News Archive 2016

Connecting with Shared Education in Israel

Joanne Hughes, Rebecca Loader and Michael Arlow visited Israel in November to develop existing relationships and explore new possibilities for international collaboration on Shared Education, including establishing connections with teacher education institutions.  Colleagues from Oranim College, Kibbutzim College of Education, Beit Berl College and the David Yellin Academic College of Education introduced the team to the challenges of shared education in Israel and approaches which are currently being used.

Joanne Hughes led a seminar at David Yellin College, presenting findings of research on the impact of Shared Education in Northern Ireland and internationally.  At Oranim College the team met with academic colleagues.  Nimrod Aloni, UNESCO Chair for Humanistic Education at the Kibbutzim College of Education, facilitated a very positive meeting with colleagues in Tel Aviv.  At Beit Berl College the team had an opportunity to learn about new initiatives promoting social cohesion through education, including one inspired by the Northern Ireland model and involving members of the Beit Berl Centre for Shared Education.  Hazar Masri-Hussein, the Education Director at the Abraham Fund Initiatives, described how on a recent visit to Northern Ireland, she was able to observe Shared Education in practice and described how her work with schools is evolving to include some aspects of the Shared Education model from Northern Ireland.

The final day of the trip included a visit to Ravivim Primary School, a Jewish school in Ganei Tikva, where the team observed a science lesson conducted in Arabic by an Arab Israeli teacher.  This was followed by lunch at the home of Merchavim Board Member Rani Haj-Yihiyeh and his wife Rula in Tayibe.

While the contexts of Northern Ireland and Israel are very different, common concerns rapidly emerged in each meeting.  Both Israel and Northern Ireland have divided school systems where opportunities for meaningful contact for the majority of students are limited.  In Israel, language issues, political tensions and continued violence add additional layers of complexity.  Many of the conversations focussed on the importance of research, commitment to foster meaningful contact between schools and creation of teaching resources to help facilitate difficult conversations.  The three sites visited in Israel offer specific opportunities and clear willingness to develop ongoing collaborations. 

Top of Page

Sharing Education in Israel and Northern Ireland

From 7-11 November Professor Tony Gallagher and Dr Gavin Duffy visited Israel to work on shared education. Since their first visit to two schools there four years ago, many Jewish and Arab schools are now engaged in shared education. The main purpose of their visit was to participate in the launch of an EU funded project, an event at which Tony gave the keynote address. They also visited schools and colleges and met with advisers of the President of Israel to discuss his initiative on social cohesion.  A busy week was rounded off with meetings with the Irish Embassy and a member of the Knesset.

Top of Page

CSE staff at the Shared Education Learning Forum (SELF) conference, 24-25 November

SELF is an independent body (funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies) through which practitioners of shared education can share their experiences and knowledge and discuss the potential of shared education. The organisation held a two-day conference in Templepatrick in November to establish SELF and provide a space for practitioners and researchers to discuss the best routes to take as shared education progresses in Northern Ireland.  Tony Gallagher gave a talk outlining the evolution of shared education in Northern Ireland and reflected on how far it has come.  Joanne Hughes, Danielle Blaylock and Stephanie Burns presented on contact theory and the reconciliation and social impact of shared education, based on quantitative and qualitative evidence that has been gathered through research projects undertaken by the Centre.  Tony Gallagher and Gavin Duffy also facilitated a policy-related workshop on shared education and area planning. 

Top of Page

New ESRC funded project: Education in divided societies

The Centre for Shared Education, along with other Queen’s University colleagues from the Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations and the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, have received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council as part of their Global Challenges Research Fund.  The award is made in conjunction with the Centre’s international collaborators in the Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and St Cyril and Methodius University Skopje (both Macedonia), Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and the University of Zagreb (Croatia).

The funded project entitled, Education in divided societies: Developing and researching shared education in the Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia, will develop a strategic network of key educational stakeholders in Northern Ireland and the Balkan region whose work contributes to peace building through the promotion of intergroup contact and intercultural dialogue in education. In doing so, the project will establish an infrastructure that connects academics, practitioners, NGOs, and policymakers across four diverse contexts, each transitioning from violence to sustainable peace.

