On 12-14 September 2023, for the UKFIET conference in Oxford, we were able to stream the plenary sessions live to those participants joining online. This hybrid format was new for the 2023 conference and enabled us to record these videos. These are available to watch here.

Dr Maria Balarin

Maria Balarin presenting at the UKFIET 2023 conferenceMaria is Senior Researcher at the Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE), a leading Latin American research centre based in Perú (link to profile). For the opening plenary, Maria helped us to think both conceptually and practically about the 2023 conference theme ‘Education for Social and Environmental Justice’. She invited us to think what this justice might look like in education, urging us to reclaim and strengthen the epistemic core of education. In this way, she posited that we might be hopeful pessimists believing that education does have a role to play in contributing to equality and to racial, gender and environmental justice.


Professor Nidhi Singal

Nidhi Singal at UKFIET Conference 2023

Nidhi is Professor of Disability and Inclusive Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge (link to profile). As the BAICE President, Nidhi let the BAICE Presidential Address on the middle day of the conference. She asked us to reimagine inclusive education through a framework that focusses on rights, resources and research.

Within this, she implored us to (i) think holistically about the education of all children, (ii) ensure we are listening to the voices of children and communities in the global south, and (iii) avoid categorising children with disabilities as a homogenous group. She also reminded us of the importance of thinking about intersectionality.


Nidhi demonstrated how knowledge creation is a collaboration, through showcasing work by her research group the Cambridge Network for Disability and Education Research (CaNDER). During the plenary, Basirat Razak-Shuaib performed a powerful rendition of one of her own poems about disability, “I ain’t no afterthought”.


And Dr Laraib Niaz and Camilla Chaudhary delivered a hypothetical role play about the dynamics between a funder’s priorities versus the priorities of a village project.


Closing plenary

Our closing plenary brought together an exciting group of activists, practitioners, and change-makers who are passionate about education and learning for everyone, including vulnerable groups in some of the most disadvantaged areas (links to profiles).

Panel session at UKFIET 2023 closing Youth activists Michelle Chikurunhe and Sarah Amu reminded us that there is power in partnership, education is not just academics and that politicians have a responsibility to deliver on promises. And Nestori Byaruhanga, drawing from his experience as a refugee teacher teaching in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, reminded us that for many refugee children who spend years of their lives in refugee camps, education is often their only hope of a better future. Sally Gear reflected on the conference theme and the positive shift in research over time to bring the grassroots voice to the fore. She referred to a question raised in the conference: “How can you represent us if you don’t include us?”