Policy innovation and tertiary education graduation rates: a cross-country analysis

Jennifer A. Delaney, Patricia Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study extends Trow's theory of higher education development to examine changes in national-level tertiary education graduation rates. Applying Trow's framework we arrive at three stages: (1) elite systems with gross tertiary graduation rates less than 15%, (2) massified systems with gross tertiary graduation rates between 15% and 50%, and (3) universal systems with gross tertiary graduation rates above 50%. This study conducts event history analyses using a unique cross-national panel dataset, which spans the time period from 1999-2005. Following the work of Berry and Berry, our event history analyses model both the internal features of each country and the influence that nation-states have on each other with regard to setting tertiary education graduation policy. We find significant influences of both internal determinants and diffusion factors. We find a positive, significant effect of membership in the OECD consistent across both the massified and universal thresholds. We also find a positive, significant effect of having a more stable political system for crossing the 15% threshold. In addition, being located near a pioneering nation, the UK, has a positive, significant effect of crossing the 50% threshold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-409
Number of pages23
JournalCompare
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • event history analysis
  • graduation
  • policy diffusion
  • tertiary education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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