Program Details

How do education vouchers affect learning outcomes? What is the impact of financial aid upon higher education enrollments? Does reducing class sizes really improve student performance? Learn to make evidence-based decisions in this course.
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:

Program Overview

Program Description:

How do education vouchers affect learning outcomes? What is the impact of financial aid upon higher education enrolments? Does reducing class sizes really improve student performance? Is there a relationship between educational attainment and civic participation? How effective are school-wide reading programmes?

Policymakers around the world are increasingly making evidence-based decisions about the use of scarce resources in such fields as education. Recent advances in research methodologies and data quality have vastly increased the potential for rigorous evaluation of the causal impact of interventions. Yet doing so often remains challenging methodologically, given issues of selection and attrition in social sciences research.

Several estimation methods have been developed in recent decades to help identify causal effects in the social sciences. Applying these techniques to educational settings, this course provides you with the knowledge and empirical skills you need to identify whether interventions are effective. You gain hands-on experience of evaluating randomized controlled trials, difference-in-differences settings, regression-discontinuity designs, instrumental variables approaches and panel-data studies.
As well as interactive introductory lectures, you take part in practical lab sessions using statistical software to replicate actual results from seminal papers. In structured group discussions, you critically evaluate these results and reflect on lessons learned. Assessment is by a homework assignment testing your competence, both conceptual and analytical, with each of the research designs covered.
The course is offered by VU-ACLA, a team of researchers specializing in causal evaluations of educational interventions.

Setting Description:
With over 180 unique nationalities, Amsterdam is a melting pot of cultures and embraces different cultures, religions, and lifestyles. 165 canals criss-cross the entire city, giving it its nickname ‘Venice of the North.’ The city also features more bikes than inhabitants! With a bustling creative industry, Amsterdam offers plenty of cultural activities and events throughout the year. In Amsterdam you can benefit from the advantages of a big city with enough quiet spots to kick back and relax.
1000 EUR. The tuition fee includes: • Airport pick-up service • Welcome goodie bag • Orientation programme • Course excursions • On-site support • Emergency assistance • Transcript of records after completion of the course

Additional Program Information

Scholarships Description:
The VU Amsterdam Summer School offers ten scholarships that cover the full tuition and housing fees of one course. Information about how to apply for the scholarship will be posted on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.

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