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EDUCHANGE: Changing Inequality at Educational Transitions

Local coordinators:

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kohler (Germany)

Tamás Keller (Hungary)

David Reimer (Denmark and Iceland)


ERC Consolidator Grant: Duration 2023-2028

Principal Investigator: David Reimer, University of Iceland & Aarhus University


EDUCHANGE aims to become one of the first ever projects to conduct simultaneous field experiments in four strategically selected countries (Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Iceland) with the goal to reduce inequality at the educational transition from compulsory to secondary education and at the transition to higher education.

While experimental intervention studies have become more common in sociology and economics in recent years, EDUCHANGE will address five critical limitations in this literature:

  1. No information or career guidance experiment with the goal to reduce inequality at educational transitions has ever been implemented in different countries with a harmonized design. This is puzzling given the importance of institutional context for the generation of inequalities in education
  2. The majority of experiments focus on the transition to higher education while neglecting earlier transitions which are particularly relevant in tracked European education systems
  3. Previous experiments have hardly considered the role and knowledge of professional counsellors
  4. Previous interventions have mainly focused on updating students’ biased perceptions of costs and returns while neglecting other psychological and social barriers
  5. Advances in multimedia technologies have only to a limited extent been integrated in previous experiments.

Key outcomes of EDUCHANGE will include:

  • A more nuanced conceptual understanding of how career guidance and information provision can help to reduce inequalities
  • A comparative study of students’ subjective evaluation of costs, returns and probabilities of success and psychological barriers they attach to different educational alternatives in a comparative perspective
  • Knowledge about to what degree institutional context has an impact on whether information provision and career guidance can reduce inequality at two key educational transitions – and potentially affect persistence at the next level.


Weblink: https://educhange.hi.is/