X Close

Centre for Education and International Development (CEID), UCL Institute of Education


A forum for staff, students, alumni and guests to write about and around CEID's five thematic areas of engagement.


The history of EID at IOE. See archival website marking 75th anniversary of the IOE’s academic work on education and development

By William I R Nicholas, on 25 March 2019


Introduction Click here for video introduction by Angela Little. (Click here for text of video script.)

2002 marked the centenary of the Institute of Education and the 75th anniversary of the Institute’s academic work on education and developing countries. For this 75th anniversary staff and students of the Education and International Development (EID) group and its predecessor departments gathered for a celebration. This celebration had two elements. The first, on November 22nd, was an international conference on Education for All (EFA), co-organised with the Education Committee of the UK’s UNESCO National Commission.  The second, on November 23rd, was a gathering of students and staff. Formal academic study of education and developing countries started at the Institute in 1927 in what was known as ‘The Colonial Department’, long before the term ‘developing countries’ had come into existence.  The Colonial Department was succeeded in 1952 by the Department of Education in Tropical Areas (ETA), in 1973 by the Department of Education in Developing Countries (EDC), in 1985 by the Department of International and Comparative Education (DICE) and in 1995 by Education and International Development (EID). This site (and CD) commemorates the 75 years of the Institute’s work on education and developing countries carried out by staff (see full lists of staff) and students over the period 1927-2002.

It will be of interest to many: current and former students and staff, prospective students and staff,  students and staff in sister institutions worldwide and those who work in a wide variety of capacities in education in developing countries and in international and comparative education more generally.

It has several sections containing papers discussing the history of the five departments, recollections of former and present staff and students, reprints of inaugural professorial lectures, a collection of academic resources, a photo gallery and information about the Institute’s current work in the field.

School violence – what works to address the global challenge?

By William I R Nicholas, on 25 February 2019

School violence – what works to address the global challenge?

Professor Jenny Parkes, Professor of Gender, Education and International Development at the UCL Institute of Education, speaks in this video from DFID’s Research and Evidence Division.

To read the IOE study authored by Prof Parkes and referenced at 01:31 by DFID in this video, visit: https://www.globalpartnership.org/content/rigorous-review-global-research-evidence-policy-and-practice-school-related-gender-based

The review is an output from the ‘End Gender Violence in Schools’ research project undertaken at the IOE. For further details see www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe-egvs

CEID Seminar Series 2018/19

By William I R Nicholas, on 8 November 2018

CEID Seminar Series 2018/19

The CEID Seminar series is hosted by the Centre for Education and International Development (CEID) at the UCL Institute of Education. Initiated in the 2017/18 academic year, following the launch of the Centre in June 2017, the CEID seminar series is a forum for academics, doctoral students, practitioners and invited speakers to present and open discussion on issues, ideas and debates in the field of Education and International Development. See the full series listing here.


Seminar 7: Gender and Teacher Education in Nigeria, October 18th 2018

Speakers – Professor Elaine Unterhalter, UCL Institute of Education, Dr Amy North, UCL Institute of Education and Yvette Hutchinson, British Council

Chair – Professor Moses Oketch, UCL Institute of Education

Abstract – In the first CEID seminar in the 2018/19 academic year, Elaine Unterhalter and Amy North will present findings from their research in Nigeria on Gender and Teacher education in five Nigerian states. The research took place between 2014 and 2016, and was funded by the MacArthur Foundation and the British Council Nigeria. Yvette Hutchinson, British Council, completes the panel and will present on the British Council’s involvement with the project, its work in Nigeria and in teacher capacity development and gender in particular. Following the panel presentations and discussion, questions will be invited from the audience.

