Taideteoksesta heijastuu Educariumin ja Publicumin rakennukset.

Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education CELE

CELE - Home of international and multidisciplinary research on lifelong learning and education

The name of CELE as an emblem.

Building on its work over the past two decades, the Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education CELE maps the major and emerging transformations that are reshaping societies in order to explore their implications for current and future education.  Committed to the principles of inclusivity and equality, CELE houses research projects designed to understand how global and social forces shape educational policy and practice at the national and local levels.

Research Themes that define the scope of CELE’s work include:

  • Policy and Governance of Education
  • Equality, Inclusivity, Sustainability and Social Justice in Education
  • Transitions, Trajectories and Lifelong Learning
  • Global and Social Transformations in relation to Education

Research approaches:

Sosiology of education, comparative education, education policy studies, higher education, adult education, special education, youth studies, gender studies and history of education.

Our Research Groups

Comparative and International Education

Comparative and International Education Research Group

The emphasis of the work of the Comparative and International Education Research Group 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

Group leader:

Johanna Kallo, Academy Research Fellow


Risto Rinne, Professor Emeritus

Fazal Rizvi, Visiting Professor

Gabriel Ezechukwu, Doctoral Researcher

Osku Haapasaari, Project Researcher

Suvi Jokila, Postdoctoral Researcher

Adrita Ghosh, Doctoral Researcher

Linda Hamoonga, Doctoral Researcher

Xingguo Zhou, Senior Researcher

Yoojin Kim, Doctoral Researcher

Larimatti Pynnönen, Doctoral Researcher

Dissertations from the research group:

Elizabeth Eta, PhD

Kalypso Filippou, PhD

Sevcan Hakyemez-Paul, PhD

Olli Suominen, PhD

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.

Research Group Members

Group leaders:

Tero Järvinen, Professor

Piia Seppänen, Professor


Anna-Maija Niemi, University Research Fellow

Aino Nevalainen, Doctoral Researcher

Elina Nikula, Doctoral Researcher

Fazal Rizvi, Visiting Professor

Heli Tirri, Doctoral Researcher

Iida Kiesi, Doctoral Researcher

Jaakko Honkanen, Doctoral Researcher

Jenni Tikkanen, Postdoctoral Researcher

Kaspian Herrala, Doctoral Researcher

Katariina Löfblom, Senior Researcher, Doctoral Researcher

Larimatti Pynnönen, Doctoral Researcher

Mari Siipola, Project Researcher

Markku Vanttaja, University Research Fellow

Nina Nivanaho, Doctoral Researcher

Piia af Ursin, Senior Researcher, Research Coordinator

Päivi Naumanen, Senior Researcher

Sonia Lempinen, University Teacher

Suvi Jokila, Postdoctoral Researcher

Taina Heinonen, Doctoral Researcher

Terhi Pasu, Project Researcher, Doctoral Researcher

Xingguo Zhou, Senior Researcher

Higher and Adult Education

CELE Research Group for Higher and Adult Education (AHE)

The research group gathers together researchers who are interested in higher and adult education in the societal, political and cultural context. Different types, forms and levels of education is examined in the contexts of global and national education policy and societal transformations. Theoretically, the research relies on sociological, socio-historical and socio-cultural research traditions as well as policy studies. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are applied. The research involves issues of equity and social justice when possible. The main research fields cover: 1) policy and governance of HE and lifelong learning, 2) Access and widening the participation, 3) Student engagement and agency, 4) Educational pathways and career trajectories, 5) Working life research and academic work, and 6) Governmentality and the formation of ideal subjects in educational settings and wider society.

The AHE group supports doctoral thesis writing, postdoctoral careers, academic publishing and public dissemination of research results.


Current research project:

Living on the Edge: Lifelong learning, Governmentality and the Production of Neurotic Citizen (ONELLL), 2020-2024

Recently ended projects:

Changing University Institution and Equalities in Academic Work, 2021-2022

Higher Education Graduates' Employability and Social Positioning in the Labour Market (HighEmploy), 2018-2022

Alternative Paths to University (TRY), 2018-2020

Research Group Members

Group leaders:

Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret, Professor

Päivi Siivonen, Associate Professor


Arto Jauhiainen, Professor

Heikki Silvennoinen, Professor

Masroor Alam, Doctoral Researcher

Paulina Chavez Rodrigues, Doctoral Researcher

Gabriel Ezechukwu, Doctoral Researcher

Kalypso Filippou, University Lecturer

Nina Haltia, University Research Fellow

Annukka Jauhiainen, University Lecturer

Suvi Jokila, Postdoctoral Researcher

Anna Jolkkonen, Doctoral Researcher

Yoojin Kim, Doctoral Researcher

Heikki Kinnari, Senior Researcher

Meri Kotamäki, Doctoral Researcher

Hanna Laalo, Postdoctoral Researcher

Mervi Lahtomaa, Doctoral Researcher

Anne Laiho, University Lecturer

Outi Lietzén, Doctoral Researcher

Hanna Nori, University Research Fellow

Raakel Plamper, Doctoral Researcher

Sangge Qi, Doctoral Researcher

Tiina Tuijula, University Lecturer

Markku Vanttaja, University Research Fellow

Somang Yeo, Doctoral Researcher

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

Group leader:

Minna Kyttälä, Professor


Anna-Maija Niemi, University Research Fellow

Joel Kivirauma, Professor Emeritus

Minna Saarinen, University Lecturer

Marianna Heinonen, University Teacher, Doctoral Researcher

Johanna Mäki-Havulinna, University Teacher

Sonia Lempinen, University Teacher

Outi Arvola, Post-doctoral Researcher

Milla rantamäki, Project Researcher, Doctoral Researcher

Susanna Valkama, Doctoral Researcher

Paula Laakso, Doctoral Researcher

Marja Junttila, Doctoral Researcher

Laura Heimo, Doctoral Researcher

Maija Gerke, Doctoral Researcher


Collected Research topics

Examples of CELE’s Current and Aspirational research topics:

  • Regional and Within-School Inequalities
  • Pupil Selection Policies and Practices
  • Constructing Learning Outcomes in Europe
  • Privatization, Commercialization and Commodification of Education, the Work of Edu-Business
  • International Organizations and their Futures thinking, Anticipatory governance
  • Social Inequalities and Transition from School to Work
  • Student Mobilities and Internationalization of Higher Education
  • Reimagining Lifelong Learning in Risk Societies

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