Working Group 11: Transitions in education and employment

Mikko Ylikangas, PhD. Academy of Finland Research Council for Culture and Society (

Theory and practice of learning to be a citizen: Experiences from Tanzania and Uganda: Tiina Kontinen, University of Jyväskylä and Katariina Holma, University of Oulu.

This project scrutinizes theories, practices and experiences of learning to be a citizen in civil society with case studies in Tanzania and Uganda. The project investigates definitions of “good and active citizen” and processes of learning. Project combines methods of rational reconstruction, ethnography, and critical action research. It aims to develop a theory of learning to be a citizen in dialogue between educational theories and the contextualizedperceptions and everyday participatory learning trajectories.

Goal 4+: Including Eco-Cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Paola Minoia, University of Helsinki.

The project expands the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ensure quality education for all, through an attempt to promote recognition of eco-cultural pluralism and inclusion of indigenous pedagogies as part of quality education in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Inclusion of ecological aspects is important because indigenous groups have strong connections to land and natural resources that are currently threatened by illegal logging, oil extraction and climate change. Defending eco- cultural pluralism means protecting both the natural environment and indigenous peoples from poverty and the risk of cultural disappearance. The project studies indigenous young people’s spatio-temporal accessibility to upper secondary schools and tertiary education; realization of eco-cultural diversity and sumak kawsay or buen vivir principles in upper secondary education; indigenous students’ transition to tertiary education or working life; and politics of intercultural education.

EDIT – Equality and Democracy in Transformation. Elina Oinas, University of Helsinki.

The project will strengthen societal capacity to enhance gender equality and thereby democracy and human rights. It does so by examining and supporting scholarship and teaching on gender in selected universities in Ethiopia and South Africa – to develop academic research and teaching towards a more societally relevant and contextually attuned practice. Universities and their societal engagements are analyzed to better understand the overall principles and concrete processes for promotion of equality and democracy. These processes and the negotiations in/by feminist epistemic communities can teach lessons on how transformation processes towards equality can be enabled and strengthened, what their dimensions are and what obstacles must be attended to.

Between education and the labour market: Youth perspectives from the Middle East. Henri Onodera, University of Helsinki. 

The paper introduces a new project What works? Youth transitions from education to employment in the Middle East and North Africa (Academy of Finland DEVELOP Academy Programme, 2019-2022, PI Prof Päivi Honkatukia) Youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is higher than in other regions of the world, and its educational systems do not match with the labour markets’ needs. What works -project examines youth transitions and their societal context in the region. Using mixed methods approach, it analyses young people’s social entrepreneurship, job seeking, and cross-border mobility. The project team includes researchers from Finland, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. The Moroccan team studies youth entrepreneurship through participatory “laboratory” methods. The Finnish team includes both statistical and ethnographic expertise to study youth transitions in the MENA region, especially in Tunisia and Egypt. The project strengthens interaction between development research and youth research in Finland, Europe and the MENA region. It supports the goals of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, especially those promoting sustainable economic growth and decent work. The paper discusses the multiple dimensions of youth transitions from education to the labour market in the Middle East. It provides a more detailed discussion on the interlinkages between education, employment and marriage from youth perspective in contemporary Egypt.


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