19 May 2008 12:18:00.000
A leading figure from UNESCO, the United Nations agency which promotes cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture and communication, is to deliver a lecture at The University of Nottingham.
Professor Nicholas Burnett, the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, will deliver this year's annual Hugh Gaitskell Memorial Lecture at the University's Jubilee Campus on Thursday May 22.
His lecture — What Kind of UNESCO for What Kind of Education? — will address the role education should play today in contributing to a just society. With responsibility for UNESCO's education programmes globally, Professor Burnett will focus on the agency's role in supporting this and will argue that it starts with the right to education, while asking how far should it extend?
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The lecture will also examine whether UNESCO's Education for All programme, which sets out internationally-agreed education goals to meet the learning needs of all children, youths and adults by 2015, goes far enough or whether constraints on resources should lead UNESCO to prioritise.
Professor Burnett has dedicated his entire career to working on developing and transition countries, mainly in Africa. He has worked for the World Bank, has managed his own international consulting firm specialising in human development and strategic management and has been Director of UNESCO's Education for All Global Monitoring Report. He was appointed to his current role within the agency in September last year.
The lecture will serve as a fitting memorial to Hugh Gaitskell, who was a bold advocate of social justice, in part achieved through education, especially of adults. The former leader of the Labour Party joined the Department of Adult Education at University College, Nottingham, in 1927 and lectured on economics to local miners as part of courses organised jointly by the college and the Workers Educational Association.
This year's lecture, which will be of particular interest to anyone concerned with international development and social justice, takes place at 5.30pm in Lecture Theatre 2 in The Exchange Building. The event is free of charge and open to all.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy).
Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.