Stratification through a Binary Degree Structure in Finnish Higher Education

Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Global Higher Education book series (PSGHE)

Abstract

The aim in this chapter is to analyze stratification in Finnish higher education by examining the establishment of a binary degree structure on the Master’s level. The idea of educational credentialism is adopted to address positional differences between higher education sectors. The question that arises is how the attainment of a degree from a particular sector is related to job opportunities in the labor market. The empirical analysis focuses on how graduates with an academic Master’s degree and employers reacted to the new professional Master’s degree. The introduction of a new degree specific to universities of applied sciences allowed the research universities to distinguish themselves and, by claiming a higher quality of academic programs, to cast their degrees as superior to those of their counterparts.

Keywords

Stratification Degree reform Master’s degree Educational credentialism Finnish higher education 

References

  1. Ahola, S. (2014). Finland. In: S. Ahola, T. Hedmo, J-P Thomsen, and A. Vabø, eds., Organisational Features of Higher Education: Denmark, Finland, Norway & Sweden, Oslo: Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), pp. 33–57.Google Scholar
  2. Ahola, S., and Galli, L. (2012). New Degree for a New Career? Career Development of Finnish Polytechnic Master’s Degree Graduates. Journal of Education and Work, 25(5), pp. 537–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aro, M. (2014). Koulutusinflaatio. Koulutusekspansio ja koulutuksen arvo Suomessa 1970–2008. [Educational Inflation. The Expansion of Education and the Value of Degrees in Finland 1970–2008] Turku: University of Turku.Google Scholar
  4. Billig, M. (1987). Arguing and Thinking. A Rhetorical Approach to Social Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bills, D. (2003). Credentials, Signals, and Screens: Explaining the Relationship Between Schooling and Job Assignment. Review of Educational Research, 73(4), pp. 441–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bills, D. (2004). Sociology of Education and Work. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  7. Bills, D., and Brown, D. (2011). Introduction. New Directions in Educational credentialism. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 29(1), pp. 1–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bleiklie, I. (2003). Hierarchy and Specialisation: on the Institutional Integration of Higher Education Systems. European Journal of Education, 38(4), pp. 341–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brooks, R. (2006). Young Graduates and Lifelong Learning: The Impact of Institutional Stratification. Sociology, 40(6), pp. 1019–1037.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brown, D. (1995). Degrees of Control: A Sociology of Educational Expansion and Occupational Credentialism. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  11. Brown, D. (2001). The Social Source of Educational Credentialism: Status Cultures, Labor Markets, and Organizations. Sociology of Education, 74(1), pp. 19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brown, P., Lauder, H., and Ashton, D. (2011). The Global Auction. The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs and Incomes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Ho, K. (2009). Liquidated. An Ethnography of Wall Street. Durkham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Isopahkala-Bouret, U. (2015). ‘It’s Considered a Second Class Thing.’ The Differences in Status between Traditional and Newly Established Higher Education Credentials. Studies in Higher Education, 40(7), pp. 1291–1306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Isopahkala-Bouret, U., Rantanen, T., Raij, K., and Järveläinen, E. (2011). European Qualifications Framework and the Comparison of Academically-oriented and Professionally-oriented Master’s Degrees. European Journal of Higher Education, 1(1), pp. 22–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kivinen, O., and Nurmi, J. (2010). Different But Equal? Assessing European Dual HE Systems. Higher Education, 60(4), pp. 369–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kivinen, O., Hedman, J., and Kaipainen, P. (2012). Koulutusmahdollisuuksien yhdenvertaisuus Suomessa. Eriarvoisuuden uudet ja vanhat muodot. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka, 77(5), pp. 579–586.Google Scholar
  18. Kyvik, S. (2004). Structural changes in Higher Education systems in Western Europe. Higher Education in Europe, XXIXX(3), pp. 33–409.Google Scholar
  19. Kyvik, S. (2008). The Dynamics of Change in Higher Education: Expansion and Contraction in an Organisational Field. Springer.Google Scholar
  20. Ojala, K., and Isopahkala-Bouret, U. (2014). Ylemmän ammattikorkea-koulututkinnon ja maisterin tutkinnon suorittaneet työmarkkinoilla – tutkintojen statuserot, työkokemus ja työtehtävien eriytyminen kilpailuasetelman määrittäjinä. In: H Aittola and J. Ursin, eds., Eriarvoistuva korkeakoulutus?, Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä Press.Google Scholar
  21. Pratt, J., Kekl, T., Maassen, P., Papp, I, Perellon, J., and Uitti, M. (2004). Equal but Different. An evaluation of the Postgraduate Polytechnic Experiment in Finland. Final Report. Tampere: Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council.Google Scholar
  22. Rantanen, T., Isopahkala-Bouret, U., and Järveläinen, E. (2009). Ylempi ammattikorkeakoulututkinto työelämän näkökulmasta [Professional Master’s Degrees from the Employers’ Point of View]. KeVer, 8(4), Available at http://www.uasjournal.fi/index.php/kever/article/view/1186/1074.
  23. Reay, D., Davies, J, David, M., and Ball, S. (2001). Choices of Degree or Degrees of Choice? Class, ‘Race’ and the Higher Education Choice Process. Sociology, 35(4), pp. 855–874.Google Scholar
  24. Rinne, R. (2004). Searching for the Rainbow: Changing the Course of Finnish Higher Education. In: I. Fägerlind and G. Strömqvist, eds., Reforming Higher Education in the Nordic Countries. Studies of Change in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, Paris: Unesco, pp. 89–135.Google Scholar
  25. Statistics of Finland (2016a). Numbers of University Degrees Grew from the Previous Year. Available at: www.stat.fi [Accessed 21 June 2016].
  26. Statistics of Finland. (2016b). Numbers of Polytechnic Students and Degrees are Rising. Available at: www.stat.fi [Accessed 21 June 2016].
  27. Teichler, U. (2002). Diversification of Higher Education and the Profile of the Individual Institution. Higher Education Management and Policy, 14(3), pp. 177–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Teichler, U., ed., (2007). The Careers of University Graduates: Views and Expertise in Comparative Perspectives. Springer.Google Scholar
  29. Välimaa, J. (2001). A Historical Introduction to Finnish Higher Education. In: J. Välimaa, ed., Finnish Higher Education in Transition. Perspectives on Massification and Globalisation, Jyväskylä: Jyväskylä University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Witte, J., Van Der Wende, M., and Huisman, J. (2008). Blurring Boundaries: How the Bologna Process Changes the Relationship between University and Non-university Higher Education in Germany, the Netherlands and France. Studies in Higher Education, 33(3), pp. 217–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education (CELE)Department of Education, University of TurkuTurkuFinland

Personalised recommendations