The project is due to commence in early 2017 and will include a number of in-country events designed to forge relationships, to facilitate, promote, and develop models of shared education appropriate to each context, and to enhance the internal capacity within each jurisdiction to effectively implement, monitor, and evaluate shared education initiatives.

Bringing together members from post-conflict societies with the common challenge of separate education for divided groups will allow for the generation of distinctive insights and perspectives to inform a broader discussion around the role of education in divided societies to act as a vehicle for reconciliation and social change. 

Top of Page

Life course and ageing research master class

Dr Danielle Blaylock, Research Fellow in the Centre for Shared Education, presented at a life course and ageing research master class at Queen's on 25 October.  Danielle's contribution to the class entitled Moving beyond age-segregated research: Why linking studies of children, life course and ageing is important which was led by Gunhild Hagestad, a Professor and Senior Research Fellow at Norwegian Social Science (NOVA).

Top of Page

Prof Tony Gallagher to give public seminar in Oxford on shared education

Prof Tony Gallagher from the Centre for Shared Education will be giving a public seminar at the University of Oxford on the 24th October entitled ‘Education in divided societies: the role of school collaboration’. For more details, please see

Top of Page

CSE Seminar: Leadership, Trust and School Improvement

On Friday 7th October 2016, the Centre for Shared Education hosted a half-day seminar focusing on how collaborative communities (within and between schools and between schools and local authorities) can lead to improvements in teachers’ practice and student outcomes. Dr Chris Brown, Senior Lecturer at UCL Institute of Education, discussed his Education Endowment Foundation-funded project, which has developed Research Learning Communities with schools to facilitate research-informed practice, and he presented the findings of a social network analysis which pointed to the importance of learning and trust in facilitating the types of relations needed to provide teachers with access to the research/evidence-centred social capital that resides within a school. Mr Sean Hayes, Interim Head of Children's Services Performance and Data, London Borough of Hounslow, presented data on London’s changing educational outcomes over the past 15 years, showing how London schools are now outperforming England as whole from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4, with disadvantaged pupils and ethnic minority pupils doing particularly well in London schools compared to elsewhere. Mr Hayes explained that: local authorities bought into the standards’ agenda and focused on progress, not just attainment; disadvantage and context was not viewed as a barrier to achievement; there was system leadership at the local authority level; and there was a strong link between the quality of leadership and the impact of good leadership on the quality of teachers and their teaching practice.

Top of Page

Education for political generosity: Lesley Emerson’s keynote lecture at the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference

Lesley Emerson was invited to give a keynote address at this year’s BERA conference in Leeds on her research exploring how schools support young people in understanding the complexity of the political world which they inhabit. Drawing on her work on citizenship and history education in Northern Ireland, Lesley argued the case for a more critical approach to the curriculum, suggesting that schools needed to move beyond ‘critical thinking’ towards helping young people ‘think politically’. Her keynote explored the evidence from an evaluation of the ‘From Prison to Peace’ educational programme – a programme which seeks to engage young people with the nature of conflict in Northern Ireland from the perspective of those who were directly involved in violence. This evaluation, she argued, suggested that educational programmes needed to: acknowledge the antecedents of current social problems; engage with multiple perspectives; and disrupt the views young people receive from their community and sometimes sanitized history classes. She also said that many schools were successful in dealing with contentious issues in the curriculum because they were strongly connected to and understood the community they served, they trusted teachers to deal with sensitive issues, and understood the value of engaging young people with controversial topics.

A video of the keynote lecture will be available in due course from:

Top of Page

Centre for Shared Education researchers present at British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference 2016
Centre for Shared Education staff presenting at BERA 2016

Researchers from the Centre of Shared Education attended the British Educational Research Association’s annual conference in Leeds from 13th to 15th September, where they gave presentations on work being undertaken on shared education in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Israel to colleagues from universities across the UK.

Dr Rebecca Loader and Professor Joanne Hughes gave a paper entitled ‘Developing shared education in Cyprus: reflections on policy transfer’, which explored the potential for shared education in the Cypriot context and the enablers and barriers to implementation.

