Photo of Erik Nylander

Erik Nylander

Senior Associate Professor

Educational research should address learners throughout their lifespan and within a
context. My research focuses on institutions catering to diverse segments of
the adult population like folk high schools, higher vocational education and

Currently, I am involved in two research projects funded by the Swedish National Research Council: one focusing on folk high schools and another on higher vocational education (Yrkeshögskolan). 

Through a 6-year consolidation grant entitled “The Folk high School as Mirrors of Society” I study the annual reports and program descriptions of Swedish folk high schools 1868-2019 using both large-scale text analysis and visual data such as imagery and photos. This project involves digitalizing archival data on folk high schools and setting up an open access repository to facilitate knowledge development using computational approaches and sharing the database with a wider community of scholars and teachers. The research project on higher vocational education - Right competence at the right time - but for whom?- is a mixed-method approach in which the trajectories of students within post-compulsory vocational education is analyzed using both extensive registry data and interviews with a wide array of participants.

Prior to this, I have been contributing to the understanding of educational research using bibliometric approaches. I was awarded the The Wallenberg Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2019 and has been working in the National Institute of Education at the Nanyang Technological University, comparing educational research in Singapore and Sweden. In collaboration with Rebecca Ye (Stockholm University) I have been studying Singaporean governmental scholars and the transnational dimensions of elite education. Bibliometric approaches have also been central in a collaboration with Andreas Fejes (Linköping University) in which the research field of lifelong learning and adult education has been mapped out and explored.

In 2023 I will publish a co-authored book with Henrik Fürst at Stockholm University entitled “The Value of Art Education: Cultural Engagements at the Swedish Folk High Schools” where art education such as music, creative writing and plastic arts are explored from the theoretical vantage point of pragmatic sociology. Furthermore, I am a member of the external expert committee for evaluations at The Swedish National Council of Adult Education and supervise PhD-students with research interests pertaining to adult education, non-formal learning and higher education.



Henrik Fürst, Erik Nylander (2023) The Value of Art Education: Cultural Engagements at the Swedish Folk High Schools


Erik Nylander, Andreas Fejes (2022) Lifelong Learning Research: The Themes of the Territory Third International Handbook of Lifelong Learning: Springer International Handbooks of Education. Continue to DOI
Erik Nylander, Daniel Holmer (2022) The latent structure of educational offerings: Tracing topics from folk high school catalogues through large-scale content analyses Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung, Vol. 45, p. 295-319 Continue to DOI
Erik Nylander, Jason Tan (2022) Typifying educational research in Singapore and Sweden: a comparative bibliometric approach based on topics 2000-2020 International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, Vol. 24, p. 125-143 Continue to DOI
Rebecca Ye, Margarita Chudnovskaya, Erik Nylander (2022) Right Competence at the Right Time - but for Whom? Social Recruitment of Participants in an Expanding Higher Vocational Education Segment in Sweden (2005-2019) Adult Education Quarterly, Vol. 72, p. 380-400, Article 07417136221080423 Continue to DOI

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Institutional affiliations:
Mimer, National program for popular educational research – Linköping University 
Sociology of Education and Culture (SEC), University of Uppsala
Institute of Education (IOE), University college of London. 


2009-2014: Founding Editor of Confero: Essays on Education, Philosophy and Politics
2014 -> Reviewer American Journal of Cultural Sociology, RELA