Social Selectivity in Higher Education: A Case Study of Canada and the Czech Republic


  • Sean Hellingman Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Petr Mazouch Prague University of Economics and Business
  • Kristýna Vltavská Prague University of Economics and Business
  • Samuel Ryckenberg Prague University of Economics and Business



This work examines the choices of individuals with respect to higher education in the Czech Republic and Canada. Specifically, how do the students’ socioeconomic backgrounds influence their study decisions. Data from the Czech edition of The European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions survey and the Canadian Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics was used to identify influences of students’ entry to university. Individuals from households with higher socioeconomic status were more likely to enter university than people who were less well off in both countries. Social selectivity is much more present in higher education in the Czech Republic than in Canada.
Key words: Higher Education, Czech Republic, Canada, Social Selectivity, Logistic Regression, Ordered Statistics

Ce travail examine les choix des personnes en matière d'enseignement supérieur en République tchèque et au Canada, notamment comment les antécédents socio-économiques des étudiants influencent leurs décisions relatives aux études. Les données de l'édition tchèque de l'enquête Statistiques sur le revenu et les conditions de vie de l'Union européenne et de l'Enquête canadienne sur la dynamique du travail et du revenu ont été utilisées pour identifier les influences sur l'entrée des étudiants à l'université. Dans les deux pays, les personnes issues de ménages ayant un statut socio-économique élevé étaient plus susceptibles d'entrer à l'université que les personnes moins bien loties. La sélectivité sociale est beaucoup plus présente dans l'enseignement supérieur en République tchèque qu'au Canada.
Mots clés: enseignement supérieur, République tchèque, Canada, sélectivité sociale, régression logistique, statistiques ordonnées

Author Biographies

Sean Hellingman, Wilfrid Laurier University

Sean Hellingman is a PhD Candidate in the mathematics department at Wilfrid Laurier University. His dissertation research focuses on developing and applying statistical models for decision-making in professional sports. His other areas of research include student motivations in higher education and applied statistical learning.  He is also a research assistant working on an international project studying the effects of mental illnesses on cancer incidences. Prior to beginning his studies at Wilfrid Laurier, he received a master’s degree from the Prague University of Economics and Business in Quantitative Economic Analysis.

Petr Mazouch, Prague University of Economics and Business

Petr Mazouch, PhD (Prague University of Economics and Business) completed his PhD in 2010. Inspired by his master’s research he continued to focus on human capital in a way that combines statistics, economics and demography. During this period, he conducted novel complex studies about human capital, research focusing on the quantification of human capital itself and the impact of human capital on other socio-economic indicators in the Czech Republic. Prior to his PhD studies, Petr studied at Prague University of Economics and Business with a special focus on economic statistics as the area of application of general statistical methods. He is interested in data and its relationships. He also found that (macro)economics as a theory, should be understood to be a result of the behavior of a population. In his current research, he combines many topics – applied demography, social statistics, data analysis with a special focus on Human Capital and its aspects. He also teaches Economic Statistics courses.

Kristýna Vltavská, Prague University of Economics and Business

Kristyna Vltavska, PhD. (Prague University of Economics and Business) completed her master’s degree in 2009 (Statistics and Insurance) and attained a PhD degree in statistics in 2012. Her research focuses on the estimation of labor productivity and total factor productivity with reflection of new input variables to the production function (labor services, capital services) and the influence of the quality of dataset on the quality of the estimate. Moreover, she focuses on the education statistics with the reflection on the social selectivity on higher education. She is the author of several scientific studies and conference papers.

Samuel Ryckenberg, Prague University of Economics and Business

Samuel Ryckenberg obtained his master's degree in Quantitative Economic Analysis at the University of Economics, Prague 2018. During his degree studies, he worked on a research project connected to social selectivity of students in higher education. Samuel obtained a bachelor in Business Administration at Lund University 2016. The thesis work was focused on organization theory in non-profit organizations. During his university years he also studied various fields at HEC Montréal and Universitá degli Studi di Firenze.




How to Cite

Hellingman, S., Mazouch, P., Vltavská, K., & Ryckenberg, S. (2022). Social Selectivity in Higher Education: A Case Study of Canada and the Czech Republic. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 68(1), 50–74.