Education Systems

Our research explores how higher education systems can support innovation, how to best define and measure quality teaching at that level, and how to measure post-secondary learning gains

Research, commentary, and events

  • Buildings equipped with photovoltaic panels, storage batteries, rainwater and wastewater recovery systems welcomed the first inhabitants in 2020, in Grenoble, France, photo by Joao Luiz Bulcao/Hans Lucas via Reuters

    Commentary

    Green Jobs and Skills Development for Disadvantaged Groups

    Many countries have plans to increase green job opportunities. To make sure that everyone can benefit from this promised green transition, it is important to understand how people with low qualifications, and other marginalised groups, might be able to access green jobs.

    08 Nov 2022

  • Robotics engineering students in the lab, photo by NDABCREATIVITY/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Exploring the value of engineering and physical sciences doctorates

    To support the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's review of their investment in doctoral education, researchers explored the skills required for doctoral graduates in the sector, and how students see doctoral education contributing to the development of these skills and to their career pathways.

    16 Aug 2022

  • Student walks through an archway at Cambridge University, photo by burcintuncer/Getty Images

    Commentary

    New Legislation May Not Be Enough to Counter Chinese Interference in British Universities

    There is alarming evidence of growing Chinese espionage and influence in UK universities that could threaten UK national security and academic freedoms. Three complementary initiatives could increase university researchers' awareness of the potential risks of collaborating with certain Chinese partners.

    08 Jul 2022

  • Woman wearing a virtual reality headset to explore a mechanical engineering project, photo by Fat Camera/Getty Images

    Essay

    The Digital Skills Gap: What Workers Need for the Jobs of the Future

    Business leaders have warned for years that what they see on job applications does not match what they need in new employees. There are not enough workers with the right digital skills. And as the world economy struggles to its feet after COVID-19, that skills gap threatens to keep pushing it down.

    01 Mar 2022

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    Project

    Examining the digital skills gap

    Researchers assessed the evidence associated with the digital skills gap. The study analysed the key trends driving the gap at a global level and articulated some practical steps to address this challenge and potentially ‘close’ the gap.

    15 Dec 2021

  • Careers advisor meeting female university student, photo by Monkey Business Images/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Examining the quality of career guidance in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

    Surveying 54 secondary schools and colleges and interviewing 10 career guidance service providers, researchers produced a comprehensive picture of how career guidance is provided in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and how these services meet the needs of children and young people.

    21 Jul 2020

  • Shoes and arrows pointing in different directions on asphalt floor, photo by Delphine Poggianti/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Scenarios help explore the future of education and youth in the EU

    Researchers developed a set of scenarios to explore the future of education and youth in the EU, and found that personalised learning policies could be helpful across all scenarios if funded sufficiently and targeted appropriately. Supporting and reinforcing the teaching profession is also key.

    25 Oct 2019

  • Hospital worker feeling overwhelmed, photo by Dean Mitchell/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Is Training for NHS Staff to Manage Workplace Violence Effective?

    Going to work should not mean being subjected to physical or verbal assault, but this is the reality faced by thousands of frontline NHS staff. De-escalation training may help staff manage patient violence and aggression, but there is not enough research about what works in specific healthcare contexts.

    04 Sep 2019

  • Boys at the skateboard park in the West End of Glasgow

    Project

    Economic evaluation of the MCR Pathways PSP initiative

    Using data from ScotCen's evaluation of the MCR Pathways mentoring programme, RAND Europe is conducting a cost-benefit analysis to determine the economic value accruing from MCR participants' achievement of educational outcomes.

    16 Mar 2018

  • Sign with arrows pointing direction to the United Kingdom

    Commentary

    Professional Expectations, Families and Brexit Shape Future for UK International Researchers

    Mobility has become an even higher priority for researchers since the results of the UK’s EU referendum, Brexit. To continue to attract and keep top talent, the UK needs to understand how and why researchers move between countries.

    05 May 2017

  • Homepage of moocs4inclusion.org

    Project

    Mapping MOOCs4Inclusion

    As part of the MOOCs4Inclusion research team, RAND Europe contributed to a literature review to identify recent research on the use of free digital learning by migrants and refugees in the EU and neighbouring countries.

    28 Apr 2017

  • Computers room at the university

    Project

    Identifying Successful Innovations in European Higher Education

    More students than ever are attending higher education, and its provision is becoming more fluid, global and competitive. Higher education institutions need to have a strategy to incorporate innovative modes of teaching and learning, as well as the management and governance of higher education.

    23 Dec 2016

  • Professor and university students in a lecture hall

    Commentary

    Before We Measure Teaching Quality, We Should Know What It Is

    The lack of an evidence base on teaching quality and its impact in higher education points to a need for more research, made more pressing by the imminent roll-out of the Teaching Excellence Framework, which intends to assess and monitor teaching quality at UK higher education institutions.

    29 Nov 2016

  • Illustration of small people on books analyzing data, photo by apinan/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Helping universities measure their research impact

    ImpactFinder helps universities manage their research funding submissions to UK Higher Education Funding Councils and identify and review impact case studies that meet the requirements of the Research Excellence Framework.

    20 Nov 2016

  • Students in class asking questions to the professor

    Project

    Defining and Demonstrating Teacher Quality and Impact

    A review of existing literature on defining and demonstrating ‘quality teaching’ and measuring its impact in higher education mainly found opinion pieces based on secondary, documentary analysis rather than rigorous comparison group studies. This was a significant weakness in this field of research.

    18 Nov 2016

  • Old books and reading glasses

    Commentary

    What Does the Stern Review Mean for the Research Excellence Framework?

    The Stern Review's release at the end of July raised two pertinent questions about the Research Education Framework. What purposes does the REF serve? And does it offer good value for money for the UK's higher education institutions?

    06 Sep 2016

  • Student solders and adjusts electronic device

    Commentary

    European Universities Are Pessimistic About Their Room to Innovate

    Higher education is changing worldwide and European institutions recognise the need to keep up. But are traditional European universities innovating enough to remain competitive?

    12 May 2016