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Education as welfare- Enhancing opportunities for socially vulnerable youth in Europe

Short description

A considerable number of young persons is increasingly exposed to social disqualification and even disaffiliation. Education is regarded as the primary means to tackle this development. In the diverse European educational systems, this crucial problem is not adequately addressed. 



Decisive indicators of this development are lack of participation in social life and in the productive economy. A sustainable solution has to relate the challenges facing the current educational systems to the potentials that welfare possesses for promoting the enablement, qualification and social integration of socially vulnerable young people.

"The scientific objective of EduWel’s research and training programme is to identify factors with which to extend young people’s opportunities and capabilities in work, autonomy and participation - the central dimensions of welfare using the theoretical framework of the Capability Approach (Sen, Nussbaum). EduWel aims to build a network of Early-Stage Researchers and experienced senior researchers devoted to the analysis of existing datasets and the collection of comparative data and complementary qualitative research on socially vulnerable young persons. A unique questionnaire generating additional comparative data on autonomy, voice and work will foster synergies between the partners while simultaneously serving as a comprehensive training tool for the Early-Stage Researchers. EduWel will train 15 Early-Stage Researchers bringing together 15 university and non-university partner institutions from 9 countries. It will include senior researchers with various disciplinary backgrounds (educational science, social science, political science and economics), and integrate five non-university partners acting on a European rather than the national level in these fields. The non-university partners have been chosen to complement the expertise of the consortium. Four associated partners are being included to complement the network’s expertise in terms of the transfer of scientific knowledge to the fields of education and welfare provision. The main goal of EduWel is to provide training that will enable Early-Stage Researchers to become leading experts who will navigate and influence the complex and closely intertwined educational and welfare systems in different European countries. Research programme The operationalisation of well-being and the measurement of capabilities and functionings represent some of the most challenging issues in social research today. The need to deal with a plurality of quantitative and qualitative indicators related to both evaluative spaces (i.e. capabilities and functionings) as universal conditions of human development as well as to personal and environmental characteristics is statistically demanding and requires methodological tools able to manage complexity in an adequate manner. The outcome will be an understanding of young people’s autonomy, voice and working life that is simultaneously both comprehensive and profound. Combining quantitative data sets on education, income, wealth, family location and gender will provide a richer mode of examining constraints on well-being and the contexts of its realisation. The particular expertise in the broad field of qualitative methods lies in the reconstruction of interactions that are micro-structurally central to all research fields in EduWel. The methodological challenges of the welfare-education association are addressed by three multilateral Working Groups, namely: WG 1 - Education and welfare in transition into adulthood investigating: The relation between investments in education and future welfare outcomes in terms of autonomy, voice and work. The methodological issues involved in estimating such capabilities. WG 2 - Welfare institutions as facilitators of educational processes analysing: Well- being from the perspective of welfare systems, social services and social problems. Needs and entitlements of young people and assessment of how welfare services may act as non-formal educational and training arrangements that contribute to their well-being WG 3 - Post-compulsory education as welfare focusing on: Educational institutions as opportunity providers for socially vulnerable youth. Diverse young people, especially young women, in post-compulsory education and the expansion of their opportunities to participate in the emerging EU welfare architecture. Training programme The three-year EduWel training programme provides Early-Stage Researchers with the following: Three 10-day and one 5-day network-wide training events including courses in theory, research methods and complementary skills training. Three progress-assessment colloquia Five network meetings including recruitment and final meeting Six panel group consultations At least one visit and one obligatory secondment A final conference including a pre-conference Early-Stage Researchers will be awarded an EduWel European Doctorate at the end of the programme. The doctoral research topics the HDCP-IRC is involved are: Human capital and human capabilities Young peoples’ living conditions and the activation of capabilities in the transitions to adulthood"



"The project is coordinated by the Bielefeld Centre for Education and Capability Research of the Bielefeld University, Germany. Partners to the project are: HDCP-IUSS, IUSS (Italy) Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland) University of Florence (Italy) Education International (Belgium) European Trade Union Institute (Belgium) University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (Switzerland) Institute of Education (United Kingdom) Umea University (Sweden) The University of Nottingham (United Kingdom) Goeteborg University (Sweden), Associated partners are: BBJ Servis gGMBH (Belgium) Office européen de conseil, recherché et formation en relations sociales (France) Technical University of Valencia (Spain) Bertelsmann Stiftung (Germany). "



Collected volume “Education as Welfare - Enhancing opportunities for socially vulnerable youth in Europe”- upcoming