Watch the recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okupVsuv1WM


Seminar 8: Violent extremism and the political economy of education in Afghanista, November 8th 2018

Speaker: Dr Tejendra Pherali, UCL Institute of Education

Chair: Professor Moses Oketch, UCL Institute of Education


As global attention is concentrated on Islamic State (IS) activities in Syria and Iraq, IS fighters seem to be exploiting the conditions of state fragility in Afghanistan to expand their influence in several districts. It has been reported that IS has a significant dominance in 11 out of 24 districts in the eastern province of Nangarhar where, they control all aspects of community life including, education. Drawing upon qualitative interviews and focus group discussions (N=31) in Kabul and Nagarhar which is considered the IS headquarters in the region, this paper explores the multitude of ways IS is controlling educational processes in Afghanistan. We find that both state and non-state actors compete for control over education, both formal institutions as well as social and cultural discourses about learning. Unlike Taliban who have the nationalist agenda against Western interventions (of all kinds including, education), the IS approach to radicalisation seems to be much more strategic, ideologically broad and aimed at long term political gains in the form of a ‘Caliphate’. Through their brutal tactics, IS fighters influence access, contents and pedagogies to establish their Jihadist ideology, which underpins a wider religious and political justification of the ‘struggle’ against the West and production of a new generation of jihadists. Our research finds that rural communities in Afghanistan play a critical role in shaping the political terrain such as, establishing the conditions under which state sovereignty is contested, negotiated and challenged. As such, they serve the dual purpose: strengthening state authority by sustaining public services including, education; and creating a space for non-state actors to promote alternative ideologies. Finally, we argue that understanding the latter can contribute to critical reflection of the existing education policies and reclaim educational spaces for Afghanistan’s peaceful future.

Livestreaming – This session will be livestreamed via this link: https://youtu.be/wCs8cL9idcI

Access the seminar slides here: Violent extremism and political economy of education in Afghanistan – CEID Seminar 8 slides.


CEID Seminar 9: In service of dominant elites? Nation, Education and Peacebuilding in Post (civil) War Tajikistan, January 16th 2019

Speaker: Dr Laila Kadiwal, Fellow in Education and International Development, UCL Institute of Education

Chair: Professor Moses Oketch, UCL Institute of Education

Following the cessation of the Soviet Union over two decades ago, Tajikistan grapples with ramifications of the civil war, global geopolitics, Soviet legacies and the revival of religious and ethnolinguistic identities– all of which influence identity formation and peacebuilding through contemporary discourses around education and development in Tajikistan. This seminar presents on the ways global and local political, economic, military, social and cultural agendas intersect with people’s identities, and the ways in which these are mirrored in education, fuelling conflict. The seminar draws upon the theories of ‘discourse,’ ‘global governmentality’ and ‘new imperialism’ concerning education, to explore dominant conceptions of national identity and peacebuilding and what implications these have for normalising unequal power relations and social cohesion. With reference to Gorno-Badakhshan, an ethnolinguistic and religious minority province, the session also investigates how local communities are responding to the interrelationships of the local, national and global. The paper argues that global-national-local discourses cast populations as politically compliant and polarised global market-based citizens in a globalised authoritarian state that serves dominant global and local elite interests. Recommendations include ways forward for challenging dominant discourses and for rethinking  issues of inequities, social cohesion and sustainable peacebuilding in education policy.

Livestream – This session will be livestreamed via this link:: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3zeD7KaUH8&feature=youtu.be Join the discussion with #CEIDSeminars

Access the seminar slides here: CEID Seminar_Jan 16_2019_Tajikistan

Dr. Tejendra Pherali gives keynote address at the Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia

By William I R Nicholas, on 12 January 2018

Tejendra Pherali, Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development and the research theme leader for Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding in CEID delivered a keynote adress on 15th November at the Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia.

Dr. Pherali at the Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia, 15th Nov 2017.

His presentation – ‘Understanding the nexus between education and peace in conflict-affected societies’ focused on the role of education in promoting peace with social justice in conflict-affected societies. He argued that universities in conflict-affected societies such as Colombia could play a civic role by connecting communities with academic research and knowledge production and by creating access for young people who have been left out of higher education because of violent conflict. His presentation further argued that education could support sustainable peace by promoting equitable access to quality education; through curriculum reforms, reflecting diverse identities of learners; educational decisions that involve inclusive processes; and educational policies, learning and teaching are that geared towards bringing people together from across dividing lines. Drawing upon his research in Nepal, Lebanon and Somalia, he proposed pathways to impact for higher education and peace which could be of relevance for Colombian universities as the country undergoes the peace process.

