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Throughout our lifetime, each of us is part of a variety of social relations and communities all characterised by processes of inclusion and exclusion. This is a fundamental condition of human relationships, but in education and pedagogical practice it is a complex of problems in itself as pedagogy particularly concerns working with the possibilities of participation, development, learning and Bildung in and within communities.

In the context of education and pedagogy, inclusion is concerned with reducing barriers to participation in communities, reducing exclusion and creating a framework that allows equal access to and opportunities for learning and well-being.

With UCN's research in inclusion and exclusion in education and pedagogy, we intend to create a significant national research centre that concerns schools, early childcare education, teaching and pedagogy in a broad sense. It is our mission to make our research meaningful, impact-oriented and valuable to both scientific communities, children, young people and adults, professional practitioners and to policy makers and other stakeholders.



In cooperation with partners in Denmark, France and Italy, this project aims to develop digital tools that contribute to increased retention at the early stages of vocational/technical education, helping students commencing studies as well as reducing drop-out rates. We know that vocational/technical schools in Denmark, France and Italy see high drop-out rates around the start of studies, which is a significant problem. The primary purpose of this project is to develop an innovative digital toolkit that focuses on the perspective of young students. The project is funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ programme.



An increasing number of students in Danish schools receive special education where leisure-time activities also take place in a special educational setting. However, we know very little about the characteristics of good leisure-time pedagogy within the context of special education. Through a mixed-methods research design, our project will create practice-related knowledge regarding the foundations of good leisure-time pedagogy in special-education settings. This project is funded by the Danish Union of Early Childhood and Youth Educators research fund.

See all projects, publications and researchers


We focus on research activities in close collaboration with schools and other institutions and participate in both regional, national and international projects.


The work in the research centre results in a number of publications each year. Most are available for download.


The research centre has a number of active researchers with a deep and broad insight into inclusion and exclusion in educational practice.

Thomas Engsig talks about his research

Thomas Engsig is a research manager at UCN and researches in primary schools, including especially inclusion, vulnerability and inequality of opportunity.


Thomas Thyrring Engsig

Research Manager

Jeanette Schade Leth

Research Coordinator