Equality of opportunity is a widely shared ideal in Western societies. While most people are willing to reward hard work and effort, they strongly oppose outcome differences due to pre-determined circumstances, such as race, parental background or gender. Against this backdrop and in light of increasing social tensions during the Covid-19 crisis, it is of foremost importance to develop a policy agenda that levels the playing field and puts people in a position to pursue their life goals independently of their background characteristics.
In this panel debate, Sara Baiocco (EconPol Europe, CEPS), Arnaud Lefranc (CY Cergy Paris Université) and Larissa Zierow (EconPol Europe, ifo Institute) will discuss the role of educational policies throughout the life cycle, from early childhood to adult learning, in such an agenda. Which features of current educational systems and of social investment policies are the biggest inhibitors to equal opportunities? What are the most promising policy changes on our way forward? How does the Covid-19 crisis affect educational opportunities and what can we learn from the policy responses in the different EU member states?
Arnaud Lefranc and Larissa Zierow will share insights from their work on the IMCHILD research project. Sara Baiocco will complement the discussion with her experience working on adult learning policies.