RMIT Europe has been named a partner in a €2.5 million research project as part of the EU Horizon 2020 (H2020) research and innovation funding scheme.
The award is in response to a call by the EU for research on the challenges for young and vulnerable groups in accessing adult education.
The investment in lifelong learning aims to help overcome the economic and social crisis as well as meet the Europe 2020 targets on employment, poverty reduction, education, sustainability and innovation.
The work by RMIT Europe is in collaboration with researchers from eight other universities across Europe, including higher education institutions in Finland, Estonia, Germany, Greece, the United Kingdom, Hungary and Turkey.
Led by Professor Veli-Matti Värri at the University of Tampere in Finland, RMIT Europe’s contribution is being coordinated by Professor Jo Tacchi, Director Research and Innovation at RMIT’s European hub in Barcelona, Spain.
Tacchi said the research takes a critical look at the current adult education environment in Europe, analysing existing initiatives, pathways as well as accessibility.
“In focus are the most vulnerable groups, such as young people with low levels of basic and functional literacy, those not in education or training or those in situations of near social exclusion,” she said.
“It is anticipated the research outcomes will help policymakers, educational authorities and educators at local, national and European levels tailor adult education policies and practices to better meet the needs of these groups.”
Tacchi’s research area examines young people’s access and use of media and communication technologies for education.
H2020 is one of the largest research funding programs in the world, with more than €70 billion assigned for research across future and emerging technologies, information and communication technologies, as well as societal challenges.
RMIT is able to partner with other universities as well as join research consortiums in the five-year program through its presence in Europe.
In 2015, the University's European hub in Barcelona, Spain, has supported RMIT researchers with 27 European funding applications for funding schemes, including H2020 as well as with national research councils and international philanthropic bodies.