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All Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others: Secondary School Principals’ Perspectives on the State Matura Exams and Issues of Equity and Equality of Access to Tertiary Education for Pupils from Grammar Schools and VET in Croatia

Nikola Baketa orcid id ; Institut za društvena istraživanja u Zagrebu, Hrvatska
Zrinka Ristić Dedić orcid id ; Institut za društvena istraživanja u Zagrebu, Hrvatska
Boris Jokić orcid id ; Institut za društvena istraživanja u Zagrebu, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 420 Kb

str. 223-251

preuzimanja: 931



The paper presents the results of a qualitative exploratory study of secondary school principals’ perspectives on the State Matura model, and the issues of equality and equity of access to higher education for vocational and grammar school pupils. These questions are analysed in the context of increasing aspirations of young people towards higher education, the massification of higher education, and the strategic positioning of the Republic of Croatia towards increasing the share of highly educated citizens. Equality of access to higher education implies that all pupils who wish to study have the right to access the State Matura, a prerequisite for entering tertiary education, under equal conditions and criteria. The issue of equity means that every pupil has an equal opportunity to access tertiary education. The results point to generally positive attitudes regarding the State Matura as a uniform system of external exams that enables assessment of the acquired knowledge and skills in the same manner and using the same criteria for all pupils. Principals’ critical perspectives include questioning the suitability of the certification function of the State Matura for grammar school pupils and the weakening of the selective function due to additional testing of pupils’ knowledge and skills by tertiary education institutions. The perspectives of grammar school and vocational school principals on equality and equity of access to tertiary education are distinctly different. While grammar school principals view equity through the prism of providing equal conditions and criteria for all, vocational school principals recognise that the lack of equity arises from a different educational experience and the scope of what is taught in vocational programmes. Existing educational policy mechanisms aimed at addressing the less favourable status of vocational school pupils are insufficient to equalise the opportunities of pupils from various secondary school programmes.

Ključne riječi

higher education aspirations; State Matura; equality of access; equity of access to higher education

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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