Urban Big Data Centre - Phase 2

In a second phase from 2019-2024 UBDC is supported via transition centre funding from the ESRC.  The programme of work within Education, Skills and Productivity examines place-based inequalities, and those that derive from characteristics such as social class, gender, ethnicity and religious affiliation at Secondary School, Further Education, and Higher Education levels, and how they affect educational attainment, progression to employment, and lifelong learning.

This work extends UBDC’s work on educational disadvantage and place from phase one, undertaking a broader examination of how urban educational systems shape attainment, skills development and productivity into employment, as well as how the home and educational environments combine within an urban setting to shape educational attainment.

We seek to produce new knowledge on attainment gaps and key transitions in school, FE and HE student attainment and skilled employment with a place-based (neighbourhood and deprivation) emphasis, using data for widespread applications within educational policy at national and local levels. For instance, we seek to cast new light on the relatively neglected area of educational trajectories within FE, and the extent to which these contribute to filling regional skills gaps in key sectors such as engineering and construction.

We capitalise on the extensive data collections compiled on educational attainment and trajectories, linked to spatially referenced administrative datasets in order to examine policy-relevant questions. Our data not only yields more nuanced findings about current, active research aspects of educational disadvantage and place (e.g., the influence of neighbourhood deprivation on educational attainment) but also carries out analyses that can only be effectively achieved through our big datasets (e.g., exploring causality and accounting for endogeneity, the habitual problem in the interpretation of neighbourhood-based research). More broadly, our work benefits from the networks of connections we have built with key stakeholders.

WP3 builds on the team’s expertise in theories and methodologies. It seeks to develop an interdisciplinary collaboration with education policy actors in Scotland, addressing research questions within four priority Thematic Areas:

  • Place-based Inequalities and Secondary School Attainment & Progression
  • Further Education: Fulfilling Its Purpose?
  • Inclusion in Higher Education: Learner Success in Access, Attainment, and into Skilled Employment (with a focus on non-traditional entrants)
  • Inclusive Learning Cities

PI and Co-PIs

Keith Kintrea  - University of Glasgow, School of Social & Political Sciences

Catherine Lido - University of Glasgow, School of Education

Phil Mason - University of Glasgow, School of Education

Mike Osborne - University of Glasgow, School of Education


Start and End Date

1 February 2019 – 31 January 2024


Funder and Funding Amount

ESRC - 


Related Publications

Mason, P. (2018) Educational Trajectories and Place-Based Disadvantage: Looking Deeper and Wider. Available at this link.

Kintrea, K. (2018) Disadvantage and Place in Scottish Secondary Education. CRADALL Working Paper CR&DALL WP301/2018, CR&DALL, Glasgow (UK). Available at this link.

Madgin, R. & Kintrea, K. (2019) Transforming Glasgow. London: Policy Press (in press)


Associated Websites