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"The Changing Role of EU Education Policy -- a Critical Assessment"

Walkenhorst, Heiko. (2005) "The Changing Role of EU Education Policy -- a Critical Assessment". In: UNSPECIFIED, Austin, Texas. (Unpublished)

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    [Introduction]. Since its beginning, the European integration process has developed an educational dimension. However, in contrast to highly integrated EU policies such as competition and external trade, education has merely been subject to intergovernmental policy co-ordination. As a cost intensive policy national education generally belongs to the realm of high politics in which the EU does not claim responsibility. But it is not only the budgetary factor that has contributed to the low level of policy integration. Apart from its function as a provider of skilled and prepared generations, education policy is an important national political steering instrument. In the way an education system is designed, it influences people's perceptions about the political past (historical nationalism), contributes to changes in the division of labour (vocational training)\and has a considerable impact on the future elites of societies (higher education). Education, similar to social policy, is an important part of the national welfare systems; hence, state governments are very reluctant to cede sovereignty. Furthermore, education policy is one of the remaining parts of identity politics in which national governments still possess the power of control; here, education policy operates as a cross-generational transmitter of political culture. It is still perceived as a vital tool for creating social legitimacy, promoting political socialization, developing democratization and preserving national identity. Consequently, as Beukel (2001: 126) observed, 'the very notion of "Europeanization of education" causes concern in most countries in Europe, one reason being that it is equated with homogenization of the educational systems that could imply a loss of national identity'.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > education policy/vocational training
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2005 (9th), March 31-April 2, 2005
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2005
    Page Range: p. 16
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:25

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