Professor Tony Gallagher, Dr Gavin Duffy and Dr Gareth Robinson, along with Myriam Darmoni Charbit from the Centre for Educational Technology in Tel Aviv, led a symposium on shared education in Northern Ireland and Israel. This included presentations on the role of shared education in contested spaces, the development of social networks among teachers in cross-sectoral partnerships, and the application of principles of shared education with Jewish and Arab educators in Israel.

Top of Page

Professor Joanne Hughes discusses UNESCO Chair for Globalising Shared Education

Professor Joanne Hughes discusses her recently established UNESCO Chair for Globalising Shared Education with UK National Commission for UNESCO’s Shannon McNaught in this article.

Top of Page

Dr Aisling O’Boyle receives British Council Award

Dr Aisling O’Boyle from the Centre for Shared Education has received a British Council English Language Teaching Research Award 2016 for the Project “Digital Data-Driven Learning and Teaching: Making best use of corpora for English Language Teaching” (see

This British Council funded project will conduct a state-of-the-art review and undertake multiple case studies of English Language Teaching professionals in South America, Asia, Europe and the UK. Based on this evidence, the project team will develop a guide on digital data-driven learning for learners, teachers, and teacher educators.

Look out for the project blog coming in December 2016!

Top of Page

South Dakota State University Visit

On 20 August, the Centre for Shared Education was host to 25 staff and students from South Dakota State University. The visit was part of a First Year Seminar for incoming freshmen students. It offers an opportunity for students to consider their emerging roles and responsibilities through a common intellectual experience. Students visited Dublin, Derry/Londonderry, Belfast and Corrymeela. At Queen’s, Michael Arlow made a presentation on the Northern Ireland education system, responses to conflict and Shared Education.

Top of Page

Dr James Nelson is awarded SCoTENS grant

Dr James Nelson from the Centre for Shared Education has been awarded a small ScoTENS Grant for a project entitled ‘Sharing Beliefs, Sharing Education’ which will investigate current developments in teaching about religion in primary schools in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland with a particular focus on the role of inter-belief dialogue in such settings.

Top of Page

Centre colleagues present at Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, South Africa

On 20 May 2016, Dr Rebecca Loader and Dr Danielle Blaylock presented at a seminar hosted by the Centre for International Teacher Education (CITE) at Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, South Africa. Their talk focused on the different strategies used in Northern Ireland to promote social cohesion through education. Also speaking at the seminar was Professor Eugene Ndabaga from the University of Rwanda who spoke about the use of local strategies to encourage dialogue and peace building. The event was well-attended by postgraduate students, researcher fellows, lecturers, and practitioners from a number of divided societies from around the world. Wider discussions centred around the role of identity and the use of top-down versus bottom-up strategies to promote social cohesion.

Top of Page

CSE staff member Michael Arlow presents at South African conference

Michael Arlow was a keynote discussant and panel member at the Teachers and Social Cohesion Roundtable held in Pretoria, South Africa. His presentation focussed on educational initiatives in Northern Ireland addressing the legacy of the conflict and social cohesion since the Agreement. The event was hosted by the Department of Basic Education (DBE), the Centre for International Teacher Education (CITE), CPUT, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and UNICEF, South Africa. It aimed to stimulate dialogue, discussion, collaboration, and networking amongst policymakers and stakeholders on the role of teachers in promoting Social Cohesion in South Africa. 

Top of Page

Atlantic Philanthropies PhD Studentship open for applications

Applications are now open for a full-time PhD (research) Atlantic Philanthropies (AP) sponsored studentship at the Queen’s University Belfast School of Education

The studentship will relate to the broad theme of “Shared Education and Social Identity Processes” and should include a national or international comparative dimension. 


Studentships will be awarded based on applications to the PhD programme and a written proposal of 2000 words. Proposals should clearly demonstrate the following:

  • Specification of a topic, or group of related topics, which will form the main focus of the student’s research: Knowledge of the chosen topic and specific research questions should be clearly demonstrated;
  • Knowledge of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative methodological approaches and we have published some guidelines on how to write a proposal on our Doctoral Research Centre wepages.

Individuals interested in applying are advised to contact Professor Joanne Hughes (tel. 02890254133, email: before formally submitting their proposal.

Final Proposals must be submitted via the application portal by 4pm on Friday 29th July, 2016.

