This article traces the effect of socio-economic, cultural, and gender factors on the reproduction of educational inequalities in access to tertiary education in the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, and Sweden. Single-country analyses conducted to date on the Czech Republic have reached conflicting results both on the development of educational inequalities since the fall of socialism and on the weight of the factors behind those inequalities. Also, no international comparison has been conducted. Thus, the authors pursue two new directions of inquiry: 1) an international comparison, and 2) an update of the development of inequalities in all the mentioned countries since 2002. The authors used multi-dimensional statistical methods (logit models and a log-linear analysis) and the most recent available international data from the European Social Survey. The results revealed that out of all the countries studied it is in the Czech Republic that access to tertiary education is currently determined most by the cultural component of social background (the father's education). The country closest to the Czech Republic in this regard is Switzerland. The educational status of the family is also a crucial factor in educational reproduction in Sweden. Paradoxically, in the countries that historically and geographically are closest to the Czech Republic, namely, Poland and Germany, the crucial determinant in the transmission of educational status is the father's class.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.