As a central institution that ensures equality of opportunity and social justice, the university is the most important channel of social mobility in modern societies. Over the past century, universities have assumed an important role in the political and cultural emancipation of women, minorities, and the lower socioeconomic classes. This expansion in educational institutions was not an isolated event in the years after the World War II, but rather a phase in a longer, secular process of modernization which started in the late nineteenth century and continues up to the present day.Expansion and Structural Change explores this development, focusing on the social background of students and the institutional transformation of higher education in several countries. Who have been the beneficiaries of this remarkable process of educational expansion? Has it made Western society more open, mobile, and democratic? These questions are analyzed from a historical perspective which takes into account the institutional change of universities during this century.Based on archival data for the United States, Germany, Japan, France, and Italy, this study combines both comparative and historical perspectives. It documents the political struggle of different social groups for access to univeristies, as well as the meritocratic selection for higher status positions. This work will be an indispensable reference for anyone searching for a comparative and historical analysis of higher education in the most advanced countries.
Table of Contents
Preface -- Educational Expansion as Secular Process -- Educational Expansion and Social Background -- The Opposition to Educational Expansion -- Institutional and Social Differentiation in Higher Education -- From Patronage to Meritocracy -- Expansion in Higher Education 1960-1990 -- Cyclical Variations in Higher Education -- Conclusions -- Appendix I: Sources -- Appendix II: Enrollment Rates in Higher Education 1850-1992