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Rationale of and background to the project

INSTALL promotes inclusive education, equity and social cohesion while preventing university drop-out of students with educational disadvantages (disadvantaged students) caused by personal, social, cultural or economic circumstances, who need support to fulfil their educational potential - Recommendation EU Parliament & Council on Key Competences for LL(2006/962) - hence exposed to social exclusion, academic underachievement and university dropout. Disadvantaged students are an increasingly important phenomenon in EU calling for more flexible tertiary education system able to promptly respond to their specific needs.

INSTALL targets directly the group of disadvantaged students enrolled in the first year of university, as the first year is crucial for drop-out and underachievement phenomena. Reportedly, 20 to 45% of European students are non-traditional learners (Eurostudent III 2005-08,Social & Economic Conditions of StudentLife in EU, Higher Education Information System). This is confirmedby results of thorough research carried out by partners: approximately 25 to35% of their respective academic population are underachievers exposed, to various degrees, to long term patterns of social and educational exclusion.

The EU stresses the need to address the specific dynamics of such groups and revamp educational models and institutions accordingly. The 2010 joint progress report of Council and Commission on implementation of "Education &Training Work Programme" calls for the need to develop and implement innovative approaches to teaching and learning (2010/C,117/1). The Report highlights the need for "more efforts to support acquisition of key competences for those at risk of educational underachievement and social exclusion". Council Conclusions of May 2010 on social dimension of education and training, calls for the "promotion of specific programmes for [...] non-traditional learners".

In this context, INSTALL timely addresses those students' capacity constraints to consolidate L2L competence and prevent underperformance and social exclusion. INSTALL builds on consolidated research and operational cooperation in this area of some project partners who have investigated the field to identify key constraints and issues as well as potential solutions.