EDI and Education
Professor Simon McGrath, UNESCO Chair in International Education and Development in the Centre for International Education Research, Director of Research Knowledge Exchange, Faculty of Social Sciences.
Professor McGrath has engaged in policy advice and evaluation research for a range of national and international organisations including the Human Resources Development Research Programme of the South African Human Sciences Research Council, DFID, UNESCO and the Commonwealth Secretariat. His research focuses on education and inclusion in Eastern and Southern African contexts where access to education tends to be unjust especially for people who experience intersectional disadvantage across disability, gender, class and ethnicity. Professor McGrath is currently working on a vocational education and training and higher education project across 6 East and Southern African countries. The project aims at reducing inequality and enhancing sustainability through skills development in alignment with the 2030 Agenda, the SDGs, and the UNESCO drive to ensure that vocational education and training strategies move beyond economic priorities to embrace equity and environmental sustainability.
Network+, spearheaded by Professor McGrath, brings together researchers and local partners from 4 countries India, South Africa, Rwanda and Somaliland. The team operates in a spirit of co-creation, ensuring that EDI is built not only in the project delivery but into the processes and procedures of the project. Senior female professors from the Global South bring deep knowledge of colonial and neo-colonial dynamics to the benefit of the team as they collectively curate a key intellectual idea to transform educational systems and support sustainable, just development across the four hub nations and beyond.
Professor McGrath is also working on a human development account of vocational education and training through the Miratho Project. The project enables an understanding of how disadvantaged youth from rural and township schools access, participate in, and succeed in higher education. The outcome will be a multi-dimensional inclusive higher-education capabilities-based higher education Index. The ultimate aim is to influence policy to create inclusive learning outcomes in higher education with broader educational relevance specific to developing countries.