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Tony Gallagher has worked for over 15 years on shared education, which involves collaboration between schools from different communities in divided societies aimed at promoting social cohesion and school improvement. He currently works on projects in Northern Ireland, Israel and Los Angeles. This is part of a career-long focus of work on the role of education in divided societies, including work on minority rights, equality policy, and the role of education in ethnic conflict. He has also led work on the impact of differentiated education systems.

This research has included within Northern Ireland work on shared education has led to significant policy change and the mainstreaming of collaboration within the education system. The model of collaboration is being adapted for use in Israel, involving Jewish and Arab schools, and in Los Angeles, between charter and traditional public schools.

Specific research activities have focused on the pupils’ and teachers’ experience of collaboration, the development of network solutions to education problems, social network analysis as a way of analysing educational change, collaborative leadership, sustainable change in education, and the policy-practice nexus in education

The objective of the research activity is to inform education policy and practice in jurisdictions where the structural arrangements for education reflect wider social and ethnic divisions in society

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Open to PhD applications in the field of 

  • The role of education in divided societies generally
  • The relationship between education policy and educational practice
  • Collaboration between schools and the role of social networks
  • Issues related to educational leadership
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Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science

School Of Social Sciences, Education And Social Work

Mitchell Institute 

Research students

PhD title: Treatment of international students with disabilities or special education needs

Name: Anne Rowan
Years of Study: 
Country: Northern Ireland

PhD title: Higher education quality for Angolan Students

Name: Carla Quieroz
Years of Study: 
Country: Angola


PhD title: Evaluation of a special education programme in Malaysia

Name: Aswandi Laman
Years of Study: 
Country: Malaysia

Alumni: where are they now?

James Nelson

PhD title: Teachers experience of school collaboration

Years of Study: 
Country: Northern Ireland
Current position: Lecturer in Queen’s University Belfast

Gareth Robinson

PhD title: Social networks

Years of Study: 
Country: Northern Ireland
Current position: Researcher in Queen’s University Belfast

Tareq AlBakri

PhD title: Public achievement and youth empowerment in Palestine

Years of Study: 
Country: Palestine
Current position: Working in an NGO in Qatar

Research at Queen's

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