Common curriculum in Europe
The Special Issue on the Common Curriculum in Europe examines the evolution of the European educational policy over time. It focuses on the history of curricula, the processes that create and document them, and the varying policy contexts of European countries. The articles highlight the divergent directions taken by policy processes and reform cycles over time. In a sense, the third wave of transnational policy transitions is underway. The authors argue that the development of a Common Curriculum in Europe is a necessary step to achieving the goals of European integration.
Number of years of compulsory schooling
The number of years of compulsory education in Europe varies across countries. By 1950, the majority of European Union countries had implemented the compulsory education law. In the UK, children began school at age five, while in Scandinavian countries the age was seven. From there, compulsory education lasted seven or eight years in age-graded schools. In most European Union countries, the minimum age for compulsory schooling has increased, reaching 16 years in Italy, Austria and the Netherlands, as well as 18 in some.
Number of pre-university years
There are some key differences between the education systems in the United States and Europe. European students typically graduate from high school with a higher level of education than do American students. The European education system also requires students to complete core subjects, known as general education, before they can attend college. However, the standards for these core subjects are much lower than those in the U.S. After all, the majority of students in the U.S. will not attend college for more than four years, whereas the students in Europe achieve a higher level of education at age 16.
Impact of globalisation on European education system
In a new book, I examine the role of Europeanisation in the process of education reform. I examine the role of language and intellectuals in the development of individual capacities, as well as the relationship between globalisation and different educational paradigms. I also discuss the political and economic implications of Europeanisation. Ultimately, the impact of globalisation and education is a critical issue. However, I do not propose that globalisation is necessarily a bad thing.
Changes to the system since 1960s
Changes to the education system in Europe since the 1960s began with the adoption of compulsory schooling in most countries. In the 1950s, children began attending school as young as five years of age, while in Scandinavian countries, children started at seven years. By 1962, school was compulsory for seven or eight years in age-graded schools. Since then, however, the length of compulsory schooling has increased substantially. In Italy and Austria, for example, compulsory schooling was extended to the age of 15, while in other countries, education continued until a young person finished high school. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, education continued to be part-time.
While the Dual-System education system in Europe sounds too good to be true, it is a proven model for its high-quality standards and ability to meet the needs of both students and employers. Currently, the system is regulated by German law and vocational policies. The German Office for Vocational and Educational Training, or GOVET, oversees the dual studies system in Germany. Many organizations help maintain the high standards of the system. The German Dual-System helps young people transfer credits from one institution to another, and many have found employment in foreign countries.