Date 2015-04-16
Time 13:00 - 14:30
Tel 29488944
Venue Room B1-1/F-14,1st Floor, Block 1,Tai Po Campus, HKIEd


CGC Seminar Series


“Adolescent Education Trajectories –

a Force for Democratic Equality or a System for Sorting the Engaged Elite?”


Professor Bryony Hoskins

Visiting Professor, Centre for Governance and Citizenship; and

Chair of Comparative Social Science, Roehampton University, London, UK


Date:       16 April 2015 (Thursday)

Time:      1:00pm to 2:30pm

Venue:    Room B1-1/F-14,1st Floor, Block 1,Tai Po Campus, HKIEd  



Adolescent education trajectories - a force for democratic equality or a system for sorting the engaged elite?: An investigation on the effect of level and type of 14-19 education on English political engagement using the Citizenship Education Longitudinal data.

By Professor Bryony Hoskins, Roehampton University, London


This paper contributes to the debates on the mechanisms within the education system that enhance social stratification and inequalities in political engagement in democracy in England. The hypothesis that will be tested is that inequalities of citizenship outcomes (voting and protest) are enhanced both by higher levels of education and different types of education between the ages 14-19. The expectation based on prior research (Verba, Sclozman and Brady 1995) is that inequalities will be higher for protest activities that require more resources (time, money, networks and information) than voting.

In England about 80% of students stay in full time education from 16 onwards (Department for Education website 2013). For these students there are a wide range of choices (taking into consideration that the all choices will be narrowed by their existing qualifications and grades). We have grouped these choices into 3 taking into account level and type of qualification that can be obtained;

1)      Students can take academic qualifications (A-levels, AS levels, Higher School Certificate, Progression / Advanced Diploma) which provide a more established route to university and is associated with middleclass occupations.

2)      Students can take vocational qualifications which are officially attributed to be at the same difficulty level as A-levels (NVQ Level 3, Advanced GNVQ, City and Guilds Advanced Craft, ONC, OND, BTEC National, RSA Advanced Diploma). It is possible to enter higher education with these qualifications but it would be unlikely to be accepted by the top universities and/or the most competitive courses.

3)      Students can take a wide range of level 2 qualifications that can be either academic or vocational. For example, these students may well have failed a number of their GCSE’s and choose to retake them at the post 16 stage or opt for a level 2 vocational qualification.

Using the longitudinal data from the Citizenship Education Longitudinal study and the adjoining Citizenship in Transition study (2001-2011), we compare the effects of students who past qualifications for group 1 - level 3 academic qualifications, group 2 - level 3 vocational qualifications and group 3 - level 2 academic or vocational qualifications on their reported participation rates in the 2010 election and their participation rates in protest activities. To perform the analysis we use logistic regression using SPSS. We controlled for prior voting and protest intentions at aged 15/16 prior to entering post 16 education and training. We also controlled for socioeconomic and cultural family background of the students.

The initial results show that the level of education effects both protest and voting activities and the type of education (vocational or academic) affects protest activities. Thus level 3 education and qualifications enhances participation in voting compared to level 2 and academic education enhances protest activities compared to vocational education and training.

Implications for policy will be discussed. 




Professor Bryony Hoskins has an international research reputation in citizenship studies and European policy indicator development and is currently conducting research on active citizenship in Europe.  She has led international ERSC project on inequalities and has worked widely in European institutions including the European Commission, Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning (CRELL) and the Council of Europe. Her current work combines quantitative and qualitative analyses to examine levels, trends and factors that facilitate active citizenship across the EU. Her recent publications include: “Civic Competence of Youth in Europe: Measuring Cross National Variation Through the Creation of a Composite Indicator”  in Social Indicator Research (co-authored, , September 2014), and “Comparing young peoples' beliefs and perception of gender equality across 28 different countries” (co-authored) in Schoon and Eccles (eds.) Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment (Cambridge University Press, 2014)


All are Welcome.

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For enquires              Email: / Tel: 2948 8944