Connecting you(th). A call for articles on overcoming divisions in society

Educational Gap

The Foundation P&V fights against social exclusion of young people. Today's society appears to be divided in two groups (of young people) living side by side. These groups seem to crystallize around education. People with a low level of education and people with a high level of education do not meet often. They do not live in the same neighbourhoods, they do not attend the same sports clubs, schools or (digital) spaces, nor do they meet at church or in the army.

Years ago, the pillarization (segregation of society) was based on political and religious beliefs, but today, according to some people, it is based on the level of education. Not only do less educated people and highly educated people rarely meet, they also have different concerns. Graduates of higher education (also young people) worry for example about the environment, (higher) education and health care. Less educated people have more concerns regarding crime, immigration and unemployment.

Although the educational gap is not a new phenomenon, some say it has worsened in recent years, and especially affects poorly educated groups who are less able to build up a “good life”. Added to this is the growing awareness of the consequences that this educational gap can have on social cohesion and on the possibility of building a society which is open to everyone.

Call for contributions

Therefore, the Foundation P&V is launching a far-reaching operation: Connected you(th). Overcoming divisions in society. This project aims, in a first stage, to gather the most recent and relevant scientific knowledge on the subject via a call for articles which are able to elucidate in a rigorous, empirical and original way (1) the great divisions in our society, especially around education, the evolution of these divisions, the causes of this evolution, and their consequences; (2) emerging meeting spaces and people who can form a "bridge" between different groups of youngsters; (3) "good practices" that succeed in breaking down the divisions among young people.

Selection Process

The articles were first reviewed by three readers with great expertise in the subject. In a second step, the presidents of the P&V Foundation selected 5 winning articles from the best-ranked articles in the first round, each of which received a prize of 2,000 euros. 


The laureates will be invited to comment on their work and to enter into a debate with scientists, experts, actors from the field and involved politicians. The conclusions of these articles and debates will serve as a guideline for the continuation of this multi-year project. 


  • Paper 1: "Geographical inequalities in educational credentials, 1961-2011" written by Raf Vanderstraeten and Frederik Van der Gucht - UGent
  • Paper 2: "Education and selective mobility: How parental and ethnic background assort the relocations of young Brussels adults" written by Lena Imeraj and Sylvie Gadeyne - VUB
  • Paper 3: "Worlds apart? An empirical assessment of education as a social boundary among young people in Flanders" written by Bram Spruyt and Filip Van Droogenbroeck- VUB
  • Paper 4: "Building bridges in and with youth work. Connecting with vulnerable youngsters" written by Nathalie Van Ceulebroeck, Els De Ceuster and Britt Dehertogh- AP University Antwerp 
  • Paper 5: "Local community lifelong learning centres and supports as spatial relational systems: Changing diametric spaces of exclusion towards concentric spaces of inclusion for a spatial-ecological systems science" written by Paul Downes - Dublin City University 

Download the abstracts   


The Erasmus+ program aims to support actions in the fields of education, training, youth and sport for the period 2021-2027. It helps organizations to work in international partnerships and to exchange innovative practices. 



As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, access to education is more essential than ever for a speedy recovery, promoting equal opportunities for all. As part of this recovery process, the Erasmus+ program is taking its inclusive dimension to a new level by promoting personal, socio-educational and professional development opportunities in Europe and beyond, with the aim of leaving no one behind. Supporting and facilitating transnational and international cooperation between education, training, youth and sport organizations is crucial to empower citizens with key competences, combat early school leaving and enable the recognition of competences generated through formal, informal and non-formal learning are acquired. This cooperation facilitates the dissemination of ideas, the transfer of good practices and expertise, and digital capacity building, thus contributing to high-quality education and strengthening social cohesion.

The KEEP project

The P&V Foundation participates in a consortium of 6 institutions coordinated by France Education International from 4 countries (France, Belgium, Poland and Greece) in the framework of an Erasmus+ project. The title of the two-year project is: "Key Engaging Educational Practices used by secondary school teachers to keep connected with their students following the COVID-19 pandemic" (KEEP).


