Gašper Cankar

Governing the transition to higher levels of education and differences between achievement and school grades by gender


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The author will explore the performance of boys and girls in external examinations in Slovenia at the beginning of upper secondary and tertiary education. These are critical points in students’ educational career at which he/she has to choose a school/university. Since both transitions are managed centrally by appropriate authorities, this is also a question of Educational Governance. Transitions between levels of education should, above all, assure fairness in selection procedures. At the point of transition to upper secondary schools we will explore differences between students’ achievements in various school subjects tested at the national assessment of knowledge (NA), and their school grades by gender. Since only school grades are used as admission criteria to upper secondary schools, this comparison of school grades with external and more objective measure of students’ achievement will show possible bias. In Slovenia admission to tertiary education usually consists of (externally assessed) Matura results and school grades in the last two years of upper secondary school. The Author will compare the effects of both most commonly used measures of academic achievement on admission in view of gender differences. Study courses where selection procedure was actually applied will be of specific interest since they can show signs of (un)fairness. Results show signs of bias and build case for better Educational Governance.

Matura; Gender differences; External examinations; Achievement scores, Bias