The RESL.eu project is positioned within the broad topic of Education systems in the 21st century by systematically studying from different angles the issue of early school/training leaving (ESL) in nine European countries, selected for their specific and relevant profiles with respect to this issue (Belgium, United Kingdom, Sweden, Portugal, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Austria and Hungary). The rationale behind this approach is the belief that the high rate of ESL in the EU is a symptom of the traditional education system’s inability to adapt to these new realities.
The research undertaking aims to provide insights into the mechanisms and processes that influence a student’s decision to leave school or training early; as well as into the decision of school leavers to enroll in alternative learning arena’s unrelated to a regular school. In addition to this, RESL.eu will also focus on the students that left education or training early, and are identified as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), for these are the most vulnerable among European youngsters. Education and training are vital assets for the welfare of European citizens and therefore the European Union. They are important tools in the promotion of equity, social cohesion and active citizenship on the one hand; and in the stimulation of economic growth and the creation of new skills, competencies and jobs.
Furthermore, the RESL.eu project aims to identify and analyse the intervention and compensation measures that did succeed in transferring knowledge and in keeping pupils in education or training, although they showed high (theoretical) risk of early school leaving (ESL). Where the available research data on ESL only explains isolated aspects of the evolution towards ESL, the RESL.eu project will analyse ESL from a holistic perspective.
By framing the complex and often subtle interplay of factors influencing ESL on a macro, meso and micro level; and by deconstructing these different configurations of influencing factors in the specific contexts where they occur, the project expects to uncover specific configurations of variables and contexts influencing the processes related to ESL. This will allow the consortium to formulate conceptual models useful for the development and implementation of policies and specific measures to influence ESL, making the project not only relevant to academics, but also to policy makers, school staff and representatives from the civil society.
The research will be conducted in a total of 16 regions in nine European countries.