Dr. Pherali presents at the Faculty of Human Sciences at the Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia, 15th Nov 2017.

Dr. Tejendra Pherali leads workshop on Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, 6-9 November 2017

By William I R Nicholas, on 10 January 2018

Dr. Tejendra Pherali, Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development and the research theme leader for Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding at Centre for Education and International Development (CEID) led a workshop on Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand from 6-9 November 2017.

Chulalongkorn UniversityFaculty and graduate students who participated in the workshop

The workshop was hosted by the Institute of Thai Studies at Thailand’s leading Chulalongkorn University, which is conducting a research study to design a peace education curriculum for schools in conflict-affected Southern provinces of Thailand. The workshop aimed to develop researchers’ theoretical knowledge about the interrelationship between education, violence and peace and participatory approaches to curriculum design and implementation in Thai schools.

Reflecting on the workshop, Dr Pherali said, ‘Colleagues in Chulalongkorn University were very keen to design an effective peace education curriculum which could promote a culture of peace in Southern provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat. The workshop was instrumental in exploring issues around learners’ cultural identities, language of instruction and processes of educational decision-making which need to be accounted for while designing a peace education curriculum. We were also able to draw upon few examples from other conflict-affected contexts which I hope would provide useful insights into Chula’s important work in this area.’

Dr. Pherali with workshop participants and Peace education researchers in Chulalongkorn University

Dr. Pherali speaking at the workshop





Dr Alexandra Lewis awarded LIDC Interdisciplinary Seed funding for research in Somalialand

By William I R Nicholas, on 20 December 2017

Imagining Somaliland: An investigation into the relationship between nation-building, citizenship and education in a contested space, written from a peacebuilding perspective

Dr Alexandra Lewis of the Centre of Education and International development, UCL Institute of Education, and Dr Idil Osman, SOAS Development Studies Department, have been awarded funding from the London International Development Centre (LIDC) Interdisciplinary Seed Fund for the project ‘Imagining Somaliland: An investigation into the relationship between nation-building, citizenship and education in a contested space, written from a peacebuilding perspective’. The research will investigate dynamics between citizenship, nation-building & educational provision from a peacebuilding perspective. The exploratory study will take place between January and August 2018, including fieldwork in March and April 2018.

Research project aims

In 2017, Somaliland published a new textbook on civic education for secondary school students. Although this textbook was released as part of a Somali-wide curriculum consolidation process, Somaliland retained the right in this process to develop its own education policy: their framework refers to Somaliland as a nation state, without integrating its education within any broader state system (Republic of Somaliland, 2017). One of the stated goals of the new curriculum is to promote a ‘National consciousness and unity in the minds of children at an early age and enhancement of a spirit of patriotism for Somaliland as well as a desire for its sustained integration, stability and prosperity’ (Ibid). Another goal is to assist the Somaliland people to develop ‘Skills and attitudes which foster the growth of social justice, responsibility and the value and virtues of peace’. There is a need to understand the degree to which these goals of nationalism and peacebuilding are compatible within a wider Somali educational context.

This exploratory research will investigate how nationalism and citizenship are “imagined” in Somaliland context, exploring both formal educational institutions and linked media content using Anderson’s Imagined Communities framework (1983). It will evaluate the potential for education to engage with these topics from a peacebuilding perspective. Further, it will investigate the degree to which peaceful citizenship values underpin the new curriculum, and the potential for that content to be accepted, based on the extent to which dominant public discourses, elite perspectives, media and media producers transmit compatible values of peacebuilding and citizenship.

Please contact ceid@ucl.ac.uk or Dr Alexandra Lewis a.lewis@ucl.ac.uk if you have any questions about the project.

CEID launches with Keynote lecture by Professor Amartya Sen

By William I R Nicholas, on 19 June 2017

The Centre for Education and International Development launch at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), June 15th 2017

Scholarship and practice in education and international development has taken place at the IOE for over 90 years. On June 15th 2017, the newest phase of this work Prof Amartya Sen speaking at CEID Launchcommenced with the launch of the Centre for Education and International Development (CEID).

Comprising a team of globally recognised experts in development, education, and international educational policy, CEID is the largest community of education and international development scholars, students and alumni in the UK. Through its research, teaching and practice it investigates education and international development with particular foci on the contribution of education to social justice and equalities; peacebuilding and conflict; health and wellbeing; migrations; poverty; and gender and women’s empowerment.

The CEID launch represented a key event for the IOE. It began with an all-day Symposium, attended by over 250 delegates, with more than 40 presentations by academics, as well as speakers from NGOs, government, think tanks and charities across CEID’s five thematic research areas. Bringing to the fore the importance of intersectoral and collaborative research, the Symposium’s sessions showcased the theoretically engaged, methodologically rigorous and critically reflexive work undertaken at the Centre.

The Symposium was followed by a keynote lecture entitled ‘What’s the use of education?’ given by Professor Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize winner and Professor oSen leftf economics and philosophy at Harvard University. Attended by over 750 guests, and live streamed globally, Professor Sen’s keynote address received a standing ovation and concluded with a lively and extended Q & A session with the audience in the Logan Hall.

As a leader in research and teaching excellence in education and international development, CEID is excited to develop its work further, and looks forward to welcoming partners, students and alumni to future events, including our exciting seminar series, alumni events and the CEID annual conference on Higher Education and International Development on June 19th 2018.

For more information about SM_amartya-sen-provost-2CEID please visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe-ceid

You can contact the Centre at ceid@ucl.ac.uk and follow on Twitter @CEID_IOE

The Hair, Skin, and Education of Black Girls

By William I R Nicholas, on 11 June 2017

STUDENT BLOG #2 | Gender Equality Stream | June 11, 2017

By Veronique L. Porter

The Hair, Skin, and Education of Black Girls

gender blog picture3

Photo credit Devin Trent

I wrote this blog post in high anticipation of the Centre for Education and International Development (CEID) symposium on June 15th, and the discussions to follow around the CEID’s thematic areas including gender equality and women’s rights.

As I struggled to write this blog post, my classmate suggested I write about something I am passionate about. She is familiar with my social media, and knows my interests run wide and deep from my various posts. While my interests range across many areas, subjects, and themes, people of color are at the center. As an Education, Gender, and International Development student at UCL’s Institute of Education, right now I am keen to take a deeper look at Black girl’s education.

Despite my formal and informal studies and my life long experience, I somehow felt underqualified as I began to write. This is not an unfamiliar or irrational feeling. Rather it’s a response to subtle and obvious conditioning that my kinky hair and dark skin are not the features associated with educated, qualified people. And this reaction is not my unique struggle.

Black girls get these cues every day, often within the school environment. Schools in the United States often punish and suspend Black girls for being loud and aggressive at much higher rates than their peers, consistent with the perception of dark skinned women being angry and defiant. One ten-year-old student in the United States faced bullying at two schools over her dark complexion. To make matters worse, her teacher handed her a black crayon, instead of a brown one, during an assignment to draw self-portraits.

On an institutional level, many school policies regulate Black hair. Another US student was told her textured hair was “out of control and all over the place.” She was threatened with expulsion from the school if her hair was not “fixed or styled,” as her textured hair was considered a fad, which is against school policy. A school in South Africa told a student that she could not take her exams if she did not straighten her hair or make it “more beautiful.” A Black university student was barred from entering the university building in Brazil, because her “Black Power” hairstyle was too political. These are not policies that restrict styles but the texture as it naturally grows from these students’ heads.

The instances mentioned above are only a few examples of the intolerance that Black girls face based on their physical features. Stories like these regularly appear on news websites, in the content podcasts and blogs, and in my social media feeds, usually from sources that purposefully include Black news, events, and culture. The prevalence of these policies send clear messages to Black girls that they are not welcome in the learning environment without altering themselves. They should have a docile demeanor and be sure not to voice their opinion for fear of being perceived as being disruptive or defying authority. Highly textured hair needs to be altered for the classroom otherwise it is distracting or unkempt.

I say “Black” knowing that this is a very American way to label dark skinned people. Yet this is the most authentic way for me to describe the common denominator of the groups of people identified by their dark skin, and who face various types of oppression and discrimination in communities all over the world on the basis of their dark complexion.

My feelings of inadequacy, while sometimes frequent, are often brief. I know that I am knowledgeable and equally capable as my peers from other nationalities and of other complexions. But Black girls all over the world are shaping their personalities, their lives, their futures based on the information we give them in society and especially in school. There should not be an association with students’ physical characteristics and their learning. Schools can create and reinforce standards that make it more difficult for Black girls to learn by making them uncomfortable in their own bodies. But schools can also create a setting that values learning over appearance. The first step in creating a welcoming and equitable learning environment in schools is to allow Black girls to be Black students and eliminate policies that target their innate features.

I am looking forward to the ways the new Centre for Education and International Development (CEID) gender equality and women’s rights will contribute to girls’ education for girls of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and nationalities. But selfishly, I want more focus on the education of Black girls, so the Black girls of tomorrow don’t have to face the same oppression and inequality as the Black girls of today. I hope to discuss this topic more with my classmates and education experts during the CEID launch event, Thursday, June 15th.

Written by: Veronique L. Porter

Veronique has years of professional experience working in West Africa on education, youth development, and health, and supporting various USAID development programming from Washington, DC. At the time of writing, Veronique is studying the MA in Education, Gender and International Development (EGID) at the IOE.

Chile: Tunnels of Inequality

By William I R Nicholas, on 9 June 2017

STUDENT BLOG #3 | Inequalities, Poverty and Education Stream | June 9, 2017

By María Paz Alarcón

Why does inequality matter? Inequality of what? These are the usual questions I hear when speaking and discussing about inequality. When looking at a particular country’s data on inequality, we usually look at its GINI coefficient or the proportion of income accumulated by the highest and lowest percentiles located in the highest or lowest part of the distribution. When looking at inequalities in education, the eye is set on opportunities such as access, results among students from different countries, types of schools and households. These are often disaggregated by several characteristics, such as gender or ethnicity. All these indicators are indeed useful and necessary to improve educational opportunities, but I believe is time to have a deep look at the processes in which inequalities are embedded and how they impact peoples lives. As a Chilean, I have been a witness of a place where you can breathe inequality and segregation. Chileans might not have read international reports or know about inequality indicators, but when they travel through their cities, attend education and health services, and listen to how people speak differently, they note important differences. This recall other countries with strong inequality and segregation indicators, such as South Africa.

This segregation in education is linked with socioeconomic groups, which are concentrated in certain types of schools and areas. Segregation is strong in Chile. Through primary and secondary education these educational paths can be illustrated as separated tunnels with thick walls in which each group walk: the different realities don’t clash or meet that much. Only in Higher Education, and then only in certain Universities, some students from different backgrounds start to see each other, interact in classrooms and discover new realities. Data on higher education enrolment tell us that students from the lowest income backgrounds are significantly less-represented in higher education in Chile, but this gap has decreased in the last decades. Indicators on diversity do show improvements. But what I have observed and what I question is, do these students really see each other? What is happening with integration, process and interactions? Segregation and inequalities travel into higher education institutions and continue in different physical spaces. The topics of conversation, gestures, activities, places which student visit and their home realities are very dissimilar. When asked the question of which school they attended and which district they live in… will student be able to get along, understand each other, and truly see each other? The tunnel’s walls become transparent but might remain thick. In certain institutions, universities or careers, the phenomenon of “us-and-them” is strongly experienced by some, with, a sense of “I don’t belong here”. How much importance are we giving to these experiences in understanding forms of inequalities? How can discussion and social cohesion build up from here?

Inequalities re acknowledge to have a negative impact on economic growth, educational opportunities and a sense of community.  But much of this discussion sees inequalities as forms of inputs and outputs. The feelings, burdens, sense of voice, participation and belonging that people experience through educational processes, traveling between input and output, should be highlighted.  These experiences are things that people value. It is important for people to feel they belong, that they have voice, that they can relate and build community. I would like to make an invitation for us to start considering these effects on processes and experiences, as key to bring new perspectives on development and to eliminate barriers creating divisions. I hope that we can start to glimpse less parallel thick-wall tunnels, to then establish paths that cross and connect. In this way individuals can effectively see and understand each other.

As an MA student currently working in The Centre for Education and International Development (CEID) at UCL, I have been influenced by the work CEID has developed on social justice and equality, one of their five thematic areas, bringing debate on these complex issues and their intersections with other key themes. I’m looking forward to discussing perspectives on inequalities with the other participants at the CEID launch on Thursday 15th June 2017.


María Paz Alarcón has worked in Chile contributing in the improvement of educational opportunities for disadvantaged groups by tutoring, developing educational projects and coordinating University affirmative-action initiatives. She is currently a student on the MA in Education, Gender and International Development at the UCL Institute of Education.

From conflict to sustainable peace, education is key

By William I R Nicholas, on 9 June 2017

STUDENT BLOG #4 | Conflict and Peacebuilding Stream | June 9, 2017

By Sebastian Guanumen

 “By peace we mean the capacity to transform conflicts with empathy, without violence, and creatively – a never-ending process” ~ Johan Galtung

The country where I come from, as many others around the globe, has suffered from years of internal conflict that left millions of victims. The violence in Colombia, as in any other conflict-affected context, has been a shaping factor defining the cultural, social, political and economic development of the nation. I will use this space as an opportunity to bring a brief reflexion about the role of education in peacebuilding, pa in Colombia.

More than fifty years of conflict between the state and diverse insurgent groups left the education sector unprotected and vulnerable to all kind of attacks. Constant threats to teachers, recruitment of child-soldiers, forced-displacement and minefields around schools made Colombia a very hostile environment for education, especially in remote rural areas, where the conflict was cruel and persistent. All those violent actions exacerbated issues regarding the availability of qualified teachers, the inadequate infrastructure, the limited access to education, its quality, and its capacity of adapting to children’s needs and their changing environments.

Today, just a few months after the signing of the peace agreement between the government and FARC, and ad portas of its implementation, the enormous challenge of building sustainable peace in Colombia requires the commitment of a majority of the Colombian people. In order to create the conditions for a successful peacebuilding process it is important to design, plan, and implement comprehensive and transformative policies, programmes and interventions in all sectors, including education.

The transition from conflict to sustainable peace requires not only stopping explicit violence but also transforming the different expressions of structural violence that were the ground that allowed the conflict to emerge. Historically, the Colombian education sector has suffered from direct attacks while reproducing structural inequalities. However, now, in the post-conflict context, it is time to question all those violent practices, unfair hierarchies, and unjust impositions that continue to make Colombia prone to relapse into conflict. We need to move towards an education that teaches and promotes non-violent actions, equal relationships, reflection, critical thinking, and peaceful dialogue.

Even though it is the obligation of the state to secure and guarantee the right to education to all Colombian children and young people, it might not be enough if there is not a transformation in our perspective and approach to education. In this post-conflict context, education cannot be seen just as a source of human capital, development or economic growth, it should be acknowledged as a platform able to boost processes of reconciliation, reinforce the restoration of the social fabric, recognize the cultural, ethnic and political diversity, heal the collective memory of the country, reintegrate ex-combatants and bring social transformation.

As a young student who has been always committed to social justice, peace and education I look forward to hearing more about CEID´s five topics and learning from other participants’ experiences of schooling and the end of conflict and work towards peacebuilding at the CEID Symposium on June 15, 2017 at the IoE.

Sebastian Guanumen


Sebastian is a political scientist and current student on the MA in Educational Planning, Economics and International Development (EPEID) at the UCL Institute of Education.