Higher Education Policy

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 639–661 | Cite as

Taking Their Place: Educational Expansion and Inequality of Educational Opportunities—A Gendered Perspective

  • Eyal Bar-HaimEmail author
  • Carmel Blank
  • Assaf Rotman
Original Article

Educational expansion and gender differences in educational attainment have both been studied in various contexts, but their interdependence has rarely been examined, and even then, yielded conflicting results. We focus on the expansion of tertiary education in Israel resulting from several reforms introduced in the mid-1990s and ask two questions: (a) How did educational expansion affect inequality of opportunity (IEO)? (b) Did the effect of educational expansion differ between men and women? Based on the Israeli census, we examine changes in IEO between 1995 and 2008 across all levels of education. We find that women from lower socioeconomic background were the main beneficiaries of the expansion, especially at the MA+ level. Several explanations for these findings are discussed.


MMI Israel Persistent inequality Intersectionality 



Funding was provided by Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg (Grant Nos. FNR/P11/05, INTER/NORFACE/16/11333934). The authors wish to thank Yariv Feniger, Yossi Shavit and the participants of the RC28 meeting at Cologne (2017) and the SEMILUX participants for their helpful comments. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The PEARL Institute for Research on Socio Economic InequalityThe University of LuxembourgEsch-sur-AlzetteLuxembourg
  2. 2.The Department of Sociology and AnthropologyTel-Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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