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 internationally renowned research centre and the leading institution in Finland for lifelong learning, educational policy and international comparative educational research.

      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

      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.

      Aamupäiväseminaari järjestetään etäseminaarina/ Join Zoom Meeting: https://utu.zoom.us/j/69125289759

      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

      Mira Kalalahti, Collegium Researcher

      Sonia Lempinen, University Teacher

      Katariina Löfblom, University Teacher

      Marja-Liisa Mäkelä, PhD

      Aino Nevalainen, Doctoral Candidate

      Elina Nikula, Doctoral Candidate

      Terhi Pasu, Doctoral Candidate

      Jenni Tikkanen, Postdoctoral Researcher

      Markku Vanttaja, University Research Fellow

      Junghyun Yoon, PhD

      Lisbeth Lundahl, Visiting Professor

      Fazal Rizvi, Visiting Professor

      Linda Rönnberg, Senior Researcher

      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

      Board of CELE (to be nominated)

      Members of the board of the Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education CELE

      Professor Joel Kivirauma, chairman (Department of Education)
      Professor Veli-Matti Ritakallio, vice-chairman (Department of Social Research)
      Professor Kari Teräs (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere)
      Professor Anne Kumpula (Faculty of Law)
      Professor Piia Seppänen (Director of CELE, Department of Education)
      Professor Risto Rinne (Department of Education)

      Deputy member

      Senior Researcher Juhani Tähtinen (Department of Education)


      Planning officer Jaakko Kuha (Research development)

      Recent publications