The aim of KEEP is to share the good practices applied by secondary school teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain contact with students and reduce the risk of early school leaving.
The P&V Foundation is charged with Objective 1 - "Situational review", with the aim of providing an overview of the evolution and impact of education policy and digital strategy in the four partner countries since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to identify the factors and obstacles to effective distance learning for all.
The work will conclude with a European good practice report on innovative methodologies used by teachers to keep in touch with learners also from a distance, in the fight against early school leaving and in a context of digital divide.



  • CIEP France (France Education International)
  • University of Paris France
  • Panepistimio Patron Greece
  • Instytut Badan Edukacyjnych Poland
  • GIP Formation tout au long de la vie France
  • P&V Foundation. 


Unfortunately, our newsletters are published only in Dutch and French.


Please excuse us.


Do we still meet or do we live mostly in our own bubbles? In recent years, we have seen a growing gap in society, especially depending on the level and type of education. We don't live in the same neighborhoods, we don't go to the same sports clubs or schools, we don't meet in the same places, and our priorities and interests are different.

All of this has negative consequences for social cohesion and the possibility of building a society in which everyone can find themselves. According to some, the current coronavirus crisis threatens this polarization. The crisis can accentuate the divisions between groups. It is therefore important, in the post-Corona era, to work on these cleavages and contribute to bridge the gaps in society.

During the coronavirus crisis, the personal growth and identity development of young people was also put under pressure. Indeed, one of the negative consequences of confinement and online education has been the reduction in social interaction and the increase in boredom, loneliness and mental problems among young people. Research shows that social contact and support can be important factors in resilience and recovery after a crisis.

With its new multi-year project Connecting You (th), the P&V Foundation wants to combine the need for social contacts and exchanges of young people with the societal need for diversified contacts, meetings and mutual understanding. In this way, it is possible to promote not only mental well-being, but also societal well-being and cohesion in society.

The project will consist of 2 components: a call for projects and a youth forum. 

Call for projects

The P&V Foundation launched its new call for projects ‘Connecting you (th). Overcoming social divides’in 2021. For more information contact the Foundation's team: Saskia De Groof and Dunia Oumazza  

Youth Forum

As part of its new Connecting You(th) call for projects, the P&V Foundation initiates a youth forum, so as to offer twenty young people aged 16 to 23 the opportunity to gain experience in active citizenship. 


  • The youngsters are between 16 and 23 years old and the group will be composed in the most diverse way possible. 
  • The forum began with an opening weekend in October 2021 and will end in May 2023.
  • During this period, the young people meet physically four times and organize several digital meetings. They sit on the jury for our call for projects, also carry out project visits and actively participate in the project's closing event.

Weekend (1) :From 22 to 24 October 2021

Many speakers came to present tools to young people. A total of 2 working days and sessions on citizenship, the future of young people, the entrepreneurial spirit ... 

The objective of the first meeting was to forge links, to get to know each other and to learn to debate in a benevolent environment. Through the visualization and facilitation of Visuality, the young people shared ideas in an informal atmosphere. They had the opportunity to meet academics, social entrepreneurs and coaches. All the sessions aimed to provide them with tools to debate and make decisions. They are now ready to actively participate as a jury in the Connecting Youth call for projects.

Discover the program of the first weekend here.

Weekend (2) :From 11 to 13 february2022

The youth forum met again for the final selection phase of the call for projects.

After a first selection, the P&V Foundation invited representatives of the most promising projects to an “Expert Day” in Brussels. The teams were able to present and defend their projects at the Youth Forum. Subsequently, the forum selected the fourteen winners from among 84 project proposals, seven Dutch-speaking and seven French-speaking. They receive funding between 5,000 and 25,000 euros depending on the requested budget.

Discover the program of the second weekend here.

More information: You can download the informative document available in French and Dutch or contact the Foundation's team: Saskia De Groof and Dunia Oumazza  


The P&V Foundation announces the results of the Connecting You(th) call for projects

14 organizations will work to facilitate mutual encounters and overcome social divisions between young people through projects of inclusion, education, promotion of entrepreneurship or citizenship, culture, media and sport.

Discover the list of supported organizations. ( available in french and dutch)


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