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 eight 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 Means to Active Participatory Citizenship' (EduMAP), is being funded as part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

The project examines 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 is running 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, Finland (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 from the Institute for Media and Creative Industries is leading this aspect of the project. Together with Dr. Amalia Sabiescu, Professor Tacchi is overseeing empirical research in selected countries and the implementation of the methodology by the other project 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.

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. 

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018. 

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 6th in the Guardian University League Table 2018, 7th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017. 

The University has been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, which recognises institutions that deliver consistently outstanding teaching that is of the highest quality found in the UK. 

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking. 

The seven specialist institutes at Loughborough University London include: Design Innovation, Digital Technologies, Diplomacy and International Governance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Management, Media and Creative Industries, and Sport Business. Close industry partnerships with a wealth of leading businesses and creative organisations means teaching and learning is informed by real-life challenges and driven by true industry pressures.