The value of long-term data collection for research, policy and practice
On September 29, 2021, the findings of the third Youth Report were presented. Watch the full web recording here. The event focused on the relevance of the Youth Report 2020 for research, policy and practice. The Youth Report, as well as the HBSC and YSL projects, have produced high-level publications for fundamental research. The presentation evening clearly showed that fundamental research and applied research cross-fertilize and inspire each other. The Youth Report 2020 has made an important contribution to this.
“Et ass wichteg, dass mir Donnéeën hunn”
At the presentation evening, Minister of Education Claude Meisch emphasized in his welcoming address that policymakers should rely on evidence-based analyses when shaping youth policy. A mere empathy based on one’s own childhood and youth memories is not enough to understand the life situation of young people in Luxembourg: “To make evidence-based policy-making, it is important for us to have data,” said the minister (20:06).
Likewise, Charel Schmit, Ombudsman fir Kanner a Jugendlecher (OkaJu), emphasized that he perceives the Youth Report as an irreplaceable tool in the daily life of Luxembourg’s educational and social system (1:18:16): “There is no social health without the respect, the promotion, the respect for the rights of children – one conditions the other,” the Ombudsman said. By focusing on the agency of young people, the Youth Report 2020 gives children and young people a voice, he said. This is indispensable for work in the youth field. According to Schmit, the need for youth research among practitioners is likely to almost double in the future: especially vulnerable groups of children and adolescents, for example in inpatient child and youth welfare or in family care, need to be better represented in the research landscape.
“Star moments of successful and fact-oriented cooperation”
The Youth Report is commissioned by the Ministry of Youth and written by researchers at the university. Thus, the relationship between basic research and commissioned research determined the speeches of Dean Georg Mein and Vice-Rector Jens Kreisel: “The way of cooperation, as it has been successfully developed in youth research, stands here, as it were, as a model for cooperation in all other areas,” said the Dean, who praised the cooperation with the Ministry as “great moments of successful cooperation” (11:00).
The key to this collaboration is a Comité de Pilotage, in which researchers and representatives of the ministry develop research questions in an open discourse. According to Georg Mein, although the ministry issues a research mandate to the university, the research itself always remains open-ended. Such inquiry-oriented research, however, is only possible because the University of Luxembourg has a strong and broad-based fundamental research, Jens Kreisel emphasized.
What the Youth Report is about
The Youth Report 2020 is about the subjective perspectives of young people in Luxembourg on their well-being and health. Young people – this refers to the age group of 12 to 29-year-olds. With approximately 140,000 people, this group makes up almost a quarter of the total population of Luxembourg. The Youth Report 2020 examines the actions of young people against the background of social structures.
A combination of statistical and qualitative research methods is used for this purpose. To this end, the Youth Report incorporates data collected in the cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of the Center for Childhood and Youth Research (CCY). The projects Health Behaviour of School-aged Children (HBSC) and Youth Survey Luxembourg (YSL) were presented as examples.
These studies map the situation of young people in Luxembourg reliably over the long term and with a broad range of topics. They also generate high-ranking publications for basic research on young people in Luxembourg. The presentation evening clearly showed that fundamental research and applied research cross-fertilize and inspire each other in the interaction between research, policy and practice. The central finding of the Youth Report 2020 is that young people are empowered and competent in terms of their well-being.
Overview of the presentation evening
- Concept of the Youth Report – Robin Samuel’s presentation (27:08).
- General findings and trends – Robin Samuel and Andreas Heinen (30:53).
- Starting points for policy and practice – Andreas Heinens (41:32).
- Long-term data collection using the example of the HBSC project – Andreas Heinz (47:00);
- Long-term data collection using the example of the Youth Survey Luxembourg – Caroline Residori (52:29).
- Panel discussion – Georg Mein, Jens Kreisel, Charel Schmit, Claus Vögele, Robin Samuel (1:00:45).
For the presentation of the Youth Report, Dean Prof. Georg Mein and Vice-Rector Prof. Jens Kreisel invited interested parties from research, politics and practice to the University of Luxembourg on September 29, 2021. The welcome address was held by Minister of Education Claude Meisch for the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth. T
his was followed by presentations of key research findings by Prof. Robin Samuel and Andreas Heinen, as well as by Dr. Caroline Residori and Dr. Andreas Heinz. In the final panel discussion, moderated by Prof. Georg Mein, health psychologist Prof. Dr. Claus Vögele, and Prof. Robin Samuel, as well as the Ombudsman for the Rights of Children and Adolescents (Okaju) Charel Schmit contributed.
The live recording of the event is available at youtu.be/bfUz_cmgzbU. The Youth Report 2020 can be found here at jugendbericht.lu/studie/report. Further information on our projects can be found at youth-in-luxembourg.lu/projects.