Special Issue "Regional Disparities in National Education: Origins, Governance, and Consequences"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Regula Julia Leemann
Guest Editor
Sociology of Education, University of Teacher Education - University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Hofackerstrasse 30, CH-4132 Basel-Muttenz, Switzerland
Interests: sociology of education; educational governance; transformation of educational institutions; educational trajectories; educational inequalities (gender, social origin); vocational education and training (VET); educational organisations; sociology of conventions
Prof. Dr. Kriesi Irene
Guest Editor
Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Research and Development, Kirchlindachstrasse 79, CH-3052 Zollikofen, Switzerland
Interests: sociology of education and the labour market with a special focus on vocational education and training, educational systems, life course development and social inequality, gender inequalities; quantitative data analysis; adolescence, young adults
Prof. Dr. Rita Nikolai
Guest Editor
Philosophisch-Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät, University of Augsburg, Universitätsstraße 2, D-86159 Augsburg, Germany
Interests: education politics (Germany, England, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Austria); role of political parties and teacher unions in the reform of education systems; development of private schools; educational inequality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research about regional disparities in education within nation states and their consequences for equity and inequality in education have a long tradition in education sciences. Many OECD countries started in the 1960s with the expansion of educational services in regions with underdeveloped infrastructures. In particular, programs in upper secondary education were extended to reduce inequalities between rural and urban areas as well as to increase the educational opportunities of children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and for girls. As a result, differences between rural and urban spaces became less evident. Nevertheless, the place of residence and the living conditions are still decisive for educational attainment. Educational disparities are partly due to regionally diverging supplies of educational and training programs, differing admission regulations in federal education systems, segregated neighborhoods, the dismantling of educational infrastructures in rural areas or the expansion of private schooling in urban areas. Regional disparities in education are also caused by differences in the supply and the characteristics of educational programs targeted at students with disabilities and for students with a migration history. However, it is remarkable that (1) less attention has been given to social–historic, cultural, and economic factors that bring forth and structure regional disparities in education. Hardly considered are also (2) educational policies, governance processes, and public justifications causing or reducing such disparities, as well as (3) the long-term consequences for educational equity, life-long learning, the development of regional and national labor markets, democratic culture, and social cohesion at a national, regional, or even local level. It remains an open research question how regional disparities are linked with urban developments, school development plans, business development, and even consequences for the individual life course.

We welcome papers addressing the described research gaps from different disciplines, including education sciences, sociology, political sciences, or economics of education. Papers may focus on a selected country and its disparities in education at regional or even local levels. They may also analyze origins, governance, and consequences of regional disparities between different countries.

Proposals may focus both on theoretical or empirical questions, applying qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods.

Please submit your manuscript proposal (in WORD- and PDF-format) of max. 400 words and 2-4 references by February 28th 2021 to [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

15 March 2021: Information on acceptance of the proposal

15 September 2021: Deadline full paper


Bartl, W./ Sackmann, R. (2016): Governance Indicators and Responsiveness to Population Decline: School Closure as Practice and Discourse in Saxony-Anhalt. In: Comparative Population Studies 41, pp. 321-358.

Freitag, M. / Schlicht, R. (2009): Educational Federalism in Germany: Foundations of Social Inequality in Education. In: Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, (22/1), pp. 47–72).

Verdis, A./ Kalogeropoulos, K./ Chalkias, C. (2019). Regional disparities in access to higher education in Greece. In: Research in Comparative & International Education, 14(2), pp. 318–335.

Prof. Dr. Regula Julia Leemann
Prof. Dr. Kriesi Irene
Prof. Dr. Rita Nikolai
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • regional disparities in education
  • regional inequalities
  • governance
  • educational policies
  • educational supply
  • educational equity
  • social inequality
  • development of regional education systems

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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