The project "Investing in Education in Europe: Attitudes, Politics and Policies", supported with a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), ran from 2013 until 2018. The aim of the project was to analyze citizens' preferences on education policy in eight European countries and how these preferences influence policy-making processes. The project therefore broadens our understanding on the interrelation of education and social policy as well as of the influence of citizens' and voters' preferences on reform processes.

The project is divided in two phases. In the first phase, we conducted a survey (fielded in 2014) focusing on individual preferences towards investments on education, the distribution of expenditure across different education sectors, and the governance of education systems.

The second phase of the project investigated to what extent and via which mechanisms citizens' preferences shape and influence the policy-making process in the domain of education.

The project addressed the following research questions: To what extent and via which mechanisms do citizens' preferences influence policy-making process? Do public attitudes play an (important) role for policy makers or is policy-making dominated by organized interests and party politics? Do we find differences in the way these preferences are picked up by political actors across countries or education sectors?

The findings from this project were published in a series of journal articles in leading outlets as well as comprehensive book publication "A loud, but noisy signal? Public opinion and education reform in Western Europe".

This project received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under the project number 311769. The total funding amounts to approximately 1.5 million euro.