Hybridiopetusta luokassa.

Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education CELE

CELE is home to multidisciplinary and comparative research on lifelong learning and education.

CELE is an international and interdisciplinary research centre on comparative education, sociology and policy of education and research on higher education, inclusive education and lifelong learning.

The research that we conduct focuses on the following areas:

  • Sociology of Education
  • Politics of Education
  • Comparative International Education
  • University and Higher Education
  • Lifelong Learning and Adult Education
  • History of Education

Our Research Groups

Comparative and International Education

Comparative and International Education Research Group (CIERG)

The emphasis of the work of the CIERG lies on guidance and supervision of doctoral theses, creation of scientific knowledge and construction of profound understanding in the field of comparative education. The salient aim of the research group is to support doctoral and postdoctoral research. The studies conducted within this research domain cover various topics from early childhood education to higher education, spread geographically across all continents and seek to contribute to the latest scientific discourses in comparative research.The group promotes scientific thinking and acquisition of advanced research skills, and, based on the foregoing, conducts in-depth research in the field of comparative and international education.

Research Group Members

Johanna Kallo, Academy Research Fellow

Risto Rinne, Professor Emeritus

Elizabeth Eta, PhD

Gabriel Ezechukwu, Doctoral Candidate

Kalypso Filippou, PhD

Sevcan Hakyemez-Paul, PhD

Suvi Jokila, PhD

Hannu Simola, Professor Emeritus

Olli Suominen,PhD

Xingguo Zhou, PhD

Fazal Rizvi, Visiting Professor

Adrita Ghosh, Doctoral Candidate

Larimatti Teelmäki, Doctoral Candidate

Educational Policy, Equality and Justice

CELE Research Group for Educational Policy, Equality and Justice

The research group of educational policy, equality and justice at CELE promotes a wide range of research on educational policy, politics, governance, educational systems, equality and justice in education, and the educational trajectories of young people. The research group’s main focus is on internationally comparative and cross-disciplinary perspectives. The group brings together CELE researchers who are in different career stages and possess a broad range of methodological expertise.

The members of the group are active in applying research funding that it uses to conduct its projects and promote international mobility. The group promotes the writing of doctoral theses, publishing, postdoctoral careers, and disseminates its research results both inside and outside academia. The members of the group collaborate with various national and international research projects as well as with education policy makers and other educational stakeholders.

This research group is currently host to two international research projects that are funded by the Academy of Finland for 2017–2021:

  • Education Systems, Learning and Social Change: A Comparative Longitudinal Study on Young People’s Educational Trajectories and Learning of the 21st Century Skills in Europe, Australia, South America and North America (EduSys). PI: Professor Tero Järvinen.
  • Hollowing Out of Public Education Systems? Private Actors in Compulsory Schooling in Finland, Sweden and New Zealand (HOPES). PI: Professor Piia Seppänen.

Research Group Members

Tero Järvinen, Professor

Piia Seppänen, Professor

Anna-Kaisa Berisha, Doctoral Candidate

Taina Heinonen, Doctoral Candidate

Kaspian Herrala, Doctoral Candidate

Suvi Jokila, Postdoctoral Researcher

Iida Kiesi, Doctoral Candidate

Sonia Lempinen, University Teacher

Katariina Löfblom, University Teacher

Aino Nevalainen, Doctoral Candidate

Anna-Maija Niemi, University Research Fellow

Nina Nivanaho, Doctoral Candidate

Elina Nikula, Doctoral Candidate

Terhi Pasu, Project Researcher, Doctoral Candidate

Jenni Tikkanen, Postdoctoral Researcher

Markku Vanttaja, University Research Fellow

Lisbeth Lundahl, Visiting Professor

Fazal Rizvi, Visiting Professor

Linda Rönnberg, Senior Researcher

Heli Tirri, Doctoral Candidate


University and Higher Education

CELE Research Group for University and Higher Education

The research group gathers together researchers who are interested in higher education in the societal, political and cultural context from national and international perspective. HE in its different forms and levels is examined in the context of global and national higher education policy and politics as well as in the context of transformations and organisational change of HE institutions. Theoretically the research relies on the policy studies, socio-historical and sociocultural research traditions as well as practice theory. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are applied versatilely. The main research fields cover 1) HE policy and governance, 2) Academic work, 3) Access and widening the participation in HE, 4) Student engagement and agency, 5) Graduate employability and labour market trajectories.

