Equal Educational Opportunities for All: New EU Project PIONEERED Kicks Off Activities
International research consortium strives to reduce educational inequalities in Europe by determining evidence-based policies and identifying pioneering measures
24 March 2021 – A good education provides access to the labour market, offers the chance of political participation and improves overall well-being, health and life expectancy. However, educational inequalities – i. e. disadvantages in access to and uptake of education – remain deeply ingrained into European education systems. The new research project PIONEERED strives to promote educational equality in Europe by providing research-informed policy recommendations and identifying pioneering policies and practices to enhance access to, uptake and completion of education. Over the next four years, PIONEERED will receive 3.5 Mio € in funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.
Equal education systems play a significant role in making societies more inclusive and accessible to all. A profound reduction in educational inequalities would raise the educational levels of individuals belonging to disadvantaged groups and society as a whole. Therefore, taking steps to increase educational equality is crucial for improving individual life chances and the overall socio-economic and political sustainability of Europe. However, factors such as social background, gender, disability, or immigration history still continue to influence achievement at different education stages.
To address these educational disparities, PIONEERED will focus on formal and informal educational settings (e. g. learning processes within families, clubs, communities). The project’s innovative approach combines analyses at different levels: from policies to institutions and individual students, teachers and parents. Particular focus will be placed on the specific (dis-) advantages at intersecting axes of inequality (e. g. male migrant working-class students), as educational inequalities are particularly pronounced at such intersections. Additionally, research will be focused on scrutinising student trajectories to formulate innovative and (empirically) efficient tools to tackle educational inequalities.
Education Is the Major Determinant of Life Chances
“One of the project’s unique attributes is that we will be studying all education stages from early childhood education and care to tertiary education. Educational inequalities develop through complex dynamics between contextual and individual factors throughout someone’s life. Indeed, individual differences in the uptake of education are hardly explained by a learner’s talent and effort only, but are structured by characteristics, such as gender, social and ethnic background, and their interplay.”, explains project coordinator Andreas Hadjar, professor in Sociology of Education at the University of Luxembourg. “Our findings can help to shape the future of educational systems and societies in Europe – to make them more inclusive, more innovative and reflective.”
PIONEERED will thus contribute to a general reversal of inequality trends in post-industrial European societies, where education is a major determinant of life chances.
Tackling Educational Inequality Through Pioneering Policy Measures
Aiming to provide policy and practice recommendations to counteract educational disparities at different stages of education successfully, the multi-method project will:
- Develop an innovative methodological framework by reviewing the current state of research
- Analyse how national (or regional) policies address inequalities and vulnerable groups
- Examine data to identify intersectional inequalities throughout educational careers
- Conduct practical research in (in-) formal educational settings
Thirteen multidisciplinary partners from nine European countries will form the project consortium, involving research facilities across the entire spectrum of educational equality in Europe – from the more inequality-prone countries of Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg and Switzerland to the less inequality-prone countries of Finland, Norway, Lithuania, Ireland and Spain.
Project Key Facts
- Full name
Pioneering Policies and Practices Tackling Educational Inequalities in Europe
- Start date
1 March 2021
3.5 Mio €
University of Luxembourg
- University of Helsinki
- University of Mannheim
- Trier University
- EURICE - European Research and Project Office GmbH
- TÁRKI Social Research Institute
- The Economic and Social Research Institute
- PPMI - Public Policy and Management Institute
- University of Luxembourg
- LISER - Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research
- Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
- University of Bergen
- Complutense University of Madrid
- University of Bern
- Project Coordinator
University of Luxembourg
Prof. Andreas Hadjar
Phone: (+352) 46 66 44 9760
- Project Management
Phone: (+49) 6894 388 1346