Analysis of and support for the development of quality in education. Research
in this area is focused on the development of external evaluation of educational
outcomes (standardised “maturita” examination, standardised student assessment
at various points of their educational pathway) and on self-evaluation
of students and schools. Methods and instruments for standardised assessment
and self-evaluation are being designed. Periodical analyses based on international
surveys concerned with young people’s competencies (e.g. PISA) are being
Curriculum development. Research is focused on supporting curricular reform
and its pilot testing (development of national curricular documents for
various levels and fields of education, methodological support for the
design of school-based curricula). At the same time, instruments are being
developed facilitating links between educational and professional standards.
Research support for the development of the National Qualifications System
and recognition of non-formal and informal learning. Research in this area
is focused on the development of a system of qualifications incorporating
level and branch-related considerations. The issue of international transfer
of qualifications is also being explored. At the same time, methods and
instruments for verification and recognition of non-formal and informal
learning are being developed. Individual steps are being piloted.
HRD and CVT analysis. It is possible to identify two lines of research.
Firstly, the trends as regards participation in continuing education are
being analysed in view of the requirements for improving the quality of
human resources, enhancing competitiveness and facilitating social inclusion.
Secondly, research projects are concerned with analysing and piloting actions
focused on enhancing institutional and systemic conditions for CVET development
in terms of accessibility (information, counselling, funding), quality
assurance and recognition of outcomes.
Analysis and forecasting labour market qualification needs. Research in
this area is focused on two areas. Firstly, there is empirical monitoring
of labour market development trends and the situation of school leavers,
including surveys focused on employers’ needs. Secondly, there is work
underway focused on modelling and medium-term projections of qualification
needs with the use of quantitative and qualitative methods. Both areas
are concerned with the development of a structured and regularly updated
information base that could be used in career and other forms of counselling.
Equal access to education. A number of projects examine the reasons for
and implications of unequal access to education, the mechanisms behind
inequality reproduction, the openness of the education system in terms
of access to education for children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds,
and specific issues related to social inclusion. Recently this research
has also been focused on gender aspects. Analytical work builds on sociological
surveys some of which are longitudinal.
Tertiary education development - Many research projects deal with various
aspects of the development of tertiary education – from specific funding
issues, through quality evaluation processes in tertiary education to broader
links between tertiary education, demographic changes and labour market
developments. Special attention is devoted to access to education.
ICT in education – support for ICT introduction and implementation, e-learning.