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What the fall of the Berlin Wall and German unification have meant for educational inequality – The Conversation UK



Senior Lecturer in Human Development and Education Policy, University of Strathclyde
Lecturer in Education, University of Exeter
Lecturer in Sociology, University of Cologne
The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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When the Berlin wall fell 30 years ago, on November 9 1989, it marked the end of a 40-year divide between Germany’s communist East and the free market system of the West. For people living either side of the wall, this split led to differences in many areas of life, including education. So while the West German system sorted children into different schools from an early age, based on academic achievement, East German children attended comprehensive school until they were 16 years-old.
Most of these children in East Germany would then join the workforce and enter a job training programme, although a small number of students were allowed to continue in upper secondary schooling and onto university. As equality was a stated aim of socialist countries, East Germany prioritised working-class children in this process.
In West Germany the selective system meant that only those children considered most academically capable were able to complete what’s known as the “Abitur”. These are exams equivalent to A-levels. Students needed (and still need) to pass these exams to be able to go to university.
In 1990, the German Democratic Republic (the former East Germany) reunited with West Germany – and, as part of that reunification the east agreed to an economic, social, and political union that saw them adopt West German systems. In education, this meant using West Germany’s system of early ability tracking. This did not allow for “positive discrimination” of working-class children.
In our recent study, published in Sociological Science we wanted to look at how the two education systems compared. We were especially interested in how a child’s family background influenced their educational attainment in both the West and East German education systems.
Existing evidence from former socialist countries shows that once a free market economy is in place, people are less socially mobile. That is, their occupations are more likely to mirror those of their parents.
In our study we looked at the long-term trends in educational inequality across East and West Germany. To do this, we used data from three large-scale surveys on the family background and educational attainment of Germans born between 1929 and 1993 – this includes people in the education system long before and after German reunification. Specifically, we looked at the successful completion of the Abitur by both parents and their children.
What we found was a greater similarity between the educational attainment of parents and children in West Germany than in East Germany – highlighting how educational inequality was stronger in the West. This may not be entirely surprising as policies implemented in East Germany had the goal to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged students. Indeed, in the west, students from higher educational backgrounds were far more likely to take and pass the exam than in the east. It seems that East Germany mainly achieved lower levels of inequality by limiting educational opportunities for students from those higher educational backgrounds.
As time went on, the East German state enforced “positive discrimination” to a lesser extent. Those who benefited from this process became part of the socialist elite and wanted their children to be equally successful. This meant that over time, educational inequality also increased throughout East Germany.
As a result, East Germany was increasingly unable to provide equal educational opportunities or fulfil its aim of a fair society. Nevertheless, educational inequality remained at a lower level in East Germany than in West Germany before reunification.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall – when West Germany’s selective systems were adopted on a wider scale – educational inequality in East Germany increased to West German levels. So the gap between children from higher and lower educational backgrounds in attaining the Abitur became strikingly similar in both East and West Germany.
It seems then that transforming a comprehensive school system into a selective school system increased inequality. This is a finding that echoes other research in this field. The reason for this is likely down to highly educated families in the former East Germany seizing new opportunities and freedoms presented by the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the newly established selective education system, they made immediate use of their resources and knowledge to improve their children’s prospects.
Research in England has also shown that the attainment gap between children eligible for free school meals and those who are not is wider in selective areas.
Our study supports the idea that comprehensive schooling is better suited to tackling educational inequalities than selective education – as education systems that offer many educational choices may always favour middle-class families.
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TOP 4 Essay Writing Services in the USA: 2023 Edition



essay writing services reddit

As an increasing number of students seek assistance with their academic assignments, the demand for reliable essay writing services continues to grow. With so many options available, it can be challenging to identify the best service providers. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of the top 4 essay writing services in the USA for 2023. These services have been carefully evaluated based on their reputation, quality of work, customer satisfaction, and affordability. Read on to discover the top essay writing services that can provide you with the support you need to excel in your academic journey.

essay writing services reddit

essay writing services reddit

What Makes a Great Essay Writing Service

Before delving into the top essay writing services reddit, it’s essential to understand the criteria we used to evaluate them. A great essay-writing service should possess the following qualities:

  • Quality of Work: The service should deliver well-researched, original, and high-quality essays that meet academic standards.
  • Professional Writers: The service should have a team of qualified writers with expertise in various subjects who can handle diverse topics.
  • Timely Delivery: The service should be reliable and capable of delivering essays within the given deadline.
  • Customer Support: The service should provide excellent customer support, ensuring effective communication throughout the writing process.
  • Affordability: The service should offer reasonable pricing plans that are affordable for students while maintaining the quality of work.

Now, let’s explore the top 4 essay writing services in the USA for 2023.

TOP 4 Essay Writing Services in the USA: 2023 Edition

2.1 EssayPro

EssayPro is a highly reputable essay writing service known for its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. They have a diverse team of experienced writers who can handle a wide range of subjects. EssayPro offers a user-friendly platform, allowing students to place orders easily and track the progress of their essays. Their pricing is competitive, and they offer additional features such as plagiarism reports and unlimited revisions.

2.2 Grademiners

Grademiners is a popular choice among students due to its excellent track record and reliability. They have a team of highly skilled writers who are proficient in various academic disciplines. Grademiners ensures on-time delivery and provides 24/7 customer support to address any concerns. They also offer free revisions and a money-back guarantee, ensuring customer satisfaction.

2.3 Ultius

Ultius is known for its exceptional writing services and commitment to customer privacy and security. They have a rigorous writer selection process, ensuring that only qualified professionals handle the essays. Ultius offers a wide range of writing services, including essay writing, editing, and proofreading. They also provide a mobile app for convenient communication and order tracking.

2.4 EduBirdie

EduBirdie is a trusted essay writing service that offers a unique feature called “choose your own writer.” Students can browse through profiles and select a writer who matches their requirements. This personalized approach allows for effective collaboration and ensures that the final essay meets the student’s expectations. EduBirdie also provides 24/7 customer support and guarantees 100% original and plagiarism-free content.

How We Evaluated the Services

To evaluate the essay writing services, we considered several factors, including:

  • Reputation and reliability
  • Quality of work and adherence to academic standards
  • Customer reviews and satisfaction
  • Pricing and affordability
  • Additional features and guarantees
  • Customer support and communication

By carefully analyzing these aspects, we identified the top 4 essay writing services that offer outstanding support to students.


Choosing a reliable essay writing service is crucial for students seeking academic assistance. The top 4 essay writing services mentioned in this article – EssayPro, Grademiners, Ultius, and EduBirdie – have proven their worth in terms of quality, reliability, and customer satisfaction. Whether you need help with an essay, research paper, or any other academic assignment, these services can provide you with the support you need to succeed in your studies.

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