This research is concerned with changes in social inequalities in educational attainment over time, the relationship between macro-level education policy and social inequality and the micro-level mechanisms for educational inequality.
My first empirical work on this topic investigated how social disparities in attending Gymnasium and qualifying for higher education in Germany have developed since the 1930s until very recently (together with Steffen Schindler, Reinhard Pollak, and Walter Müller).
Within AQMeN, we analysed the association between school curricula, examination results, and university entrance requirements and social inequalities in access to higher education comparing the Scottish and Irish education system (together with Cristina Iannelli and Emer Smyth). This paper was published in the British Educational Research Journal and has been shortlisted for the 2017 BERJ Editor’s Choice Award.
My newest paper (together with Katherin Barg and Michael Kühhirt) investigated whether social inequalities in the eligibility for higher education were smaller in East Germany than West Germany before reunification and how that changed after reunification. This paper was published in Sociological Science in January 2019.
In September 2018, I gained funding from the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative for a project investigating the mediating role of school absenteeism for social inequalities in educational attainment and post-school destinations.
A further project with Strathclyde colleagues is concerned with nurturing school ethos to improve educational attainment and to help to decrease the poverty-related attainment gap in a secondary school in Glasgow. Glasgow City Council funds this research.