Calling for workshop contributors: Developing IDSS: Societal Challenges and Technical Strategies

This workshop brings together the ideas and ways of thinking of two University of Nottingham colleagues, Sharon Clancy from Education and Claire Palmer from Computer Science, who are working on the development of an Intelligent Decision Support System (IDSS) within the context of the Enliven project which is aimed at examining policy making in the context of lifelong learning, and particularly for disadvantaged young adults.

The main social science theory underpinning Enliven is that of bounded agency which recognises the complex interplay between personal/individual motivation and the broader structural and cultural conditions in which a person has been raised – specifically the institutional and labour market settings and the social support available. The theory argues that such factors are as important in shaping a person’s decision to engage in lifelong learning/adult education as their individual drive or motivation (‘agency’).  An IDSS system “uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, taught algorithms and data analytics to help support decision-making in real-time, by setting out possible courses of action and evaluating the likely results of these proposed actions” [1] . It will suggest types of action which have been previously employed and enable them to be assessed against suitable criteria.

The workshop will focus on determining how these two theories might meet the needs of policy makers and other end users of the research and, crucially, how it can meet the needs of our “messy, fuzzy, anarchic field of practice” [2] , and with sufficient emphasis on the young people who are its chief stakeholders.

Consequently, our focus has become one of knowledge democracy and we are keen to explore the ontological differences between data expectations at policy maker level and at target community level and how data can serve knowledge creation for those most excluded in society.

Please follow this LINK for more details of the workshop.


[1] Field, J., the Learning Professor, blog, Mechanising education policy with intelligent decision support systems, Posted on January 18, 2015, Accessed 20 September 2017).

[2] Field, as above

Martina Lubyová appointed Minister of Education

We would like to extend a huge congratulations to our colleague Martina Lubyová, the leader of our Slovakian team. She has been appointed Minister of Education by the President of Slovakia.

The news and announcement can be found at:

Second International Workshop of ISA RC45 on Social Inequality

Elena Tuparevska attended  the Second International Workshop of ISA RC45 on Social Inequality in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on 1st September 2017. She presented a paper titled ‘The 2015 Declaration on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education (Paris Declaration) and the conceptualization of social exclusion and social inequality in EU adult education policies’. The paper was prepared by Elena Tuparevska, Rosa Santibáñez, and Josu Solabarrieta from the University of Deusto ENLIVEN team.

For the full programme, see

CHER 30th Annual Conference

Pepka Boyadjieva and Petya Ilieva-Trichkova from the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, the Bulgarian team of the ENLIVEN project, gave a paper ‘Patterns of interaction between inclusion and fairness in access to higher education: theoretical distinctions and policy implications’ at the 30th CHER (Consortium of Higher Education Researchers) Conference “Universities as political institutions – HEIs in the middle of academic, economic, and social pressures” in Jyväskylä, Finland, on the 28-30th August 2017. The session was attended by one of the keynote speakers, Susan Robertson.

Click HERE to view their presentation slides.

ECER 2017

Marcella Milana and Ellen Boeren, team members of the H2020 project ENLIVEN presented at ECER 2017 in Copenhagen.

For more details, see:

Marcella gave a paper with Palle Rasmussen on ‘Learn or perish! How Italian and Danish policy adapts and enacts international prescriptions on adult education and learning’.

Ellen represented the Edinburgh team, talking about findings of WP2 ‘Institutional Architecture Of Youth Training In The Context Of Welfare Regimes And Youth Unemployment’.

First Youth Panel in Bulgaria

Representatives from various youth organizations in Bulgaria met at the first Youth Panel meeting on the 21st of July 2017 at the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge (ISSK-BAS) in Sofia, Bulgaria.


In the first part of the meeting, the participants were introduced to the aims and expected outcomes of the ENLIVEN Project by Pepka Boyadjieva (National coordinator of ENLIVEN at ISSK-BAS), Rumiana Stoilova, Petya Ilieva-Trichkova and Diana Nenkova (Members of the Bulgarian team of ENLIVEN). Then, some basic statistics, which demonstrate the place of Bulgaria in a comparative perspective in three main aspects, were presented to the participants. First, the general educational structure of the Bulgarian population was outlined. It was followed by a description of the labour market situation of the youth. Lastly, there was a discussion of the state of the lifelong learning with a special focus on the young adults. The presented information served as a certain background against which the discussion between the Youth Panel participants and the Bulgarian team of the ENLIVEN Project took place afterwards.

In the second part of the meeting, the participants were encouraged to share their views and to engage in a dialogue with the researchers about the topic of the ENLIVEN project and the problems of the youth in Bulgaria related to lifelong learning. They were asked to think about any joint activities/initiatives and to give ideas how they could be helpful to the ENLIVEN project and respectively how the Bulgarian team with its work on the project could be of any help for their work. The participants provided very interesting insights and explanations of the presented statistics from the perspective of their own experience as representatives of Youth organizations and as youth themselves. Among the main issues raised by them were the access to internships in Bulgaria, the quality of these internships and the need of its regulation; the lack of dialogue between the educational institutions and the business; the necessity of a change in the secondary education before the introduction of the dual system; the potential role of volunteering among the young people which seems to be very limited in Bulgaria so far, and the need of complementarity between the formal and non-formal education.

Figures in the handouts of the meeting can be downloaded HERE.


Survey: Information for a tool to guide NEET policy decisions

The ENLIVEN is considering how to create an Intelligent Decision Support System (IDSS) to inform policy debate and decision-making on learning for young adults with a focus on young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs). The idea behind the system is to utilise collected project data to enable learning from the experience of others. If you are involved in providing a project which is aimed at helping NEETs or potential NEETs we would like you to fill in our survey below:

Information for a tool to guide NEET policy decisions

The survey aims to gather information on projects for NEETs so that appropriate and successful projects for this group can be developed. We have had some really helpful initial responses which have increased our understanding. We realise that it will not be possible to complete all the questions as complete information is not available or may be too sensitive. Any input, no matter how small, will be valued.