The group promotes doctoral thesis writing, publishing, postdoctoral careers and disseminates research results.

The research group is host to one research project (HighEmploy) funded by the Academy of Finland for 2018–2022 and one sub development project (TRY) funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland for 2018–2020

  • Higher Education Graduates' Employability and Social Positioning in the Labour Market (HighEmploy). PI: Associate Professor Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret
  • Alternative Paths to University (TRY). PI: Professor Arto Jauhiainen. Project manager: Postdoctoral Researcher Nina Haltia.

Research Group Members

Arto Jauhiainen, Professor

Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret, Professor

Annukka Jauhiainen, Lecturer

Hanna Laalo, PhD

Raakel Plamper, Doctoral Candidate

Hanna Nori, University Research Fellow

Marja Peura, Doctoral Candidate

Kristiina Ojala, Postdoctoral Researcher

Mikko Aro, Postdoctoral Researcher

Yoojin Kim, Doctoral Candidate

Mervi Lahtomaa, Project Researcher


Adult Education, Lifelong Learning and Working Life

CELE Research Group for Adult Life

Researchers related to CELE have been conducting adult education research since the 1980s with historical and registry data, as well as survey methods. The subject of research on Adult Education, Lifelong Learning and Working Life (Adult Life -research group) within CELE is understood broadly, with approaches derived from of historical, sociological and education policy research. The focus is not only in adult education and learning. Today, adult life – especially related to knowledge and skills, thinking and behavior of citizens’ – is subject to a wide range of expectations, demands and influence attempts. Knowledge, skills and attitudes required from the citizen as an employee, consumer and political actor, as well as a member of the family and many other communities, are constantly changing. The Adult Life research group approaches these changing and often conflicting demands and lifelong learning from various perspectives. On the one hand, learning and training opportunities and needs for citizens living in different social classes and in different socio-cultural conditions are being studied. On the other hand, lifelong learning and lifelong learning policies are analysed with tools of governmental analytics, whereby lifelong learning, with its demands, is approached as governing of the population and individual subjects, as governing of thinking and action. The Adult Life research group is actively following the policies of lifelong learning at both national and international levels.

Research Group Members

Heikki Silvennoinen, Professor

Nina Haltia, Postdoctoral Researcher

Heikki Kinnari, PhD

Hanna Laalo, PhD

Anne Laiho, University Lecturer

Outi Lietzén, Doctoral Candidate

Tiina Tuijula, University Lecturer

Anna Eskola, Doctoral Candidate

Eeva Hörkkö, Doctoral Candidate

Susan Porkka, Doctoral Candidate

Mari Sundström, Doctoral Candidate

Heli Tirri, Doctoral Candidate

Elina Uusitalo, Doctoral Candidate

Inclusive and Special Education

Inclusive and Special Education

Inclusive and special education studies focus on individual, community and societal levels. We acknowledge the importance to see need of support in wider context but not forgetting the individual factors. The research in this group varies from disability studies to immigrant studies, from medical model to social model and from early childhood to adulthood. We have both cross-sectional, longitudinal and intervention studies. Both quantitative and qualitative paradigms are represented.

Main research themes are as follows:

  • Special education and inclusive school reform – values, policy and implementation in school level
  • Social and emotional difficulties / challenging behavior
  • Learning and learning difficulties
  • Intervention studies

Research Group Members

Minna Kyttälä, Associate Professor

Joel Kivirauma, Professor Emeritus

Marianna Heinonen, Doctoral Candidate

Heli Ketovuori, Doctoral Candidate

Paula Laakso, Doctoral Candidate

Sonia Lempinen, University Teacher

Marja-Liisa Mäkelä, PhD

Miina Orell, Doctoral Candidate

Päivi Pihlaja, Docent

Suvi Puolakka, Project Researcher

Susanna Valkama, Doctoral Candidate

Head of Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education CELE

Recent publications

Previous events

Moninaista tutkimusta erityispedagogiikassa - Diverse research in special education 10.11.2021

CELE research group Inclusive and Special Education seminar with Fulbright Scholar, Associate Professor Sean Wachsmuth, Minnesota State University, USA