Academic Requirements for the AP studentship

The required minimum academic qualification for the AP studentship is a 2:1 honours degree or a qualification considered equivalent by the University.   The qualifications must be obtained in education or psychology or a related discipline. 


This AP studentship is available only on a full time basis and to candidates who are eligible UK and EU citizens To qualify for the full award (£18k per annum, comprising fees and maintenance) applicants must have been resident in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in the European Union throughout the period of 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.  

Applicants for the studentship funding should apply for a place on the PhD programme via the University's online application system and should indicate that they wish to be considered for the AP award.

Top of Page

Methodologies for researching with the most disadvantaged in situations of conflict

BERA and the Centre for Shared Education hosted a seminar on 12 May on research with disadvantaged groups in conflict settings. The event considered the range of methodological concerns and ethical issues encountered by researchers and enabled participants to share their own perspectives and experiences. The discussions aimed to identify examples of effective practice in doing research of this nature.

Dr Zvi Bekerman from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem gave his reflections on identity, conflicting narratives & reconciliation through education in Israel; Dr Siobhán McAlister from Queen’s University Belfast spoke about her experiences of doing critical social research and researching youth marginalisation and young people’s experiences with/ of ‘paramilitary style groups’ in Northern Ireland; and Dr John McMullen(Stranmillis University College) and Dr Paul O’Callaghan (Education Authority NI) gave a presentation on conducting interventions to build resilience with war-affected children, including former child soldiers, and their families in Uganda and DR Congo. 

Top of Page

Centre for Shared Education announces EdD Scholarships (2016 entry)

The Centre for Shared Education at Queen’s University Belfast is offering bursaries of £2000 each to five students taking up a part-time or full-time place on the EdD course in the academic year 2016/17. The application criteria are outlined below. Please address queries to Prof. Joanne Hughes and Dr. Caitlin Donnelly


  • The award is open to those applying for the EdD Programme and who are new applicants for entrance to the programme in 2016/17.[1]
  • Applicants should meet the EdD programme entry requirements:
    • A 2.2 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University and a Masters degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Performance profiles (grades etc) may also be required to ensure suitability of the applicant for Doctoral study.
    • Applicants will normally be expected to have at least five years' full-time professional experience in a field of work related to Education.
  • Applications must be received by 4pm on 1 August 2016.
  • To apply please follow the instructions relating to the application portal.
  • The successful applicant will be informed by the School by Friday 26 August 2016.


On the EdD online Application Form you will be asked to submit 500 words on your professional experience and potential area of research.  Please indicate that you wish to apply for a CSE bursary and detail how your potential research contributes to the mission of the Centre for Shared Education. This can be primary or secondary research and can be empirically, theoretically or policy orientated. There is no need to produce a detailed research proposal but you should indicate: the focus and purpose of the research (i.e. your research question); how the research would be carried out and the contribution to knowledge in the area of Shared Education.

Assessment criteria

All applications will be scored on the following criteria:

  • Originality – the research idea represents independent thinking, a novel approach to an issue and a contribution to knowledge;
  • Methodological rigor – the proposed methods and research design are robust and appropriate for answering the research question;
  • Feasibility – the research plan is manageable within the timeframe and appropriate to doctoral level study;
  • Impact – the policy or practice relevance of the research and/or how it will add to understanding.

Award: the award of £2000 will be discounted from the successful applicants’ fees.

[1] This cannot be used in conjunction with any other University scholarships or discounts. This bursary is only open to self-funding students.

Top of Page

Professor Joanne Hughes presents at Institute of Education, London

Professor Joanne Hughes presented  a seminar on Shared Education at the Institute of Education in London. Her talk focused on the shared education model and research evidence relating to its effectiveness in promoting more positive social attitudes and reducing prejudice. The event was well-attended by colleagues in the Centre for Learning and Leadership in the IoE and the discussion focused on the factors that enable and inhibit shared education in situations of conflict and inter-group division and also the potential of the model in the English context, where schools are becoming increasingly fragmented.

