Centre for International Education Research (CIER)
  • Print
   
   

CIER Projects

CIER members have extensive experience in philosophical, historical, and socio-linguistic work as well as in large-scale, multi-country and interdisciplinary projects. 

Current and recent projects

Why teach research and research teaching? - Comparative view of the tensions between research and teaching in Europe’s universities

This project compares and contrasts the research/teaching nexus in selected case-study countries within the European Economic Area. A cross-case analysis of the link between research and teaching will also shed light on the potential domestic policy change derived from the Europeanisation of education. Given the prevalence of metricisation of both research and teaching, as well as the corresponding issues regarding equality and diversity amongst staff, the outcomes will reflect on whose research and teaching are propagated within the discipline of sociology. The outcomes of this project will contribute to debates on the purpose and future of universities, pointing to the different approaches in which the roles of universities can be understood.

Investigator: Rita Hordósy
Funding body: Nottingham Research Fellowship

Transforming Education Systems for Sustainable Development (TES4SD) Network Plus 

The Transforming Education Systems for Sustainable Development (TES4SD) Network Plus will develop sustainable institutional capacity in India, South Africa, Rwanda and Somalia to produce high quality research that will assist keystakeholders in these countries and at a regional and global scale to better understand how education systems can be transformed to support sustainable development. Countries in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are facing unprecedented challenges in relation to sustainable development including poverty and inequality and managing the risks posed by climate change. The sustainable development goals (SDGs) represent a holistic response to these challenges.Education has enormous potential to act as a driver for sustainable development and the education SDG is centrally implicated in the realisation of all of the other SDGs. At present, however, education systems in low- and middle-incomecountries (LMICs) are some way off achieving the education SDG (goal 4). Our vision, consistent with global, regional and national agendas, is for systems of life-long learning that can provide learners with the skills, competencies, values andtransformative agency required to meet the challenges of environmentally sustainable and socially just development. The 'wicked problem' that education systems face in realising this vision is how to simultaneously address the current learningcrisis in LMICs whilst transforming education systems to become drivers of SD. This challenge needs to be addressed simultaneously across all sectors of the education and training system and at the global, regional, national and local scales.

Investigators: Leon Tikly Bristol and Simon MCGrath
Funding body: ESRC GCRF

Translating GeoNutrition (TGN): Reducing mineral micronutrient deficiencies (MMNDs) in Zimbabwe 

 ineral micronutrient deficiencies (MMNDs) remain a global challenge affecting the growth, development, health, and livelihoods of more than 2 billion people. MMNDs are especially prevalent in Low Income Countries of sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and South Asia. Women and children are at particular risk of MMNDs due to unequal access to nutrient-rich foods within the home. Constraints to reducing MMNDs, especially in SSA, include: (1) baseline data on the distribution of MMNDs, especially within a country; (2) national research capacity to get the information needed to provide a sound evidence base, and potential solutions, for policy makers, private sector investors, and other interested parties (citizens, donors, public health professionals).

Translating GeoNutrition Aims:

  1. To co-design a national surveillance programme to establish baseline MMNDs in Zimbabwe
  2. To improve institutional and individual research capacity in Zimbabwe, including to test policy interventions for alleviating MMNDs and to promote private sector engagement

Investigators: Simon Langley-Evans, Simon MCGrath and Juliet Thondhlana
Funding body: ESRC GCRF

British Academy Writing Workshop for Sub-Saharan Africa (Early Career Researchers)

The University of Nottingham and the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education, in partnership with the University of Zimbabwe, with funding support from the British Academy will hold a writing workshop at the University of Zimbabwe, Harare in September 2019. 

This project unites researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico and the UK to democratise cross-cultural knowledge production and challenge modern Eurocentric epistemologies and systems of academic publication. Participants include researchers and scholar-activists using critical, feminist and creative methodologies to inform inquiries that challenge capitalist, colonial and patriarchal models of development, and that strengthen movements to defend dignified life at local and global levels

Visit project webpage for more information.

Investigator: Juliet Thondhlana
Funding body: British Academy

Writing for an other world: Building transnational relationships in post-capitalist, post-development and post-patriarchal research 

This project unites researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico and the UK to democratise cross-cultural knowledge production and challenge modern Eurocentric epistemologies and systems of academic publication. Participants include researchers and scholar-activists using critical, feminist and creative methodologies to inform inquiries that challenge capitalist, colonial and patriarchal models of development, and that strengthen movements to defend dignified life at local and global levels.

