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FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren

The Choice Architecture of Admission to Education (ArcEd)

Alternative title: Utforming av utdanningsopptak

Awarded: NOK 8.0 mill.

Educational systems strive to be fair and inclusive, so that each individual can reach their educational potential regardless of their background. However, economic inequality has rapidly increased throughout Europe over the last decade, and educational inequality is a major contributing factor. Are educational processes hindering students with disadvantaged backgrounds from reaching their potential? The ArcEd project studies the role of admission to education in creating or removing barriers to social mobility. ArcEd is an interdisciplinary project (economics of education, behavioral economics, psychology and genetic epidemiology) taking a novel and ambitious approach to understanding the determinants, constraints and consequences of admission to education. The project uses a novel Choice Architecture framework used to describe and understand the processes that govern admission to education. The framework is comprised of three elements: 1) the metrics used as allocation criteria in admission decisions, ?2) the choices students make based on their abilities, preferences and beliefs, and 3) the institutions that govern admission into education. To study these processes in the context of admission to upper secondary and higher education in Norway, the project combines rich data sources and state-of-the-art analytical techniques across academic disciplines. The research will provide knowledge of great use for researchers, policy makers and practitioners.

Educational systems strive to be fair and inclusive, so that each individual can reach their educational potential regardless of background. However, economic inequality has rapidly increased throughout Europe over the last decade, and educational inequality is a major contributing factor. This raises the question of whether there are educational processes that hinder students with disadvantaged backgrounds from reaching their potential. The ArcEd project studies one such process with the potential to affect inequality by creating or removing barriers to social mobility; admission to education. ArcEd is an interdisciplinary project (economics of education, behavioral economics, psychology and genetic epidemiology) taking a novel and ambitious approach to understanding the determinants, constraints and consequences of admission to education. The first core methodological innovation lies in the integration of an unparalleled data linkage and state-of-the-art analytical techniques across academic disciplines to study admission to upper secondary and higher education in Norway. The second core methodological innovation is the development of the novel Choice Architecture framework used to describe and understand the processes that govern admission to education. The framework is comprised of three elements: 1) the metrics used as allocation criteria in admission decisions, 2) the choices students make based on their abilities, preferences and beliefs, and 3) the institutions that govern admission into education. The research will highlighting gains from interdisciplinary methodological collaborations in the context of admission to education and provide knowledge of great use for researchers, policy makers and practitioners. ArcEd also aims to build an interdisciplinary network of empirical scholars using register data in educational research. The proposed research has a high potential for both academic and societal impact.

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FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren