Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - EEEPE (The economics of education and education policy in Europe)

'The economics of education and education policy in Europe' network was created in April 2004 to extend the frontier of research on the economics of education and education policy in European countries. It aimed to provide new cross-country evidence on connections between education and family income and widening access to higher education, with research covering five areas:
(1) education and inequality;
(2) pupil performance and school resources;
(3) the labour market for teachers;
(4) gender differences in educational attainment; and
(5) Europe's changing position in the world.

Over a period of five years, the network aimed to recruit and train promising young researchers as well investigating these new topics. The institutions involved were 'University college London' (United Kingdom), 'Universidad Carlos III de Madrid' (Spain), 'Centre national de la recherche scientifique' (France), 'Universita degli studi di Padova' (Italy), 'Universiteit van Amsterdam' (the Netherlands), 'Norges teknisk naturvitenskapelige universitet' (Norway) and 'Uppsala universitet' (Sweden), each recruiting and hosting both experienced and early stage researchers.

Because of the exchange of students between these institutions, the network succeeded in enhancing and developing a web of cooperation across Europe, resulting in an improved knowledge of what does and does not improve pupil performance whilst at school, and the effectiveness of teachers in influencing this in different countries. It also shed some light on the relative performance of boys and girls at different stages of the education process and how this has been altering over time.

An important aim of the project was to contribute to policy discussions in the education area, and as planned, a theme running through all the work was the ways in which institutional differences in education systems affect the observed results. The research was based upon large-scale data sources (sometimes from surveys, sometimes from administrative data sources) that are very valuable for looking at questions in the economics of education. The network made serious efforts to promote comparative studies that acknowledge the different institutional systems across countries. A substantial amount of the work dealt with adapting techniques to new and better data and to developing statistical methods to analyse questions thrown up by particular institutional aspects of education. The empirical work here was guided by theoretical considerations, a useful breakthrough since a sizable chunk of work in this research area is not well formulated in this regard.

Throughout the duration of the project four conferences were organised, hosted by the university of Amsterdam, 'Uppsala university', CNRS Paris, 'University college London', as well as two summer schools hosted by the 'University Carlos III de Madrid' and the 'University of Padova' to further facilitate networking and transfer of knowledge. The summer schools had very high profile lecturers - both from the United States and Europe. The website (please see online) helped the general communication between the EEEPE researchers and attracted external researchers and policy makers to the network.

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