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Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development

Longitudinal Educational Achievements: Reducing iNequalities (LEARN)


Even though Europe is home to some of the most highly educated societies in the world, deep inequalities in education remain both within and between countries in Europe. LEARN will expand our understanding of these issues by collating existing evidence and generating new knowledge on educational inequalities, based on high-quality longitudinal data, and formulate practical evidence-based guidance to allow policy makers across Europe to address them. To this end, LEARN will use an educational transition perspective, which can be applied comparatively to different national education systems and is sensitive to the main arenas of inequality production in these systems. LEARN examines the emergence and development of inequalities over the course of educational careers in nine carefully selected case study countries, which reflect the variety of welfare regimes and education systems apparent in Europe: Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

LEARN has three overarching objectives:

  • First, it intends to map and collect existing data, providing original analysis of a range of high-quality education-focused longitudinal educational data sets across Europe.
  • Second, it aims at developing tools for policymakers related to the findings of longitudinal analysis which support them in the policy making process.
  • Its third aim is to identify interventions that compensate educational inequalities by providing a synthesis of existing work across Europe examining specific trends in educational inequalities and interventions intended to reduce them.

Obtaining a deeper understanding of educational inequality requires an inter- and multi-disciplinary approach, as the drivers of these inequalities operate at different levels, through interlinked economic mechanisms, societal norms, and political processes. One key feature of LEARN is the complementary nature of the research team, with a background in education studies, longitudinal survey methodology, psychology, social policy, economics and sociology.

Besides Universities of Zurich and Lausanne (Switzerland), Manchester Metropolitan University and University College London, LIfBi, University of Maastricht (Netherlands), Universities of Helsinki and Turku (Finland), University of Tallinn (Estonia), University of Trento and European University Institute - EUI (Italy), as well as Babeș-Bolyai University (Romania) are participating in LEARN. The project is coordinated at University of Helsinki, Finland.

Moritz Daum and Doris Hanappi, leading the "Policy and Impact on Education" work package in LEARN, collaborate with a team at University of Lausanne, directed by Laura Bernardi and 11 European teams to exploit existing education-focused longitudinal data sets, consolidate and disseminate scientific evidence on educational inequalities, and facilitating informed policymaking and public engagement. Their responsibilities include creating an online platform to share and translate scientific evidence on educational inequalities, training the evaluation of evidence for child-friendly education policies, and organizing science-policy-public cycles.

  • Principal Investigators: Moritz Daum, Doris Hanappi
  • Lead organisation: Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development (UZH)
  • Type: Horizon Europe Global Challenge-RIA/IA/CSA
  • Start date (year only): 2024
  • Duration in months: 36 months
  • Status: Open