Sonja Engelage, Dr.

Sonja Engelage

Specialised in the sociology of education, Dr. Sonja Engelage works with the Head of SFUVET’s R&D Division to coordinate SFUVET's national research activities in the area of vocational education and training. Her research interests include educational and career trajectories, gender and migration and comparison of the Swiss education system with those of other countries. As a university professor, she has focussed on teacher training and as a researcher, she conducts interdisciplinary, qualitative and quantitative research with a view to transferring research findings into practice.

Work experience
  • Since 2014: Senior Researcher at the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training SFUVET, Zollikofen
  • 2010 - 2014: Research Assistant at the Teacher Training Department for Lower- and Upper-Secondary Education at the University of Applied Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), Lecturer for youth pedagogy and didactics, Brugg-Windisch
  • 2009 - 2010: Lecturer of proseminars ‘Family - School – Work’ and ‘Education Statistics’, Sociology of Education Department, Prof. Dr. Rolf Becker, Institute of Educational Science, University of Bern
  • 2006 - 2008: Lead researcher for SNSF-funded project ‘PhD and Careers. Education and career trajectories of PhD holders in Switzerland’.
  • 2005 - 2006: preparation and submission of grant application to the SNSF (total requested grant: CHF 200,000.-)
  • 2004 - 2010: Research Assistant, Sociology of Education Department, Prof. Dr. Rolf Becker, Institute of Educational Science, University of Bern
  • 1999 - 2002: Freelance journalist, TeleBielingue, Biel
  • 2013 - 2014: Certificate of Advanced Studies in diversity and gender equality - Joint continuing education programme of the FHNW, Humboldt University of Berlin, ZHAW
  • 2010: Dr. phil., title of thesis: ‘Promotion und Karriere - Bildungs- und Berufskarrieren promovierter Akademikerinnen und Akademiker in der Schweiz’, University of Bern (summa cum laude)
  • 2004 - 2007: Certificate of Advanced Studies in higher education didactics, University of Bern
  • 1998 - 2003: Lic. phil., Studies in Educational Science (Education Psychology and General Pedagogy) and Media Studies, University of Bern, Title of essay: Studien- und Berufswahlmotive angehender Lehrkräfte im Bereich Kindergarten und untere Primarstufe.
  • 1998: Vordiplom Pädagogik, minor subject psychology, University of Mainz
  • 1994: University entrance qualification: Abitur, Carl-von-Ossietzky-Schule, Wiesbaden
Teaching experience
  • Seminar ‘Gender in Education - Gender disparities in family, school, work’
  • Proseminar ‘Family - School - Work. HarmoS as an illustration of the current state of research and education policy’.
  • Proseminar ‘Education Statistics. Possibilities and limitations of education research’.
  • Proseminar ‘Sociological Theories of Education’
  • Proseminar ‘Introduction to Education Science’ (in German)
  • VC Edu seminars for teachers in training (blended learning concept):
    • Lasting inequalities in education
    • Expected and unexpected consequences of the expansion of education
    • From school to labour market
Area of expertise
  • VET research
  • Migration
  • Gender
  • Teacher training
  • Didactics in Adult Education
  • University research
Transfer into practice
  • Baumeler, C., Engelage, S. & Stebel, A. (2019). Best Paper Award 3rd place for the research paper "Reforming Small Occupations: Continuity and Change." 6th congress on Research in Vocational Education and Training of the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training SFIVET (new: SFUVET), Zollikofen, Switzerland.
    Projekt: GOVPET: Governance in Vocational and Professional Education and Training
  • ​Engelage, S. & Hadjar, A. (2011). CORECHED-Preis für Bildungsforschung in der Schweiz
  • European Research Network on Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
  • Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHS), Working Group on the Future of Education in Switzerland
  • NCCR North-South, research partnership for sustainable development
  • European Sociological Association (ESA)
  • Swiss Society for Education Research (SGBF)
  • German Society for Higher Education Research (GFHF)

Expert opinions for

  • Journal for Sociology
  • Contributions to higher education research
  • Swiss Journal of Sociology
  • Higher Education
  • Cologne Journal for Sociology and Social Psychology