In this paper we provide a comprehensive picture of social selectivity in higher education in Italy, by focusing on enrolment and two alternative indicators of success: retention and timely completion. The existing literature has shown that young individuals of disadvantaged backgrounds have lower enrolment probabilities and higher chances of withdrawal. This paper analyses the size and features of this cumulative disadvantage, shaping the chances of high-school leavers of eventually attaining the university degree. We analyze whether social background inequalities are stronger at enrolment or at later outcomes, and the how these inequalities vary with previous schooling experience. We confirm previous evidence that disadvantaged groups with respect to enrolment are also disadvantaged on persistence, add new findings on timely completion, and show that cumulative inequalities are very strong. Inequalities are strongest among students holding technical and vocational high-school qualifications and weakest among well performing students from lyceums. In addition, we examine the role of labour market conditions and whether they explain geographical differences. Enrolment, retention and timely completion probabilities appear negatively related to local youth unemployment rates, suggesting that with poor labour market prospects individuals lose motivation and reduce their engagement in education.

Social selection in higher education. Enrolment, dropout and timely degree attainment in Italy

CONTINI, Dalit;SCAGNI, Andrea
2018

Abstract

In this paper we provide a comprehensive picture of social selectivity in higher education in Italy, by focusing on enrolment and two alternative indicators of success: retention and timely completion. The existing literature has shown that young individuals of disadvantaged backgrounds have lower enrolment probabilities and higher chances of withdrawal. This paper analyses the size and features of this cumulative disadvantage, shaping the chances of high-school leavers of eventually attaining the university degree. We analyze whether social background inequalities are stronger at enrolment or at later outcomes, and the how these inequalities vary with previous schooling experience. We confirm previous evidence that disadvantaged groups with respect to enrolment are also disadvantaged on persistence, add new findings on timely completion, and show that cumulative inequalities are very strong. Inequalities are strongest among students holding technical and vocational high-school qualifications and weakest among well performing students from lyceums. In addition, we examine the role of labour market conditions and whether they explain geographical differences. Enrolment, retention and timely completion probabilities appear negatively related to local youth unemployment rates, suggesting that with poor labour market prospects individuals lose motivation and reduce their engagement in education.
HIGHER EDUCATION
75
5
785
808
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10734-017-0170-9
university student careers, dropout, time to degree, educational inequalities, Italian higher education system
Dalit Contini; Federica Cugnata; Andrea Scagni
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
supplementary material_4R.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Materiale supplementare disponibile sul sito della rivista
Tipo di file: POSTPRINT (VERSIONE FINALE DELL’AUTORE)
Dimensione 280.66 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
280.66 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Contini_Social selection.pdf

non disponibili

Tipo di file: PDF EDITORIALE
Dimensione 2.04 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.04 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
Scagni_Social_Selection_in_higher_education (1).pdf

non disponibili

Tipo di file: PDF EDITORIALE
Dimensione 1.89 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.89 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
scagni wp_9_2016.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipo di file: POSTPRINT (VERSIONE FINALE DELL’AUTORE)
Dimensione 365.43 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
365.43 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1647275
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 22
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 22
social impact