Institute of Education

Research & Expertise to Make a Difference in Education & Beyond

Exploring Inequality through the Prism of Lifelong Learning Paths

Since 2012, the HSE Institute of Education has participated in a large-scale international research project, eduLIFE, which aims to give deeper and more conclusive insights into inequality by tracking education life-courses in modern societies.

Based at European University Institute (EUI) in Florence and supervised by Professor Hans-Peter Blossfeld, eduLIFE involves a representative cross-border team of social & education research professionals, including IOE experts Dmitry Kurakin and Diana Yanbarisova.

Exploring educational opportunity has been a long-standing tradition in inequality studies, as education is broadly argued to be one of the key factors in social stratification. In a world of ongoing globalization, digitization and transdisciplinary innovation, modern societies have seen an ever-hastening transition to knowledge-based economies where the role of education and skill upgrades has become central to every life stage. Unlike much of empirical research on education, which is based on the cross-sectional approach, eduLIFE takes a longitudinal perspective on learning & development paths.

The eduLIFE project analyzes educational choices and progression in four phases covering early childhood, secondary and tertiary education, the transition from school to work, and adult learning. Country studies employ high-quality longitudinal data from Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Hungary, the Netherlands, the USA, Australia, Russia, Estonia, and Israel. Based on cross-national comparisons, eduLIFE aims to establish comprehensive, global-level findings as well as to delve into specific local contexts.

Each project stage involves a series of research deliverables, including papers addressing particular aspects of the study, PhD dissertations, and summary books. The latest published and forthcoming project outputs can be found on the eduLIFE website at