New project will examine school choice in European cities

LLAKES is pleased to announce that Dr Susanne Wiborg has been awarded a £1 million pound (NOK 12 million) research project titled, Admission Impossible? School Choice in European Cities by the Norwegian Research Council (NFR).

The four-year project will take place from October 2021-2025. Susanne is the Research Director of the project together with Professor Thomas Lorentzen (PI), Bergen University, Dr Katharina Sass, Bergen University, and Dr Karin Edmark, Stockholm University. The research project is based at Bergen University. A School Choice Hub will soon be created, which will contain information about the project.

About the project

School choice is a fundamental right for parents to have access to schools that best suit their children’s educational and social needs. But vast inequalities exist in the extent to which parents can choose and enhance their children’s educational opportunities. Parents with greater economic means already have choice as they can afford to move to an area with high-quality public schools or enrol their children in private schools. Parents without such means generally do not have same access to choices and must send their children to schools assigned to them by municipalities regardless of the school’s quality or appropriateness.

Governments seek to devise policies which will meet parental demands for school choice without increasing segregation and inequality. However, there is little consensus among policy makers or researchers as to what policies might achieve both objectives. Research has thus far failed to take account of how national choice policies are implemented at the local level and how variations in this may affect outcomes both locally and nationally.

Our research will address this problem through comparative analysis of the policy process and the outcomes of school choice implementation in fourteen cities in Western Europe.