Prof Dr M. Levels

Prof. dr. Mark Levels (1977) is a Dutch sociologist. He uses quantitative, qualitative and experimental sociological methods to study how we can best solve pressing societal challenges, and works with governments, corporations, social partners, and other scientists to create evidence informed policies that instigate social change necessary to address these challenges. 


One of his main research lines explores the impact of artificial intelligence on work and society. He has also studied how to design education systems to ensure excellent education and reduce educational inequity, how to combat labor market inefficiencies,  how to stimulate the labor market integration of vulnerable youth, how to further the societal integration of immigrant children, how to promote youth mental health and physical fitness, and how birth control legislation affects reproductive decision-making.


Mark is university dean for lifelong development and professor of sociology of technology at Maastricht University, and program director of the Research Centre for Education and the Labor Market (ROA) of Maastricht University. He is a member of the ROA management team and a fellow of the Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB). He teaches sociology at University College Maastricht (UCM).


Mark's research has been published in books and top-tier sociology journals, has received prizes for scientific excellence and societal impact, and is supported by grants from highly competitive grant competitions from the NWO, NRO, DFG, JSPS, ANR, and H2020, as well as direct contributions from governments and corporations. He serves as an advisor to governments, international organizations, firms, labor unions, and NGO’s. 


To achieve sustainable societal impact, Mark creates and leads transdisciplinary programs that produce scientific evidence to inform policies. For example, in 2016 he founded and led an international consortium of scholars that studied how automation with artificial intelligence will impact work, and studied which education and welfare policies European governments can use to maximize economic gains while minimizing societal risk (TECHNEQUALITY). 


Based on this research, Mark was one of the key designers of a nation-wide reskilling and upskilling program to prepare the Dutch workforce for the future of work, which is currently being implemented (lifelong development catalyst). He was also one of the principal architects and national coordinators of the Nationaal Cohortonderzoek Onderwijs (NCO), which is one of the largest data sets on education in the world, and a prime resource for Dutch schools to evaluate their performance. 


Mark has held visiting positions at the European University Institute in Florence (2005), Nuffield College, University of Oxford (2008, 2014-2020), the Kennedy School of Governance of Harvard (2013), and the German College for Interdisciplinary Education Research (2013-2015). Before starting an academic career, Levels served in an infantry guards regiment of the Royal Dutch Army. He deployed as a machine gun operator to Kosovo for NATO in 2000.