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15th February, 2017

The Institute for Media and Creative Industries chosen for a £2M research project funded by the European Union

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Academics from the Institute for Media and Creative Industries have been chosen alongside academics from nine other European and non-European Universities to discover new methods to ensure vulnerable young adults have the opportunity to attain the competences needed to actively participate in society and the labour market.

The project, entitled: ‘Adult Education as a Meand to Active Participatory Citizenship’ (EduMAP), is being funded as part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

The project will focus on the educational needs of vulnerable young people across Europe, with a particular focus on active participatory citizenship. The aim is to help European, national and local policymakers, educational authorities and educators to tailor adult education policies and practices related to active citizenship, which will better meet the needs of vulnerable young adults.

The project, which will run from February 2016 – January 2019, aims to address the following question: ‘What policies and practices are needed in the field of adult education to include young adults at risk of social exclusion in active participatory citizenship in Europe?’. Professor Jo Tacchi and Dr. Amalia Sabiescu from the Institute for Media and Creative Industries will conduct empirical research to explore the communicative aspects of this research question.

The project involves the partnership and cooperation of nine partners:

  • University of Tampere, (Coordinator)
  • Tallinn University, Estonia
  • Foredata LLC, Finland
  • DVV International, Germany
  • The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • University of Szeged, Hungary
  • Loughborough University London, UK
  • Social Sciences University on Ankara, Turkey
  • University College London, UK

The methodology, which is being carried out through a series of dedicated work packages, involves both theoretical and empirical research undertaken in each partner country and across Europe. The fundamental aim is to help policy-makers, educational authorities and educators to ensure that young generations, including the most disadvantaged, will attain the competences needed to actively participate in society and the labour market.

  • Advance understanding of state-of-the-art policies and practices in adult education across EU countries
  • Examine successful practices in adult education, as well as limits and shortcomings in meeting the needs and interests of vulnerable young adults
  • Derive insights and recommendations to inform the design of future policy and practice in adult education

Professor Jo Tacchi and Dr. Amalia Sabiescu from the Institute for Media and Creative Industries are involved in all areas of the project, with a particular focus on areas involving empirical research:

  • Identifying and reviewing educational initiatives, policies and programmes which have proven to be successful in including vulnerable groups in active political, social and/or economic participation; and distil elements of best practice as a basis for formulating practice and policy recommendations
  • Studying and mapping the varied communicative ecologies in the field of adult education, among the providers of educational initiatives and vulnerable groups targeted or benefitting from such programmes. This will be achieved by identifying and examining key actors, means for communication, information and communication flows and existing social networks. Professor Jo Tacchi and Dr. Amalia Sabiescu from the Institute for Media and Creative Industries are leading this aspect of the project, and are responsible for conducting empirical research in selected countries and overseeing the implementation of the methodology by other University partners

The research findings will be used to generate an Intelligent Decision Support System (IDSS) to give policymakers and other stakeholders easy access to the information required to address the needs of vulnerable minority groups. The IDSS will facilitate access to scientific evidence for policymakers to support them in correcting imbalances in the field of adult education. It is also expected that the research will help to develop innovative forums for dialogue between educational agencies and young people.


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