Investigator: Sarah Amsler
Funding body: British Academy

Practices of possibility in neoliberal education systems 

This project enables academic researchers, educational practitioners and deep-change activists to explore questions of possibility and hope in neoliberal education contexts. Following a critical phenomenological study, the research continues with collaborative workshops to co-design experimental pedagogies for ‘epistemic and ontological disobedience’ such as are required for autonomous agency and for imagining post-Anthropocene social and educational futures. Of particular interest in this project is facilitating understanding among educators involved in this work in different locations – inside and outside formal institutions, and in the global Norths and Souths.

Visit project webpage for more information.

Investigator: Sarah Amsler
Funding body: Independent Social Research Foundation 

Enliven

Enliven examines education and training for young adults across Europe and Australia. It seeks to improve policy knowledge and educational and training opportunities available at national and international levels.

Visit project webpage for more information.

Investigator: John Holford and Sharon Clancy
Funding body: European Commission Horizon

Adult Education 100

This is a major campaign marking the centenary of the seminal 1919 Ministry of Reconstruction Report on Adult Education. It seeks to review and reframe adult education and lifelong learning. Among its activities are the Centenary Commission on Adult Education, chaired by Dame Helen Ghosh, Master of Balliol College, Oxford. As part of the campaign, the SCUTREA conference will take place at the University of Nottingham in July 2019, focussing on “Adult Education 100: Reflections & Reconstructions”.

Investigator: John Holford and Sharon Clancy
Funding body: Multiple funders

VET Africa 4.0: Reducing inequality and enhancing sustainability through skills development

A new approach to vocational education and training in Africa is needed to address Agenda 2030's insights that development necessitates concentrated attention to overturning intersectional disadvantage and securing environmental sustainability, and not just to economic growth. Through case studies from South Africa and Uganda, this project looks at a range of contexts in which skills development takes place within complex skills and work ecosystems. These include massive infrastructure projects, both urban and rural; green skills initiatives alongside continued developments in extractives; and small community projects, including in post-conflict contexts, addressing both subsistence and entrepreneurship. By operating at both theoretical and applied levels across multiple cases, this research will contribute both to academic and professional knowledge of how VET in Africa works and how it can be improved to contribute to the needs of the most intersectionally marginalised, national development and the global SDG agenda.

Visit the project webpage for more information.

Investigator: Simon McGrath and Volker Wedekind
Funding body: Economic and Social Research Council and Global Challenges Research Fund

Miratho Project: Inclusive higher-education learning outcomes for rural and township youth: developing a multi-dimensional capabilities-based higher education Index 

From a human development and capability- expanding perspective, Miratho is a project based in South Africa investigating how complex biographical, socio-economic, policy, and educational factors enable or inhibit pathways for rural and township youth to get in, get on, and get out of higher education, in terms of ‘learning outcomes’ achieved. Miratho are informal bridges, usually constructed by community members during times of floods or other natural disasters. They allow students from the village to get to school, symbolising determination to access education even in the face of danger.

Investigator: Monica McLean
Funding body: Economic and Social Research Council and Department for International Development

Organisational and Research Cultures in African Universities

This multi-African nation (currently 7 countries including Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe) study explores cultures of African universities looking at how they enable them to tackle the current challenges around globalisation of research, funding limitations, and the increasing need to produce Africa-centred research; how cultures of universities in Africa are negotiated by academics; how university leaders influence research culture; how institutional (organisational) cultures of African universities facilitate or hinder research; and what policy and structural changes are necessary in order to surface and embed networks of scholarly innovation, productivity and impact.

Investigators: Juliet Thondhlana and Simon McGrath

Internationalisation of Higher Education: the case of Zimbabwe

This collaborative project between UoN and the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE) is a 5-phase research and development project including a scoping study, dissemination and planning seminar; workshop with Zimbabwean HEI Vice Chancellors to develop a theory of change for the internationalisation of Zimbabwean HEIs; workshop for all stakeholders to develop an IHE policy framework that HEIs can draw from; and capacity building activities for the operationalisation of the IHE policy.

Investigators: Juliet Thondhlana and Simon McGrath

The South African vocational education and skills development system 1970-present: An institutional analysis of systemic reform and institutional 

In the context of global attention on vocational education and skills development systems, this research focuses on the perennial reforms to vocational education in South Africa from 1970 to the present. Drawing on historical-sociological perspectives, neo-institutional theory and policy sociology, this project analyses how and why education and training institutions change (or resist change) and what the South African case reveals about the underlying processes that shape institutions over time.

Investigator: Volker Wedekind
Funding body: British Academy
 

Centre for International Education Research

School of Education
University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Nottingham, NG8 1BB


+44 (0)115 951 4543