Interview with theme convenors of one of six 2023 UKFIET conference themes, ‘Rights, equity and inclusion’: Line Baagø-Rasmussen, Social and Behaviour Change Specialist – Education, UNICEF Education Section NYHQ, and Samantha Ross, International Programme Director for Link Education International

What excites you about your theme?

We are excited about learning new ways about what works in our collective effort to achieve quality education for all. We hope to learn about challenges and failures equally to successes and good practices, how to tackle intersectionality, and overcoming barriers – especially those that are often forgotten or considered too difficult.

We find it particularly exciting to explore how a social and behaviour change approach to education can facilitate a better understanding of why children are left behind, out of school, not learning. We are keen to see how we can further outcomes in education by diagnosing education systems not only on their academic performance, but also on other parameters such as the quality of education with respect to the learning environment, ways of teaching, curriculum, social and systemic relations and behaviours between students and teachers, and students and their peers. The extent to which a whole-of-school approach can be leveraged to address social and gender norms and barriers to create an inclusive, safe and equitable learning environment.

We are excited about the possibility of learning about what works from new voices that may traditionally not have shared their work at UKFIET. 

How does this link to the overall 2023 conference theme?

The goal of the conference is to learn how we can stem and reverse the current trajectory of rising inequalities. This theme directly explores rights, equity and inclusion and is thus central to the overall conference theme of justice in education.

In this way we will learn from diverse groups to be able to drive forward justice in education for all.

What kinds of papers/events would you like to see submitted under your theme?

We would like to see papers that:

  • Celebrate successes equally to challenges and failures so we can learn and get better, i.e. best practices and lessons learned
  • Demonstrate thinking and learning across the broadest intersectional lens
  • Explore diverse areas across the education spectrum including formal, non-formal, pre-primary to tertiary, adult lifelong learning and training, and from global, national and local perspectives.
  • Are from researchers and implementors in education as well from other disciplines. We would like submissions from all sectors that we can learn from to extend and further our knowledge and collaboration with marginalised groups and advance education for all.

Find out more about the theme