Observatory of Education

Project acronym: 
Project start date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2017
Project end date: 
Monday, December 31, 2018
Main researcher: 
External researchers: 
Carlinda Leite; Ana Mouraz; Amélia Lopes; Elisabete Ferreira; Ana Cristina Torres; Angélica Monteiro; Carla Figueiredo; Carla Teixeira Lopes; José Fernando Oliveira; Maria Antónia Carravilla
Proponent institution: 
CIPES - Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies
Participating institutions: 
CIIE, University of Porto; NIPE, University of Minho; GOVCOPP, University of Aveiro; INESC-TEC, University of Porto.
Project description: 
Over the last decades, the need to produce quantitative information that allows the analysis and formulation of policies in the area of education has increased (Leite et al., 2014). Societies are putting increasing pressure to promote greater access to information and greater transparency and rigour in its dissemination. The demand for quantitative information has also been encouraged by supranational institutions such as OECD, European Commission, World Bank or UNESCO. Portugal still has significant structural educational delays compared to other European countries (Teixeira et al., 2014), and it is important to monitor the extent to which the low qualifications of families continue to influence the pattern of participation and relative success of children and young people. These are also conditioned by expectations in terms of remuneration and employment and, although Portugal continues to have high returns to education (Figueiredo et al., 2013; 2015), there is an increasing inequality of these returns and phenomena of mismatch between the supply of skills and demand seem to be increasing (Cerejeira et al., 2015). The Observatory’s scope of analysis should be broad. The relevance and impact of educational institutions cannot be separated, upstream, from the socio-economic and territorial context in which they are inserted and have been increasingly measured, downstream, through articulation with the economic system. In addition to the impact on training, educational institutions should be analysed as key actors in the dynamics of economic growth and social development (Rodrigues & Melo, 2013). It is, therefore, important to provide sufficiently disaggregated data to: (i) support families’ decision-making processes and avoid a decrease in the participation in the system, in a framework of high returns; ii) monitor the evolution of the degree of articulation between the educational system and non-academic entities; (iii) assess the impact of education in a more broadly way, whether at the economic level or at the level of the increase in the social capital of Portuguese society (political, civic and cultural participation, health and living conditions). The operationalisation of the Observatory proposal entails gathering the relevant documents for the identification of indicators to characterise the system and allow its international comparison. It is also important to reconnect data production to their users, fostering a more involved dimension in the decision-making process. The project aims to define and systematise a set of explanatory indicators/metrics that allow the knowledge of the current situation, evolution trends and main structural dynamics of the Portuguese educational system, that is, a critical reading of the educational system for different audiences: public in general, public policy makers, researchers and teachers/educators/trainers. On the basis of these indicators, and associated with them, the main themes that shape the educational system will be proposed. Considering that these indicators should be permanently made available by EDULOG to the various audiences, this project includes a team specialised in information systems, which will produce recommendations on the interoperability between the EDULOG Observatory and the databases that currently contain the raw data, dispersed data by several entities, and also regarding the specification of the EDULOG Observatory itself.
Financing amount: 
Funding entity: 
Edulog - Fundação Belmiro de Azevedo

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