Europe and Central Asia Knowledge Brief

67 items available

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This is a regular series of notes highlighting recent analyses, good practices, and lessons learned from the development work program of the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia Region.

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  • Publication
    Quality Assurance in Higher Education : A Comparison of Eight Systems
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-11) Weber, Luc; Mahfooz, Sara Bin; Hovde, Kate
    Quality in higher education is difficult to measure. Incentives to improve (or not) are often different for public and private institutions, and approaches to quality assurance have to be adapted to different situations. Poland is reforming its higher education institutional framework and the World Bank conducted a review, comparing strategies followed by (largely) Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries with regard to quality assessment, to help the country assess educational services at its higher education institutions. Based on the research, some of the most comprehensive quality assessment frameworks for public universities were found in the Irish, Scottish and Hong Kong educational systems; for private universities, the Austrian and Swiss systems present interesting examples.
  • Publication
    Supervision of Primary and Secondary Education : A Five-Country Comparison
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-11) Mahfooz, Sara Bin; Hovde, Kate
    At the request of the Government of Poland which is reforming its educational system, the World Bank conducted a review of how five high performing countries in the education sector provide supervision and support to their schools. England, Finland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Korea approach supervision and support to schools and teachers in a variety of ways; there is no single right way and their decisions take into account the overall organization of their education systems. A common theme to school supervision in all five countries is that schools are required to perform self assessments. The criteria for supervision extend beyond issues of regulatory compliance into questions about the quality of school processes, context and outcomes for students. All systems include elements of both accountability and support.
  • Publication
    Successful Education Reform : Lessons from Poland
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-11) Mahfooz, Sara Bin; Hovde, Kate
    Poland's education reforms have produced a large overall improvement in educational performance, as measured by results on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Before 1999, primary school in Poland was 8 years, followed by tracking into vocational or academic programs. Now, the primary cycle has been changed to six years, followed by three years of comprehensive lower secondary school or gymnasium for all students, before a vocational tracking decision is made. Increased hours of instruction and delayed tracking of students into the vocational education stream were the most important factors in the improvement of test scores. In 2000, only one percent of polish students received more than four hours of language class, while in 2006, 76 percent of students received more than four hours of language class.