Top of Page

Collaboration and impact activities in the USA

Tony Gallagher, Gavin Duffy and Gareth Robinson from the Centre for Shared Education attended the AERA (American Educational Research Association) conference in Washington DC in April.  While there they were invited to a reception in the Irish Embassy to celebrate the work of Corrymeela and briefed officials in the United States Institute of Peace on their work on shared life/shared education in Israel.

They also held meetings with colleagues from Loyola Marymount University (LMU), Los Angeles.  Tony Gallagher and Gavin Duffy have been working with LMU for several years on shared education initiatives involving traditional public and charter schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Top of Page

Centre hosts principals and education officials from East and West Jerusalem

Prof Tony Gallagher and Dr Gavin Duffy have been working with colleagues in Israel to support shared life/shared education initiatives involving cooperation between Jewish and Arab schools for the past four years. During a 2014 visit to Israel, Tony was invited to give a presentation on shared education to the Minister of Education and his officials.  In a later visit, in 2015, he was invited to meet with the Director of Education in Jerusalem.  

As a consequence of this, a delegation of 35 school principals and education officials from East and West Jerusalem visited Northern Ireland in April this year.  They visited schools in Derry/Londonderry, Ballycastle and Cookstown to see shared education work in practice, and met with officials from the Department of Education, the Education Authority, sectoral bodies and schools to discuss practice and policy issues related to shared education.

There is every hope that some schools in Jerusalem will adopt the curriculum-focused approach to shared education already being implemented in other parts of Israel.

Top of Page

Imagine Festival of Ideas and Politics: Debate on Citizenship Education and Young People’s Participation

During the Imagine Festival (14-20 March), Ulster University and Concern hosted an event chaired by Cathy Gormley-Heenan to debate the motion “Global citizenship education is a distraction: we should focus on the local context to promote young people’s future political engagement”. Each team included an academic, a post-primary teacher and a pupil. Jackie Reilly (Ulster University), Stephen Jenkins, and Orlaith Feenan (Dominican College) spoke for the proposition and Michael Arlow (Centre for Shared Education), Fiona Smyth and Jamie Nicholson (Lisnagarvey High School) for the opposition. The young people made particularly impressive speeches and were complimented by the Chair for their debating skills which, she commented, were far superior to those of their elders. Following the speeches and exchanges with the floor, Sean Farren, Johnny McCarthy, Alan McCully and Paul Smyth shared their thoughts on some of the key issues raised. When the motion was put to a vote it was defeated.

Top of Page

Appointment to NICIE Board

The Department of Education has announced that Michael Arlow (Centre for Shared Education) is to be one of four new members appointed to the Board of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education Board of Directors. The appointment is for four years. The other new members are Mrs Maeve Marnell, Mrs Denise McIlwaine and Dr Anne Marie Telford.

Top of Page

Presentations at British Psychological Society – Northern Ireland Branch conference

The 60th Anniversary Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society Northern Ireland Branch took place on 3-5 March 2016 in Dundalk.  Stephanie Burns from the Centre for Shared Education (CSE) presented a paper entitled ‘Children’s understandings of “respect for diversity”’ in the symposium entitled Researching trust, empathy and respect in Northern Ireland.  Deborah Kinghan, a PhD student from the School of Psychology who is jointly supervised by Joanne Hughes (CSE), presented her research, entitled ‘Applying theory-based interventions to encourage successful intergroup contact through the Shared Education Programme in Northern Ireland’ in the symposium Northern Ireland: The Promotion and Process of Change.

Top of Page

BERA poverty and attainment nexus event

The BERA Research Commission series on Poverty and Policy Advocacy aims to improve the life chances of children and youth living in poverty through seminars that provide spaces for academics, teachers and policy makers across the four jurisdictions of the UK to engage in knowledge building about poverty and cumulative multiple deprivations, as these find expression in education and schooling.  On Thursday 10 March the third event in the series was held at Queen’s University Belfast, convened and chaired by Professor Ruth Leitch (back row, left) from our Centre for Shared Education.  This event highlighted child poverty and education concerns for Northern Ireland. The primary focus was the relationship between schools and communities, with the aims of:

  • illustrating education and community patterns in Northern Ireland (NI) and discussing the implications of these for understanding the impact of child poverty;
  • examining how notions of capital impact differently in working and middle class communities and how less desirable outcomes such as restrictions on individual freedoms and a downward leveling of social norms can create a low attainment nexus;
  • exploring schools’ levels of engagement, accessibility, and innovation in terms of raising attainment levels amongst children and young people in low income areas;
  • discussing policy/practice interventions that have been shown to improve children’s educational engagement, attainment and life chances in NI and contrast these with examples of innovation from the other three UK jurisdictions.

