Stratification through a Binary Degree Structure in Finnish Higher Education

  • Ulpukka Isopahkala-BouretEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Global Higher Education book series (PSGHE)


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.


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


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

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

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