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International Conference

Education: What’s next? Formal education & training and the transition from school to work in rural areas

 Lisbon, ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (Portugal), 27-28 January 2021


The COST-Lisbon International Conference Education: What’s next? Formal education & training and the transition from school to work in rural areas is the result of an in-progress multidisciplinary scientific network on rural NEETs among researchers from 27 European countries.

The theme of this conference is aligned with the first annual thematic priority approved by the Action MC for the second grant period, which is Rural NEETs and Formal Education.

Education plays an important role in this context. Related to formal education & training, three main issues strongly influence potential social exclusion processes:

  1. Early school leavers. Examination of data in terms of educational achievement shows that the proportion of early school leavers in rural European regions is, on average, above the 10% benchmark set by the European Commission.
  2. Educational offers. In most rural areas, educational offer of formal learning as well as other means of learning are considerable reduced, compared to those existing in urban areas. In addition, to tackle job shortage, young people in rural areas tend to focus on vocational education largely than urban youth, on a rather restricted local offer basis, narrowing their opportunities to find a job and to continue education/professional training.
  3. Transition from school to the labour market. This transition is a complex long-term process through which most vulnerable youths, including rural NEETs, are exposed to an increased risk of precariousness or marginalization.

Vulnerable rural youths may face job offers limited to low-skilled work, fewer opportunities to develop broad work experience, or reduced mobility and commutation. Rural youths in general are strongly affected by insufficient interconnection of educational offers and labour market needs. This dissonance is troublesome in rural areas, due to greater difficulty of finding employment outside agriculture.

In this context, educational and employment services fail to identify and match the needs of rural youths, such as rural NEETs, and to involve them in the available proposals or programs, some of them under initiatives like the Youth Guarantee.

During the COST-Lisbon Conference, Ingrid Schoon (University College of London, UK), Michael Corbett (Acadia University, Canada) and other invited keynote speakers, together with interested scholars and emerging researchers will contribute to the scientific debate of these issues. As the knowledge about rural youth in general – and their education & training, in particular – does not seem to be consolidated among European researchers, the conference has the purpose to clarify emerging trends and identifying new issues for the research agenda, as well as for public policy recommendations.

Two plenary sessions, one round table discussion, several parallel paper sessions and one poster session will be organized in Lisbon at ISCTE-IUL.

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The RNYN (Rural NEET Youth Network) COST Action is organizing an international conference in Lisbon (Portugal), 27-28 January 2021.

The COST-Lisbon International Conference Education: What’s next? Formal education & training and the transition from school to work in rural areas is welcoming submissions!

Scholars and early career investigators, youth and social workers, teachers and other professionals are invited to submit proposals for oral presentations or posters that:

1) address socio-educational problems concerning rural areas, young population and rural NEETs in Europe;
2) reflect on theoretical or methodological issues; and/or
3) assess policies and design solutions dealing with formal education & training and the transition from school to work in rural areas.

Online participation options will be considered by the organization.

Are you potentially interested in attending the conference? Please see our webpage for details about the conference and the call for papers: