European Institute of Education and Social Policy
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Our Journal

You can find the  links to the most recent issues here:

Volume 53, No. 4, November 2018
Reconceptualising system transitions in education for marginalised and vulnerable groups
Guest Editors: Paul Downes, Erna Nairz‐Wirth, Jim Anderson

Volume 53, No. 3, September 2018
Learner agency at the confluence between rights-based approaches and well-being
Guest Editor: Jean Gordon

Volume 53, No. 2 June 2018
Special Issue: Are Student Assessments Fit For Their Purposes?
Guest Editor: Janet Looney

Volume 53, No. 1. March 2018
Special Issue: Innovative approaches to Continuous Professional Development in Early Childhood Education and Care. A European perspective.
Guest Editors: Brecht Peleman, Bente Jensen and Jan Peeters

Volume 52, No. 4 December 2017
Special Issue: Education for people, prosperity and planet: Can we meet the sustainability challenges?
Guest Editor: Aaron Benavot

Volume 52, No. 3 September 2017
Title: Participatory Design for (Built) Learning Environments
Guest Editors: Karen D. Könings and Susan McKenney

Volume 52, No. 2 June 2017
Title: The Influence of PISA on Education Policies
Guest Editors: Alain Michel and Xavier Pons

Volume 52, No.1 March 2017
Title : Higher education learning outcomes - transforming higher education ?
Guest Editors : Joakim Caspersen and Nicoline Frolich

Volume 51, No.4 December 2016
Title: Governance Dynamics in Complex Decentralised Education Systems
Guest Editors: Edith Hooge

Volume 51, No 3 September 2016
Title : Vocational Schooling and Social Exclusion in the Western Balkans
Guest Editors : Claire Gordon and Will Bartlett

Contact Information

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Tel.: +33 (0)1 49 23 58 30
Mobile: +33 (0) 6 38 47 68 19 



The EIESP was established at the end of 1975 by the European Cultural Foundation in co-operation with the Commission of the European Communities in Brussels and the International Council for Education Development in New York to meet the widely felt need in Europe for a centre for policy research and co-operation in education in a European perspective and independent from national structures. The EIESP received funding from the European Cultural Foundation for twenty years until the mid-nineties when it became an independent non-profit organisation.

The first years

The EIESP began its activities with a comparative study on education leave, carried out for the Carnegie Commission on higher education, and a statistical report on student mobility in higher education. The latter was published in 1975. It was also concerned with the role of newly created universities in regional development and was a catalyst for innovation in higher education in general. In 1979, a map of European universities was drawn and published in the European Journal of Education


The 1980s

Between 1980 and 1985, the EIESP played a strategic role in the launching of the European Commission programmes of student mobility. It was responsible for designing and managing the Joint Study Programme (JSP) which was conceived as a pilot operation for the ERASMUS programme and also partially for COMETT. The experience gained in this area proved crucial for the design of programmes that targeted Central/Eastern Europe, essentially TEMPUS and PHARE, from 1989 onwards.

Comparative work in the field of higher education was actively pursued for government agencies and international organisations. During the first half of the decade, the Institute also established close links with the European Centre for Work and Society in Maastricht and carried out various studies in the field of employment and social policy.

From 1986 to 1989, the EIESP played an active role in the design and inception of PACE (Programme of Advanced Continuing Education) which established links between universities and enterprises through satellite communication. Sponsored by a dozen major IT companies, PACE was conceived as distance advanced training for company personnel through satellite technology.



The 1990s – towards 2000

This decade saw the emergence of Vocational Education and Training (VET) as a major field of activity for the Institute which was understood as a broad, diversified system including different routes, pathways and institutions, both public and private. The EIESP undertook numerous comparative studies and projects focusing on staff and institutional development, carried out for a broad range of sponsors, including at European level CEDEFOP, the European Commission, etc. Projects were undertaken for national government such at the Strategies for VET in Europe for The British and Norwegian governments focusing on sectoral approaches to curriculum development in the perspective of the Single Market. Other studies, e.g. for the Dutch government examined early school leaving and the development of better progression routes and pathways through VET.

Transparency was a major thematic area of work during the nineties when the EIESP carried out feasibility studies to establish the basis and working framework for reference structures to improve the transparency of vocational qualifications among European countries. This work was taken up by the Commission's Forum on Transparency leading to the European Reference Points.

Continuing its work on higher education, the EIESP was commissioned to make a statistical analysis of student mobility in all the European Union Member States, individual and organised.

From the early nineties on the EIESP provided expertise for several reform programmes in the Central and Eastern European countries in higher education, vocational education and training as well as general secondary education.

In line with the rising concern for evaluation in all spheres of education policy, qualitative and formative monitoring and evaluation activities developed strongly during the nineties, for education and training systems (the OECD review in the Czech Republic), European funded programmes (final evaluation of the SOCRATES I programme in 1999-2000), projects and partnerships (for a broad range of Adapt, Now, Youthstart, Leonardo, and Comenius projects). One particular focus for project design, monitoring and evaluation was the extensive portfolio of innovative projects developed in Wales by the European Unit of the WJEC which contributed to laying the basis in the work of the EIESP for a regional perspective on developing strategies for lifelong learning.

During the 1990s the EIESP pursued an active policy of dissemination by publishing its own research results and through the European Journal of Education. In 2001, it created a French language journal, Politiques d' éducation et de formation – Analyses et comparaisons internationales, launched in co-operation with the Association francophone d’éducation comparée (AFEC) and a year later the Institut-EPICE.





Chairs of EIESP
Directors of EIESP
Lord Asa Briggs (1975 – 1990)
Ladislav Cerych (1975 – 1990)
Pierre Tabatoni (1991 – 1996)
Jean-Pierre Jallade (1991 – 2002)
Ladislav Cerych (1996 – 2000)
Jean Gordon (2003 - 2013)
Hywel Ceri Jones (2000 – 2004)
Janet Looney (since 2014)
Alain Michel (2004 - 2010)
Michèle Sellier (2011)
Jean-Claude Ruano-Borbalan
(since 2012)