Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID)

Dr Boeren awarded OECD Thomas J. Alexander fellowship (7.3.2016)

From April to June 2016, Dr Ellen Boeren will go on a secondment at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. The remaining part of the fellowship will be undertaken from Edinburgh.

Project details

Migration is a timely policy issue and extremely important if we want immigrants to be fully integrated in society. We know from previous research that immigrants’ chances to participate in adult lifelong learning activities vary across countries compared to their native peers (see Desjardins, 2015), suggesting different structural support for the integration of immigrants. This Thomas J. Alexander fellowship project will explore immigrants’ lifelong learning participation patterns in a wide range of OECD countries, based on data from PIAAC’s (Programme for the International Assessment of Adults Competencies) Survey of Adult Skills. Using these data, I will provide an answer to the question whether differences in participation patterns in lifelong learning relate (a) to different lifelong learning and social policy structures in countries or (b) to differences in the type of immigrants countries attract, leading to different lifelong learning needs. This will be done through comparison of profiles of immigrant lifelong learners, not only including their socio-economic and socio-demographic characteristics and skills levels, but also through exploration of the characteristics of the lifelong learning activities they participate in.

The project will use a number of statistical methods, building from straightforward descriptive analyses to more complex multivariate models. This project will be of academic and policy-oriented relevance. Findings will inform educationalists and sociologists on the increased theoretical knowledge base on integration of immigrants in the OECD’s lifelong learning systems. The major aim is to help policy makers to tackle the persistent inequalities in many lifelong learning systems, affecting immigrants’ participation in the labour market and society in general.

More details about the OECD’s fellowship programme can be found here: