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Self-Selection and Selection. Transition from Secondary to Tertiary Education in Hungary

[journal article]

Robert, Peter

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Abstract By law, students in Hungary, if they wish to study at the tertiary level, must submit a formal application (every year in Feb) & then must take an entrance exam (in Jun/Jul). When they pass this exam they are eligible to begin their studies (in Sept). This procedure divides the transition to tertiary education into two stages: self-selection (applying) & selection (passing the exam). Some of the recent literature in educational mobility claims that students make calculations before deciding on whether to continue their studies, & this decision is affected by their social origin. This paper investigates the two stages of educational selection, with the assumption that the act of applying is more strongly determined by social origin than success, among those students who applied & passed the exam. In the study, about 60,000 secondary school students were interviewed in a self-administered questionnaire in the spring of 1998, inquiring into whether they had submitted an application or not. The applicants were then identified in the autumn of 1998 in terms of whether they met the requirements of the exam & accepted into the tertiary level of education or not. The data contain basic information on the parents' occupation & education & the school performance of the students. These variables are used for predicting two dependent variables: application, & a successful exam among those who applied. The models were fitted by taking gender differences into consideration & were controlled for two types of secondary school: gymnasium & technical secondary school. The results show that self-selection is more strongly affected by social origin; the effect of the parents' characteristics drops if success in the exam is predicted among self-selected students.
Classification Sociology of Education; University Education
Free Keywords Hungary; Higher Education; Social Background; Admissions; Selection Procedures; Academic Achievement; Achievement Tests; High School Students; Educational Plans
Document language English
Publication Year 2003
Page/Pages p. 325-349
Journal Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review, 39 (2003) 3
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications