Education and social stratification across Europe
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors that affect progression to university education across Europe. Design/methodology/approach: The data used are obtained from the fourth round of the European Social Survey (2008). Findings: Findings point to interesting age by gender and age by parental education interactions affecting the entrance to university. It demonstrates the disparity that exists across Europe whereby in some countries progression has been a smooth process for the past few decades while in others widening participation to higher education has only been a recent phenomenon. Research limitations/implications: The findings of this study are discussed with reference to social reproduction theories and have implications for wider European educational policies for enhancing access to university education. Originality/value: In a globalised education market inequalities may be observed within countries but also between countries making the outcomes of policies for offering equal opportunities a complex one.