English title: Educational inequality as an example of unsustainable use of human resources

Author(s): Mai Beilmann - Ave Roots - Marek Sammul -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2015


Sustainable development of human resources includes availability of adequate education and developing people’s talents regardless of their social origins. Contrary to widely held belief that due to the increasing availability of education the upward intergenerational mobility is on the rise all over the world, the findings in Eastern European countries show that the decline in intergenerational mobility is the case in some countries. The present study examines the relationship between people’s social origins and educational pathways in Estonia using data from three recent surveys: The Estonian Survey of High School Graduate’s Educational Preferences (N = 1201), Eurostudent V Estonian data (N = 6418), and European Social Survey (ESS) Estonian data from rounds 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (N = 9340). Results of Eurostudent V suggest that parents’ (especially mother’s) education level is important predictor of the student’s HEI choice in Estonia. Analysis of the ESS data confirms that mother’s education is stronger predictor of the child’s educational level than father’s education in Estonia. The study of the high school graduates reveals that the education level of the parents is somewhat better in Estonian language high schools than in Russian language high schools. Therefore, social and ethnic origins influence educational outcomes in Estonia and talents of some young people may not be developed just because they come from a wrong family. While the studies on high school graduates and students allow us to analyse the relationship between social origins and educational choices of young people who have recently made important decisions about their educational pathways or who are about to make these choices in the nearest future, the ESS data enables to put these results into historical context and to test whether the importance of social origins has increased or decreased in Estonia in past decades.

Conference name: Pathways to the Future: Education for Sustainable Development

Location: Tallinn

Start date: Apr 22, 2015

Type: Paper

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