The title of the Helga Eng-lecture is: The End of Schooling as We Know It? The Rise and Fall of Public Schooling.
Historically seen, the success of public mass schooling is of recent origin. It came about as part of the emergence since late 18th century of the nation-state. About a century later it swept through most of the Western World, before conquering the globe in the course of 20th century. Measured by its own goals, it was a sweeping success. Public schooling has never before played such a huge role in shaping biographies as well as societies.
However, in recent years, different social, political and economical developments have emerged which all have called the future of public mass schooling into question. The educational (research) community has been an ambitious and ambiguous part of this process. Many of these developments are made apparent by the massive impact of internationalized accountability policies. Even though different cultures react differently to the mounting pressure on public schooling, now is the time to ask, if the current dismantling of the nation-state will be accompanied by the demise of its most successful spin-off: public schooling, as we know it.