To what extent does the perception of educational opportunities depend on the social background of a person? Could social inequalities in education increase as a result? Since the 1960s, “Education and Space” has been a significant research perspective in educational research, which—due to demographic change—is currently gaining relevance again. However, the direct influence of supply structures on educational behavior has so far only been investigated scientifically to a limited extent. With its project “BildungsLandschaft Oberfranken (BiLO) [Educational Landscape of Upper Franconia]”, the LIfBi is closing this research gap, taking individual educational decisions throughout the entire life course into account. The results of the first scientific analysis were already published in 2018.
As of March 30, 2020, edited and documented data are now available to the scientific community in an anonymized format via so-called Scientific Use Files (SUF). “Now that our research data has been published, all interested scientists can work with it. I am very much looking forward to more exciting results on this highly relevant topic,” says Dr. Michaela Sixt. Michaela Sixt is, along with Prof. Dr. Hans-Günther Roßbach and Prof. Dr. Michael Bayer, co-applicant of BiLO, one of the largest third-party funded projects at LIfBi. She took over project management from Hans-Günther Roßbach in June 2017.
The BiLO-SUF contains anonymized data from two waves of a population survey with over 8,500 respondents and four surveys of over 650 providers in the areas of early childhood education, general and vocational schools, and cultural education. A further special feature is that the data set also contains 600 million distance measures that depict distances between places of residence and educational locations from the above-mentioned and other areas in a data protection-compliant manner (road and footpaths in kilometers and minutes).
Precondition for using BiLO data is the conclusion of a corresponding contract. Further information on the design of the study, the execution of the surveys as well as on the instruments, the data and the access options are compiled on the website.
An interactive atlas provides transparency on the educational situation in Upper Franconia
As a first result of the project, the "Atlas BildungsLandschaft Oberfranken" was published in November 2016. In cooperation with the interactive "webAtlas", which was published in Spring 2017, it creates transparency on the educational situation in the districts and independent cities of Upper Franconia. This atlas is the first comprehensive summary of relevant indicators for Upper Franconia recommended for educational monitoring. The findings on the educational situation in Upper Franconia from the perspective of both the supply and the user are available to all interested parties free of charge and visually prepared in interactive form and as PDF files.
The project “BildungsLandschaft Oberfranken (BiLO)” started in January 2014 with a duration of five years and was extended with the support of the Upper Franconian Foundation at no extra cost initially until March 2020. LIfBi is financing the completion of the work until the end of September 2020.