9.15–9.30 Seminaarin avaus ja tutkimusryhmän esittely | apulaisprofessori Minna Kyttälä

9.30–10.30 Associate Professor Sean Wachsmuth: A Sample of American Intervention Research

10.30–11.00 Tohtorikoulutettava Marianna Heinonen: Sosiaalis-emotionaalinen tuen tarve – käsityksiä tutkimassa

11.00–11.30 Yliopistotutkija Anna-Maija Niemi: Erityisopetuksen ja erityisen tuen tarpeen merkitykset koulutuselämänkulun kerronnassa

11.30–12.00 Yliopistonlehtori Minna Saarinen: Itsenäisesti vai kavereiden perässä? Vertaissuhteet ja maahanmuuttotausta koulutusvalinnoissa

12.00–12.15 Tilaisuuden päätös

Can education help us to build peaceful, just, and sustainable futures for all, 2nd Dec

The programme of the webinar - plain text below.


Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education CELE, University of Turku, will organise 2nd December a discussion of UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative report.

December 2, at 2–4 p.m. (EET) at the online-webinar

UNESCO will launch its long-awaited report 'Reimagining our futures together: a new social contract for education?' on 10th of November 2021. The UNESCO report asks us to rethink the ways in which knowledge, education and learning have the potential to address some of the most serious challenges we face in an increasingly complex, uncertain and fragile world. It expresses great confidence in education’s capacity to address issues of social fragmentation, strains to natural ecosystems, and threats to peaceful coexistence across cultural divides. While acknowledging that recent technological developments can enhance human welfare, the report also notes that these developments pose serious ethical concerns and challenges for governance. It invites us to reimagine a future in which a new social contract is negotiated,that puts education at the heart of our attempts to build peaceful, just, and sustainable futures for all.

How realistic is this agenda for transformation and how should we approach the work that needs to be done to realize the report’s bold aspirations?

You are most welcome to join a discussion of the challenges for education posed by this report, led by an international panel of experts:

Dr. Noah Sobe Senior Project Manager, UNESCO Futures of Education Initiative

Emeritus Professor and Visiting Professor Fazal Rizvi (University of Melbourne, University of Turku)

Professor Kristiina Brunila (University of Helsinki)

Academy Research Fellow Johanna Kallo (Academy of Finland, University of Turku).

Chair: Professor Piia Seppänen Director of Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education CELE (University of Turku)


2 p.m. Event commences online
Dr. Noah Sobe: Introduction to the UNESCO report
Comments from Professor Fazal Rizvi, Professor Kristiina Brunila and
Academy Research Fellow Johanna Kallo

3:10 p.m.
Questions from audience

4 p.m.
Event concludes

CELE’s 20th Anniversary 3rd December 2021 3rd Dec, 2021

Anniversary of Cele, invitation. all text below as plain text.

3rd December at Educarium EDU 3 (Assistentinkatu 5)

10–11 My CELE friends: Get to know your colleagues
- explore the halls of 3rd Educarium and learn something new about your "CELE friends" by visiting
their doors | Ystäväkirjat ovilla
Open doors at CELE library & meeting room

12.00 Opening | Director of CELE, Professor Piia Seppänen

12.15 Lecture: Risk Society and Prospects of Lifelong Learning | Visiting Professor Fazal Rizvi (join online)

13.45 Professor talk: Koulutuskilvoittelu tasa-arvon haasteena – Positional competition is a challenge for egalitarian education | Professor Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret

14.00 Coffee

14.30 Book projects with national and international collaborators of CELE - Introducing three edited book projects (join online)

 14.30–15.00 Fazal Rizvi, Bob Lingard and Risto Rinne (eds.) 2022: Reimagining globalization and education policy (Routledge)

15.00–15.30 Martin Thrupp, Piia Seppänen, Jaakko Kauko and Sonja Kosunen (eds.) 2022: Finland’s Famous Education System - Unvarnished insights into Finnish schooling (Springer)

15.30–16.00 Päivi Siivonen, Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret, Michael Tomlinson, Maija Korhonen, Nina Haltia and Katri Komulainen (eds.) tba: Rethinking graduate employability in context. Discourse, policy and practice (negotiation Palgrave Macmillan)

16.00–16.15 Closing