Fields of research

The Island Research

Our research series (begun in 1997) is a unique example of youth research in Europe. It has become the basis of a new, international school of sociology. Nowadays, the research sample covers tens of thousands of people, which gives us a massive database - and it enables experts to follow changes (from 1997 up to now) in the conditions of the young middle class (family, education and consumer status, orientation of values, life planning, cultural and political behavioural patterns). This research has given a job to hundreds of university students and there is an almost unfathomable database ready to be analysed by talented young sociologists. Another peculiarity of the research is that it can be collated with other huge nationwide surveys. It draws the attention of the press in a never-before-seen way, too, and a keen press gives us an opportunity to undertrake PR activities. We have published a book dealing with the matter and have prepared some learning material for sociology and communication students also.

Higher Education Research

The Ministry of Education commissioned us (in 2002) to do some representative nationwide research in cooperation with the late Research Institute of Education on college and university freshmen, which sought to reveal their social backgrounds, living circumstances, orientation of values and political behavioural patterns.

Students’ Rights
The Ministry of Education commissioned us (in 2003) to do research, in cooperation with the late Research Institute of Education, the Research Institute of Sociology and the National Research Institute of Youth, on the rights of college and university students. Its aim was to reveal how students could sense that they had certain rights, what kind of claims they raised and whether these claims were fulfilled or not by institutions or within their environment. The research involved 64 higher educational institutes, and 1500 persons were questioned.

The Media Consuming Habits of University and College Students
This research started in 2004, and we introduced a new methodology for it, because we used the Internet to gather data quickly besides making use of live dialogues, which maintained reliability. The questionnaires were filled in via the Internet. We investigated the media consuming habits of university and college students and the effects of the media on the lifestyles of students. We tried to reveal features within their consumption habits, preferences and their attitudes towards different consumer goods. In 2005, we introduced a new topic: students’ conditions of health and their attitude towards healthy ways of life.

Consumer Protection
This research (in 2006) was connected to action-based research termed ’Consumer Protection in Higher Education’. Its main goal was to organise consumer protection training and to help us build conscious consumer behavioural patterns in line with EU guidelines. Our research covered the following: the knowledge of students concerning consumer protection, and consumer attitudes. We separated three groups of students here: students questioned before the training, students questioned after the training, and a group of outsiders.

Graduates – University of Szeged
We undertook this research (in 2006) on the labour-market expectations of graduates and on possible ways of entering it. We wanted to get a picture of how students enter the labour market, what they think about their opportunities and what kind of personal features they find necessary to get a job. Students who were willing to cooperate (351 persons altogether) had to fill in an on-line questionnaire; and we made a comparison between faculties. We put an emphasis on intentions to work abroad and we wanted to find links between origin and the labour market/job expectations. And it turns out that students with different social background do have different strategies.

Local Surveys

Youth Research in Győr-Moson-Sopron County
We surveyed 15-29-year-old youths (N=1000) of Győr-Moson-Sopron county in 2001. It was based on the theory of youth epoch changing. We investigated persons’ educational careers, labour market experiences, leisure activities, consumption habits, life events and values (and the results of this research have been published in book form.)

The Condition of Youth in the South Great Plain
This regional survey (in Bács-Kiskun, Békés and Csongrád counties) was carried out in 2005. We used the data of the Youth 2000 and 2004 surveys. The world of youth civil organisations (their work, their connections and possibilities) were looked at, and we questioned local councils in August 2005 to get a picture of local youth policy conditions (N=235). Our further aim was to identify the most notable problems, principles, opinions and ideas involved - so we added a SWOT-analysis, assisted by 50 local professionals (local council officials, youth officials, members of the Drug Forum, leisure activity organisers, researchers), to the survey. The research was commissioned by Mobilitás and helped in the formulation of the Regional Operative program. The results of the survey have been published in a book, too.

EIKKA – New Directions in Youth Research

HVG Degree 2006
We helped edit a special issue of by the most prestigious political-social weekly newspaper of Hungary, HVG. Its topic was the introduction of a new higher-education system based on the Bologna process, in 2006. We surveyed the structure of the the new higher education system, the forms majoring in faculties, and we additionally made a ranking of Hungarian universities and colleges; the basis of this ranking was the academic degree(s) had by lecturers, teacher-student proportions, how many languages lecturers can speak, and how many publications they have. We took infrastructural background (e.g. the number of computers) and student achievements (e.g. how many languages they can speak) into consideration too. In addition, the labour-market status of specific diplomas were looked at. This special issue of HVG has been the first Hungarian publication having a higher education ranking.

Consumption Habits of Visitors to the Budapest Theme Park
This research (started in 2006) is the odd one out in the history of the foundation, as it is about marketing. The Budapest Theme Park commissioned us to make a survey of ways of entertainment for their visitors. We questioned 1000 visitors on the spot. Proportions of different consumer groups (young people, families, school groups), and their playing/entertainment habits and needs, were identified. And, as a result of our survey the management of the Theme Park has changed some parts of their business policy.