Professor Heike Solga is Director of the research unit ‘Skill Formation and Labor Markets’ at the prestigious WZB – Berlin Social Science Center. She is also 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 labour market outcomes, social mobility and career trajectories. She is currently also leading a project on education inequality around university admissions in Germany.
Hosted at Bath by Professor Hugh Lauder in the Department of Education and Professor Lynn Prince Cooke in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences, Professor Solga’s Global Chair builds on existing links with WZB, where Professor Cooke is currently a Research Fellow.
Her scholarship speaks closely to the ethos and ambitions of social science research at Bath and echoes our University-wide priorities around widening participation. Her Global Chair will not only create new collaborative research across the Departments of Education and Social & Policy Sciences, and the Institute for Policy Research, but will also provide new training opportunities for our doctoral students and early-career researchers, including in quantitative, experimental and interdisciplinary education research design.
Professor Lauder and Professor Cooke said:
Professor Solga is director of one of the genuinely leading research units in education and social policy in Europe. She is an outstanding scholar, who is internationally recognised for her commitment to interdisciplinarity, and engagement with the worlds of policy and practice. We are very excited to host Professor Solga as a Global Chair at Bath, which will provide an invaluable platform for our University’s high-profile research in social justice, education policy, and widening participation. 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.
Activities at Bath
Professor Solga was appointed a Global Chair in 2020/2021.
- Due to Covid travel restrictions, our recent Global Chairs have engaged with the University through a number of virtual events and network-building activities. Their appointments will continue into the academic year 2021-22 to enable these links to expand further.
Since her appointment, Professor Solga has:
Delivered a public lecture on COVID-19 and the digital transformation of work: A problem for the German apprenticeship system? (28 January 2021).
- The lecture discussed 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 explored 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 in post general schooling.
Engaged with the Department for Development and Alumni Relations and our student community to provide expert feedback on the University's Widening Participation initiatives and Gold Scholarship Scheme.