UNESCO Chair Partner Organisations
The University of East Anglia was invited by UNESCO to join its prestigious universities network and established the first UNESCO Chair in adult literacy and learning for social transformation in May 2016. After a successful first phase, the Chair (based in the UEA School of Education and Lifelong Learning) has been renewed until April 2024.
This UNESCO Chair programme aims to develop understanding about how adult learning – particularly for women and young adults - can help address inequalities in the poorest communities of the world. Through investigating how or why adult literacy might facilitate or respond to processes of social transformation, including women’s empowerment, the Chair programme sets out to strengthen the interaction between formal, non-formal and informal learning in research, policy and programmes. The programme builds directly on the expertise of the UEA Literacy and Development Group, which brings together researchers in education and international development from across the University of East Anglia (LDG Group). Professor Anna Robinson-Pant is the UNESCO Chairholder, leading a faculty team consisting of: Dr. Sheila Aikman, Dr. Catherine Jere, Professor Yann Lebeau, Dr. Esther Priyadharshini, Professor Nitya Rao, Professor Alan Rogers.
This UNESCO Chair programme is a partnership with university departments specialising in adult literacy and community learning in Ethiopia (Bahir Dar University), Nepal (Kathmandu University and Tribhuvan University Research Center for Educational Innovation and Development), Malawi (University of Malawi School of Education and the Centre of Language Studies), Egypt (Ain Shams University) and the Philippines (University of Santo Tomas). We are working together to strengthen qualitative research capacity in the field of adult literacy, learning and social transformation through collaborative research and curriculum development activities. The UNESCO Chair is also developing new initiatives with key policy organisations in this field, including the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning in Hamburg. Supporting a rights-based holistic approach to adult learning as the basis for active citizenship and improved livelihoods, we aim to promote greater interaction between research and policy in areas such as vocational skill development, health, agriculture and adult literacy learning.
UNESCO Chair Literacy conferences in Egypt (2017), Nepal (October 2018), Ethiopia (May 2019) and the Philippines (November 2019 )
Participatory research methods and/or academic writing workshops in all partner institutions
Intercultural learning and gender relations among migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking populations: a participatory action research project’ with New Routes Integration in Norwich, UK (2018-19)
To mark the second phase of the UNESCO Chair programme, the UEA is offering a fully-funded PhD studentship for October 2021. Applicants with an original proposal in the area of Adult Literacy and Learning for Social Transformation and a strong academic background/experience in this field are encouraged to apply.