Social Inequalities in Romania and the Educational Expansion

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:24
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Valer VERES, Babes-Bolyai University Cluj / HAS - CSS Minority Research Institute, Romania
The goal of the paper is to find out the effect of educational expansion on social and educational inequalities, in intersection with the ethnic origin, gender and the type of locality (rural/urban) in Romania (1992 – 2011).  Data sources: Romanian Census data (1992, 2002, 2011), and survey on Student population in Cluj Napoca (2015, held by Babes-Bolyai University, supported by Bolyai Scholarship of HAS).

For theoretical background, we used Breen and Goldthorpe (2001), who pointed out that the role of the parents’ social status did not decrease in the process of achieving a status. Moreover, Shavit and Blossfeld (1993) showed that the occupational status of parents is henceforward decisive in their children’s school performances.

            According to our results, in 1992 Trasylvanian Hungarian and Roma minorities were strongly underrepresented in occupations more easily convertible on the market such as legal and economic occupations. By 2011, the employment and unemployment rate had levelled off both among Transylvanian Hungarians and the total population.

After the year 2000, following the turn of the century, the expansion of education has reached the level of other Central European countries. This expanded educational system has not proved successful in eliminating unequal access based on social origin with respect to the following three dimensions: the influence of the parents’ educational level,  the type of  locality which carries significant differences as for the quality of life. The third dimension is the ethnicity. Despite an extending higher education market in the mother tongue, Hungarians are still lagging behind as far as schooling is concerned, although the rate of university graduates has doubled similarly to the national average (to 10%). On the national level, there is an enormous backlog affecting Roma communities, although there are more students who pursue university studies as previously.