Each society is unique in how education is organized. At which age students are sorted into different school careers, the importance of student performance for school accountability, the vocational education and training system, the autonomy of schools, the use of standardized tests; on each of these dimensions educational systems differ between societies. Moreover, the variation is not only found between countries, but also within countries over time.

In the Educational Systems and Inequality Research Program, administered at the Amsterdam Centre for Inequality Studies (AMCIS), we study the importance of the institutional setup of educational systems for patterns of inequality. How do educational systems affect patterns of inequality by socioeconomic background, ethnicity and gender? And why? And what are the political, economic and social contexts in which educational reforms are implemented? Within the research program there are several sub-projects: