Our Work in the Global South

The School of Education’s commitment to social justice is particularly reflected in an extensive and wide-ranging portfolio of projects in the Global South, and publications based on this workThe School has been exceptionally successful in attracting funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund, working with partners from lower- and middle-income countries, and often in interdisciplinary ways with colleagues from outside EducationWe currently host 13 large projects funded by the AHRC, British Academy, ESRC, EPSRC and MRC under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)and a further 18 smaller projects funded under the ESRC’s Impact Acceleration Fund and the Scottish Funding Council’s contribution to the GCRF, reflecting its leading role in capacity strengthening of HE in the global south. In addition, funders such as the UK Department for International Development, the aid branch of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ford Foundation, and the British Council have supported projects

Overall, the experience of the School spans much of the Global South. Current and recent projects have included work in Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina FasoChile, China, Colombia, Cote D’IvoireEgypt, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Lesotho, MalaysiaMalawi, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. We have particularly extensive engagement in Latin America (e.g. Oscar Valiente and Srabani Maitra’s work on TVET in Mexico and Brazil, Adrian Zancajo’s parallel research in Chile, Oscar Odena’s project in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil, and Evelyn Arizpe’s work in Mexico); Africa (including through the Sustainable Future in Africa projects led by Mia Perry, and Barbara Read’s leadership of the Gender and STEM in Africa network); the Middle East (especially Palestine (Giovanni Fassetta on language learning and Allison Phipps work on mental health in multi-lingual contexts) and Egypt (Evelyn Arizpe and Julie McAdam’s work on children’s literature and international safe spaces); and Asia (including Michele Schweisfurth’s work on leadership in the Philippines, Clive Dimmock’s work on leadership in Vietnam and India).  Larger projects cut across continents, including the Centre for Sustainable Healthy Learning Cities, where Mike Osborne leads on capacity development and Michele Schweisfurth leads on Education and the South-South Migration hub led by Alison PhippsIn a context of academic mobility, we are also researching academic acculturation of students from the Global South studying in the Global North (Dely Elliot).

Our research in International Development is situated across the School’s research themes, reflecting the breadth of expertise in the School.  Some examples follow.  In Adult Learning and Youth Transitions, there are projects on dual apprenticeships in India and Mexico (Oscar Valiente and Srabani Maitra), and Kristinn Hermannsson’s study of how English language is part of the skills formation picture in Malawi.  Projects situated within Migration and Refugee Education include work on Syrian youth refugees involving Lesley Doyle and Kristinn Hermannsson, and work on children’s literature in contexts of displacement and conflict by Julie McAdam and Evelyn Arizpe.  The theme of Collaborative Schooling for Social Change is reflected in projects that explore the role of School Management and Development Committees in India (Michele Schweisfurth) and the implementation of comprehensive reform in Vietnam (Clive Dimmock).  An obvious example in relation to Urban and Place-Based Learning is the Centre for Sustainable Healthy Learning Cities; others include work by Mike OsborneMuir Houston, Lavinia Hirsu, Kasia Borkowska and Joanne Neary on the urban engagement of universities in Asia and Africa, the SUEUAA project, and the sustainability of palliative care initiatives in slums in Bangladesh (Mia Perry).

At university level we host the Sustainable Futures in Africa (SFA) Network, an interdisciplinary collective that brings together researchers, educators, and communities of practice that acknowledge the situated and complex nature of practices and conceptions of sustainability. The Network aims to build understanding, research, and practice in socio-ecological sustainability in AfricaAt School level a network of researchers from different Research and Teaching Groups (known as EID Core – Education and International Development Community of Researchers) meets to share knowledge and ensure an ethos of mutuality and reciprocity within our global partnerships and among colleagues. Many of the School of Education researchers active in the Global South are also members of the university-wide Glasgow Centre for International Development and three are on the Centre’s steering committee (Mia Perry, Michele Schweisfurth and Margaret Sutherland). Mia Perry directs the theme of International Development within the university’s Research Hub, part of the extensive campus redevelopment over the next decade.

In addition, we have close relationships with key international organisations.  As examples, Alison Phipps is UNESCO Chair in Refugee Education through Languages and the Arts.  Michele Schweisfurth is seconded as Senior Research Fellow to the UK Department for International Development, to advise on policy, research, and capacity development.  

The breadth and depth of our research profile in International Development enhances research-led teaching in this area, including within three Erasmus Mundus Programmes, two of which we co-ordinate: International Masters in Adult Education for Social ChangeChildren’s Literature, Media and Culture; and Education Policies for Global Development (GlobEd). We also supervise a large number of PhD researchers undertaking projects in the Global South.