Educational Research Institute (ERI) 2017-09-28T19:27:27+00:00

Educational Research Institute (ERI)

Brief description

The Educational Research Institute (ERI) was established in 1965. It is the central institution in Slovenia for research in education entailing basic research, development and applied projects on issues of current interest in all sectors of education and related areas. The ERI performs its activities in the context of the national research programme (1999–2019) as a public service. Its researchers publish scientific works presenting results of formal research undertaken at the ERI, theoretical and empirical papers helping to develop educational theory, and discussion articles on research topics. The Institute’s work is conducted by 30 experts from different educational fields and covering various research areas and methodological approaches of educational research (pedagogy, andragogy, sociology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, rhetoric and argumentation, political science). The last aspect allows the ERI to successfully apply a multidisciplinary approach and ensure that research problems and topics are tackled from different perspectives.

Partner’s role in the project

The ERI is the coordinating institution and therefore directly responsible for managing the HAND in HAND project and for leading the field trials. As a project coordinator, it is directly involved in all project activities.

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The HAND in HAND team:

Ana Kozina, project leader

She holds a PhD in Psychology and is both a researcher and the Head of the Centre for Evaluation Studies at the Educational Research Institute. Her research work examines the interplay between educational and developmental psychology, focusing on developmental trends of children and adolescents’ emotional and behavioural difficulties. She has experience in planning and running preventive programmes based on social and emotional learning and is actively involved in the international group Positive Youth Development across Europe. Currently, she is leading the HAND in HAND project and working on the research project: Neoliberalism in the European Higher Education Area: Between the Efficiency and Equity of Slovenian Education Policies and Practices (leading researcher of case study 2: Ensuring equity through developing students’ social and emotional competencies and their well-being for greater efficacy). She is an active member of the focused research group Educational Studies (2015–2020) and a member of the editorial board of Educational Research Institute Press.

Maša Vidmar

She holds a PhD in Psychology and is a researcher at the Educational Research Institute (Ljubljana, Slovenia) and a docent of psychology at the University of Maribor. Her expertise is in relational competence and relational competence measurement, where she closely cooperates with VIA university college in Denmark. She is currently involved the LLL project TITA addressing early school leaving as a scientific coordinator and leading researcher ; while she is also engaged in: Secondary analyses of international comparative assessment studies, a study about young people’s attitudes to knowledge, education, schooling, lifelong learning, conducting workshops for preschool and school teachers, and is a part-time member of Eurydice Slovenia.

Urška Štremfel

She holds a PhD in Policy Analysis and is a Doctor of Political Science (Policy Analysis). As part of her research work, she also works closely with the Centre for Political Science Research at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. She has research experience in the fields of multiculturalism, EU studies, policy analysis, educational policy, impact of international comparative assessment studies on education policy and practice, evaluation of public policies, evidence-based education, policy learning, borrowing and lesson drawing. She has management experience in various EU and national projects in the field of education (including LLL and Erasmus+ KA3 projects on EU policy innovations and experimentations).

Mojca Štraus

She holds a PhD in Educational Research and is experienced in managing and coordinating international comparative studies (OECD PISA – national project manager, IEA TIMSS, PIRLS); statistical analyses of databases and educational data; preparing the implementation design for educational research within the country, supervising the conducting of educational research; carrying out research; sampling design and supervising sampling procedures and preparing a report on the results; a lecturer at teacher trainings; a leader of research projects.


Tina Vršnik Perše

She holds a PhD in Pedagogy, is associate professor at the Faculty of Education at University of Maribor, and a researcher at the Educational Research Institute. She has extensive experience with teacher trainings, students’ (future teachers’) education and with project management and conducting research as a data manager (e.g. TALIS), a research team member in national and international projects (e.g. the TITA project (LLP KA1) – Team cooperation to fight early school leaving: Training, innovation, tools and actions) and a research coordinator (e.g. National evaluation study of teachers’ professional development in VET education programmes). Her research focuses on teachers’ professional development, students with special needs, and inclusion. She is currently working as a lecturer of general pedagogy subjects at the Faculty of Education UM, on the HAND in HAND research project, and the applied national project “Embraced by words” as the leader of an evaluation team.


Ana Mlekuž

She holds a MA in Economics and a BA in Political Science. She is a researcher at the Educational Research Institute (ERI) in Ljubljana. Her field of research is financial literacy, moreover she also manages the ERI’s public events (press conferences, scientific conferences, different roundtables and other events), she manages the ERI’s social media profiles and the ERI’s webpage. She is also the data manager for the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS 2009), data manager for the European Survey on Language Competences (ESLC 2011), while she also performs statistical analysis of data from international assessment studies. Her role in the project is to manage the national dissemination activities.


Suzana Geržina

She holds an M.Sc. in Sociology and European Social Policy Analysis and has over 20 years’ work experience in various fields of education, training and international cooperation, in both governmental and non-governmental education sectors in Slovenia and abroad. Since 2007, at the Institute she has managed various European Social Funds projects (international studies, Roma projects, evaluation projects etc.) and was responsible for the financial management of other EU (Erasmus and other) projects. Between 1997 and 2001, she was the Head of the National VET Observatory Slovenia (within the National VET Institute), which was under the umbrella of the European Training Foundation – Torino, responsible for preparing VET and labour market reports and analyses for Slovenia. In the period 2001–2006, she was engaged with the Open Society Institute, managing various OSI-related education and youth projects in South-East Europe and beyond.

Manja Veldin

She holds a BA in Psychology (thesis title: “Connection between executive functions and strategies in solving basic arithmetic tasks” – an eye-tracking study) and is a researcher at the Educational Research Institute (Ljubljana, Slovenia). She is presently also working on the project “Explaining effective and efficient problem solving of the triplet relationship in science concepts representations” and cooperating with the Centre for Psycho-diagnostic Assessment. She also participated in the study “The quality of life of patients after kidney transplantation”.