The International Relations Office is delighted to welcome 2020-2021 Bath Global Chair Professor Heike Solga for her first public lecture with the University.

A leading expert on education and labour market outcomes at WZB – Berlin Social Science Center, Professor Solga will join us to discuss Germany's apprenticeship model and its value for supporting young people's integration into the labour market.

With contributions from Dr Chiara Benassi (King’s College London) and Tony Burke (Unite the Union), the online panel will explore the impact of COVID-19 and the digital transformation of work on the future of the German dual system of vocational education and training, and its role in educational participation and inequality post general schooling.

Professor Heike Solga is Director of the research unit ‘Skill Formation and Labor Markets’ at WZB as well as a Professor in Sociology at FU Berlin. She is one of the world’s foremost and innovative researchers into ‘marginalised’ educational populations and educational disadvantage, with a particular interest in vocational training and its impact on social mobility and career trajectories. She is currently also leading a project on education inequality around university admissions in Germany.

Her Global Chair is hosted at Bath by Professor Hugh Lauder and Professor Lynn Prince Cooke, who are organising the lecture with the Institute for Policy Research and the Departments of Education and Social & Policy Sciences.

Professor Solga's scholarship speaks closely to the ethos and ambitions of our research at Bath. Her Global Chair will instigate new interdisciplinary research projects and will offer new training opportunities for our doctoral students and early-career researchers in experimental research design. The appointment will not only strengthen our University's prominent profile in education and policy research but will also inspire and enhance our own institutional practices to widen education access and participation.

Professor Lauder and Professor Cooke commented:

Professor Solga is internationally recognised for her commitment to interdisciplinarity, and engagement with the worlds of policy and practice. As we emerge from the current pandemic, the relationship between education, the labour market, and social policy is likely to lead to a major debate across Europe as to how they should be reconfigured. Professor Solga’s Global Chair and the partnership with WZB will allow us to raise further the profile of our cutting-edge scholarship in this field.

The Bath Global Chair Scheme is a flagship International Relations Office scheme for distinguished international visiting professorships. The programme supports high-profile research partnerships to build strategic networks with universities and research institutes overseas. The 2020-2021 Bath Global Chairs include two appointments for scholars leading in the field of education policy and widening participation. Complementing Professor Solga’s appointment, Professor Penny Jane Burke, Global Innovation Chair of Equity and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE) at the University of Newcastle in Australia, is joining Bath as an influential scholar and practitioner in Higher Education equity policy and practice, hosted jointly by the Department of Education and the Centre for Learning & Teaching.

All colleagues are welcome to join us for Professor Solga's Public Lecture on COVID-19 and the digital transformation of work: A problem for the German apprenticeship system?, which will take place online on Thursday 28 January at 6pm (UK time).