This article is by the theme convenors of one of six 2023 UKFIET conference themes, ‘Conflict, crisis, climate and migration’: Chris Berry, Education Adviser, UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, and Rachael Fitzpatrick, Senior Researcher, Education Development Trust. This is published in the lead up to the September 2023 conference to help participants decide which sessions to attend.

  • What excites you about your theme?

We were thrilled to receive a high volume of excellent quality submissions for our sub-theme on conflict, crisis, climate and migration. Sadly, we had to reject a few on the grounds of space, and we hope that those who submitted are not be too disappointed. We have a wide variety of speakers from different organisations (private sector, public sector, civil society organisations, foundations, global funds), academic institutions and geographies internationally.

  • How does this link to the overall 2023 conference theme?

As we said in our previous blog, ‘how can we achieve more equal rights when more than half of school-aged refugees are unable to access education and 100 million children and youth are displaced from education each year by climate-related events such as the recent floods in Pakistan?’ Our theme will explore the intersectional challenges in education provision in crisis-affected contexts, and will offer the opportunity for learning and dialogue around research, policies and programmes that are effective in creating safe environments for young people to learn. It will be a fantastic opportunity to bring in voices from such a wide range of policymakers, activists, programme implementers, donors and academics.

  • What kind of sessions/ papers can we expect to find under your theme?

We’ve got a very exciting mix of papers on a broad range of topics.

  • Our contribution to the online day on the 7 September is shaping up nicely with sessions likely focusing on early childhood education in crisis situations and building resilience. The online day is a new innovation and we hope that it will be well supported.
  • We’ve been able to put together almost a whole day on climate related research and lesson learning from a range of voices. The relationship between education and climate change is relatively under-researched and we hope that UKFIET will provide a springboard for more attention to this critical issue.
  • We have sessions which focus on a diverse set of crisis-affected countries including Myanmar, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Jordan and Uganda.
  • We have rich symposia on EdTech, the humanitarian/development divide, foundational learning, early childhood education, language for resilience, inequality and skills, and co constructing research in conflict and crisis settings.
  • We’ve been able to put together some great panels with related papers on measuring success, higher education, marginalisation, inclusion, and lessons from crisis in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Finally, we’ve got what looks like a brilliant creative session focusing on what we can do for education for climate and environmental justice.

Everyone who is presenting should have been contacted now and we are in the process of selecting Chairs for panels who will be in touch shortly. Looking forward to seeing you all online and in Oxford soon.

Find out more about the theme