During the event, Professor Tony Gallagher welcomed delegates to Queen’s and presented a perspective on education, schools and the community.  School of Education colleagues Ruth Leitch (back row, left) and Joanne Hughes (back row, second right), with Erik Cownie (Ulster University), presented on the ‘Investigating Links in Achievement and Deprivation’ research project.  Stephanie Burns and Gerry McMahon (Project Manager, Full Service Community Network) jointly presented on the impact and practice of full service extending schooling models in Northern Ireland. 

Top of Page

Visiting Scholar - Juliette Fischer

Juliette Fischer is a visiting research associate with the Centre for Shared Education, and will be at the School of Education until June 2016.  Juliette is currently completing a Master’s degree in international relations at Sciences PO, Grenoble, France.  Juliette describes her research interests and the aims for her internship:

‘My research interests are quite broad considering that my bachelor dissertation was about how cartography could be considered as a political tool with a specific focus on the war in Syria.  At the moment, I am involved in the Shared Education Signature Project Research Study – funded by Atlantic Philanthropies - and I am assisting other researchers from the Centre for Shared Education in the design and implementation of the research study.  My current research interests are thus focused on the role of education when it comes to building peace and shared education, in particular, as a means for reconciliation (in Northern Ireland).  My master’s thesis focuses on that topic and tries to explore how teachers and pupils deal with difference in shared classrooms.  To do so, methods like focus groups, interviews, classroom observations and tailored creative group interviews will be used with a wide range of participants.’

To contact Juliette about her research, please email her at

Top of Page

Visiting Scholar - Carolyn Geraci

Carolyn Geraci is a Fulbright Teaching Award Holder from Texas, USA, and will be at the School of Education until June 2016.  Carolyn describes her aims for the period of time she’s spending with us:

For my Fulbright project I am researching school-wide and in-classroom strategies and techniques that are used to promote unity.  The goal of this project is to explore the effectiveness of schools in Northern Ireland in dispelling discrimination and hostile environments.  In our schools in Houston, Texas, we have serious problems with discrimination in our student population.  I hope to find new ways to address these issues.  Two personal projects are also on the agenda.  As an English teacher, I am always interested in techniques others use for teaching grammar and composition.  My colleagues and I use writing workshops in our classrooms.  I’d like to be able to take back a few different ideas to add to our toolboxes.  Also, testing has become a contentious topic in Texas.  I would like to compare perceptions about test preparation.'

To contact Carolyn about her research, please email her at

Top of Page

CSE input to the Imagine Festival of Ideas and Politics

The Imagine Festival of Ideas and Politics is taking place in Belfast from 14-20 March 2016 and aims to promote debate on key issues in Northern Ireland today. Michael Arlow from the Centre for Shared Education will be participating in a panel debate on Citizenship, Education and Young People’s Political Participation, which is taking place at the Ulster University Campus on York Street on 14 March from 4-5.30pm. Other events that may be of interest to educational professionals and to School of Education staff, students and visitors include:

  • Are Schools Failing Our Kids?’ -  a symposium which aims to explore issues including bullying, looked after children, and underachievement
  • Modern Perspectives: What the 21st Century Classroom Should Look Like’ – an open discussion evening to explore the issues, challenges and solutions in providing effective education
  • ‘On Irishness’ – a discussion about perceptions of Irishness and the different ways in which people identify with Irishness 
  • Visualising Conflict in Palestine – an informal discussion facilitated by Dr Brendan Browne (Trinity College Dublin) and Dr Julie Norman (Queen’s University Belfast) about the role of photography in communicating stories of daily life in conflict zones
  • Big Data, Bigger Potential’ – a discussion and debate on the issue of ‘Big Data’ and the potential that it has to inform research and impact positively on society 

To view the full programme please see


Top of Page

Centre for Shared Education provides oral evidence on Shared Education to the Education Committee

In November the Shared Education Bill was formally introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly. To better inform the Committee for Education as they reviewed the Bill, the Centre for Shared Education was asked to provide written feedback on the contents of the Bill. Additionally, on 25 November Professor Joanne Hughes, Dr Danielle Blaylock and Michael Arlow provided oral evidence to the Education Committee. Feedback provided by the Centre has since informed the Committee’s most recent report which will be debated at a future Plenary session. The Centre for Shared Education is proud to contribute to this very important area of work.

