The Institute has the following main research priorities:

1. Assessment and recognition of skills and competencies in formal, non-formal and informal contexts

The assessment and acknowledgement of skills and competencies has a growing importance in a knowledge-based society. It is often linked to the recognition of experience and professional careers as well as the formal accreditation of prior experience. These take place at different moments over a career, especially during professional mobility. Competency transfer is important during these transition phases. However, competencies can no longer be reduced to technical skills as they include personality dimensions, emotional competencies, adaptability and creativity.

2. Providing adequate guidance through the analysis of lifelong transitions

Transitions over a lifespan need continuous assessment of vocational interests and competencies and need to include, as far as careers are concerned, the associated work context to allow for effective guidance. Similarly, transitions during school, but also from school to work, need a thorough evaluation of interests, competencies and life projects to permit a comprehensive guidance process. School dropout also needs to be better understood; prevention and accompanying tools should be developed and implemented. In In addition, international mobility often constitutes a personal challenge, especially in the Luxembourg context, and needs to be analysed more fully.

3. Assessment of well-being and satisfaction at work

Satisfaction at work is an essential element of life satisfaction and motivation, and reduces unnecessary turnover for organisations. Assessing the meaning of work and implementing effective conflict resolution strategies are critical in this sense.

4. Hybrid Learning and e-assessment

Higher education has endured major changes in recent years. All these changes have not only modified the techno-pedagogical environment of teaching with the emergence of online learning platforms which have been widely adopted by universities, but also the learning environment which has been transformed of ‘face-to-face’ to ‘hybrid learning’.

We aim to create a conceptual framework and a typology for the description of the hybrid learning environments and their assessment systems in higher education. This conceptual framework is also used to develop tools to assess the quality of the hybrid learning environments.

5. Understanding unemployment and job finding

Unemployment – especially long-term unemployment – has detrimental effects on well-being and social cohesion. Therefore, it is important to understand the psychological and social determinants of long-term unemployment, such as well-being, subjective experience, unemployment normalisation, and the effectiveness of the job search process.

6. Understanding school dropout

School dropout has its origin in society, families, the school and students themselves. It is a multidimensional phenomenon where many factors interact. On the one hand, a combination of these influences may gradually drive students to invest successfully in their curriculum. On the other hand, the same factors may also bring them to drop out of school after a process of cumulative frustrations.

7. Gender stereotypes in education

From early on, children are confronted with gender stereotypes. These can be found in different contexts, such as everyday life (for example, through gender marketing), the family and the school. These stereotypes have different effects on children. For example, they force children into a binary gender segregation system (choosing between being “female” or “male”) and they limit children’s choices (for example, in their leisure activities or career aspirations). Therefore, it is important to analyse the origins of these stereotypes and investigate how to dismantle them in order to create a more gender-equal society.

Key research issues

1. Lifelong learning
  • Dropout
  • Vocational education
  • Higher education
  • Adult education
  • Professional competences
  • Gender equality in education
2. Lifelong guidance
  • Professional interests
  • Vocational choices
  • School guidance
  • Adult orientation
  • Career paths
  • Influence of gender stereotypes
3. Lifelong transitions
  • Professional mobility
  • Geographical mobility and migration
  • Unemployment and health
  • Job search process
4. School dropout
  • Student’s school perseverance
  • Educational partnership
  • Family-School-Community partnership