The department is responsible for observing and analysing Germany's continuing education system. Researchers focus on the social and institutional frame conditions of continuing education, as well as on political and civic stakeholders and the impact of their actions on continuing education structures, cofferings, and participation.

The key issue is: How can the continuing education system enhance participation and competences and reduce social disparities? As a result, the department focuses on three topics:

Data base for continuing education research and reporting

Data-based infomation on continuing education research and reporting is highly significant. Therefore, the department continously develops a fragmented data base.

In cooperation with the "Statistics“ team from the department "Research Infrastructures“, the department "Systems and Policies" annually produces provider the information Volkshochschul- und Verbundstatistik as well as wbmonitor (Provider survey in vocational and general training) in cooperation with the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB). Other research projects study the quality of central data sources of continuing education and its development potential.

Relevant knowledge

A sound data base is an essential prerequisite for the department's second focus:

Junior Research Groups study the provision of relevant knowledge about the continuing education system as well as the effects of political actions in federal and national structures. Andreas Martin's Junior Research Group studies effects and returns of political intervention in the field of continuing education from a national perspective. Katrin Kaufmann-Kuchta's Junior Research Group studies die relation of institutional frame conditions and provider structures in academic and health education based on comparative case studies in Sweden, Spain and England from an international perspective.

The department also analyses the effects of institutional frame conditions and the effects of continuing education on the participants, particularly with regard to non-monetary effects. It is generally based on causal analyses of secundary data, which contains managing information for politics and practice.

Education reporting

Education reporting is the department's third focus. It uses the expertise from the other focuses and describes continuing education systems based on sound indicators and figures. System and Politics supports the Board of Directors in the authors group for National Report on Education and contributes regularly to the VET Data Report Germany by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB). Other publications on education reporting, particularly from the providers' perspective, are wbmonitor and the annual reports Statistics on Continuing Education. As part of the Transferagenturen Kommunales Bildungsmanagement, the department supports communities in implementing municipal education monitoring.


Head of Department

Prof. Dr. Andreas Martin

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