Top of Page

CSE present at the Centre for International Education in the University of Sussex

On 6 January Professor Joanne Hughes and Dr Danielle Blaylock were invited to the Centre for International Education at the University of Sussex to present the broad body of research the Centre has completed to date exploring the impact of shared education. The presentation was followed by a lively discussion amongst members of both centres about the role of education in divided societies to promote social cohesion. It is anticipated that future collaborations between the Centre for Shared Education and the Centre for International Education will investigate cross-group friendship networks in divided societies such as South Africa and Rwanda and explore the potential for shared education in South Africa.

Top of Page

Centre for Shared Education members collaborate with colleagues in Cyprus on shared education

On 16 January, members of the Centre for Shared Education attended a conference, “Developing Peace Culture – the role of education” in the UN Buffer Zone, Nicosia, Cyprus. The conference, attended by representatives of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teaching unions, was described as the first bicommunal education conference. It was supported by the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and the European Parliament Information Office in Cyprus. Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers and President of the ETUCE was the keynote speaker. Professor Joanne Hughes and Michael Arlow presented proposals for collaborative work on shared education in Cyprus involving the development of partnerships between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot schools, joint teacher development activities and a programme of research.

The conference received largely positive feedback in online media outlets; to read these reports please see the links below:



Top of Page

Spirit of 95

On 7th December Professor Joanne Hughes presented a keynote on shared education at the ‘Spirit of 95’ event in the Great Hall at Queen’s University. The event was organized by the Global Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice as a 20 year anniversary marker of President Bill Clinton’s visit to Belfast in December 1995. The aim was to examine the lessons and legacies of the Clinton visit and speakers included Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, US Consul General, Daniel Lawton, local academics and young people. There was also a video message from President Bill Clinton. 

Top of Page

PhD DEL Studentship Award 2016 entry

The Faith School Debate

Separate schools for different ethno-religious groups have been linked to hostile inter-ethnic relations and violence. At the same time some democratic jurisdictions see increasingly homogenized education systems as a legitimate response to ethno-cultural plurality, and the imperative to protect the rights of minority ethnic groups. The proposed project seeks to examine this tension through empirical research in faith schools located in the UK and/or other jurisdictions.  Drawing on identity and positioning theory, and located in discourses on multi-culturalism, political philosophy and education policy, the aim is to explore how well faith schools prepare pupils for life in modern democracies. The following are indicative questions: How do the faith perspectives embraced by schools inform the interpretation and delivery of  curriculum subjects relating to national, religious and political  identity (eg history, politics, citizenship and religious education); How is school ethos manifest, negotiated and communicated in faith schools and how do these processes shape understanding of self and others? How are inconsistencies relating to formal curriculum requirements and faith perspectives dealt with in faith schools, and what are the implications for perceptions of own and other groups. It is anticipated that this research will be undertaken within a qualitative methodological framework using methods best adapted to exploring inter-subjective meaning-making.

In designing the proposal, it is important to take account of the following: the current policy context for faith schools; related theoretical and conceptual literatures; previous empirical studies relating to the role of education in divided and plural contexts. The research methodology section should outline a clear rationale for the methods selected.  Your research proposal should not be more than 2000 words (maximum) in length (excluding references).

Proposals must include references to academic literature and provide evidence of academic reading within the research field including a paragraph on any ethical issues that are likely to arise in the course of the research.  All applicants must contact the relevant named project director prior to submitting their application and proposal.

Contact: Professor Joanne Hughes (tel. +44 (0)28 9097 5934 ) for further information about the project.

Visit the School of Education's Doctoral Research Centre webpages for more information on how to apply and funding opportunities.

Top of Page