Call for Papers for Special Issue of "Education Sciences"


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.