According to UNICEF, 12.1% of children in the UK are living in poverty, while the figure for Japan is 14.9% (Innocenti Report Card 10, May 2012). Since this report was produced, the economic situation has, if anything, deteriorated in both countries. Inequality and social exclusion have become concerns again, and in a time of austerity for both the government and parents, the role of education needs reconsidering. Can education contribute to better social mobility? Are working-class groups still under-represented in higher education, and if so, why? Although higher education has become more inclusive in both countries in recent decades, if investing in education does not necessarily guarantee a job, then what is the incentive for young people to aspire to go to university? Professor Robert Cassen of LSE will look at social exclusion and education, and at government policies aimed at making life chances more equal, in pre-school, primary and secondary education. Issues of gender and ethnicity will also be explored. Professor Takehiko Kariya of Oxford University will analyse a new educational selection mechanism that has contributed to rising disparity in learning motivations after Japan’s education reforms in the 1990s, and will offer important insights for understanding similar problems in other countries.
Contributors: Robert Cassen & Takehiko Kariya
Free but booking is essential at www.dajf.org.uk/bookin