The Education for the Future (EDUCA) Flagship receives 4.6 million euros from the Academy of Finland

Ruusupuisto building

Last October, the Academy of Finland selected three research consortia from the University of Jyväskylä for the EDUCA Flagship. The Academy has now decided on their funding for the consortia.

The EDUCA Flagship led by the University of Jyväskylä, which promotes the development of education with the help of research data, received 4.65 million euros for the first four-year period from 1 January 2024 to 30 April 2028.

The total funding of the consortium for the EDUCA Flagship is approximately 12.6 million euros.

The challenges of the school system require research-based corrective measures. Learning outcomes continue to decline, the number of students from immigrant backgrounds is growing rapidly, the dropout rate is increasing, and technology is changing our teaching and study methods.

The EDUCA Flagship combines expertise from education, psychology, learning analytics, sociology, and economics with research and development in the educational sector.

The consortium of the EDUCA Flagship consists of researchers from the Universities of Jyväskylä, Helsinki and Turku, and Aalto University, and is led by Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen, Professor of Education at the University of Jyväskylä. In total, the consortium brings together hundreds of researchers from Finland and top universities abroad, such as Harvard, Yale, and Oxford.

“The data infrastructure built with the help of EDUCA will enable the collection of large amounts of data. Data can be collected on learning outcomes of students, as well as learning difficulties, motivation and well-being, which can be linked to the data of Statistics Finland,” says Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen. “This enables versatile and multidisciplinary data analysis and artificial intelligence-based predictions. Additionally, it’s possible to develop digital interventions that can be scaled to needs of learners and at the same time study the inventions efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The data infrastructure will also be made widely available to researchers.”

With the help of the Flagship, the research-based nature of educational policy decisions and trials and the competence of teachers and directors will be strengthened. The research will increase the understanding of the variations of individual and social learning processes, optimal learning situations and challenges of learning engagement, as well as the effectiveness of the solutions of scalable educational technology.

Research groups from Jyväskylä take also part in the Finnish Quantum Flagship as well as the Flagship of Advanced Mathematics for Sensing, Imaging and Modelling (FAME)

The University of Jyväskylä is part of the Finnish Quantum Flagship. The University of Helsinki, Tampere University, the University of Oulu, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and CSC – IT Center for Science are part of the consortium, which is led by Aalto University.

Peter Liljeroth from Aalto University is steering the Finnish Quantum Flagship. Professor Tero Heikkilä from the Department of Physics and the Nanoscience Center (NSC) is the Principal Researcher from the University of Jyväskylä. The Academy awarded the University of Jyväskylä 1.58 million euros for the first four-year period.

The University of Jyväskylä is also participating in the Flagship of Advanced Mathematics for Sensing, Imaging and Modelling (FAME), which is coordinated by the University of Eastern Finland. At the University of Jyväskylä, the FAME Flagship group focuses on mathematical inverse problems, and it is led by Professor Mikko Salo and Academy Research Fellow Joonas Ilmavirta at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The group received funding of 717,000 euros.