfer project. Phase I: The transfer experiences of students from community college to university. Research report for the British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer. (65 pages)