IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


A school in Madagascar by Milijaona Randrianarivelojisoa


Education, conflict and peacebuilding

Children's right to quality education is under threat due to violent conflicts, mass displacement, natural disasters and growing social and economic inequalities globally.

Coordinator: Dr Tejendra Pherali

Children raising hands to answer questions in class

Male students standing on a hillside

Education policies and programming that are designed to address concerns about access to educational resources, distribution and pedagogical approaches often fail to address complex political, security and economic challenges that are faced by learners in emergency situations.

Our work focuses on three main areas

Research projects

We have a growing portfolio of research that broadly focuses on:

  • politics of education in conflict-affected environments 
  • intersections between educational inequalities, injustices and violence/ conflict
  • protection of education from attacks in conflict settings
  • provision of education in emergencies and protracted crisis, such as refugee settings
  • educational inclusion and the role of education in peace building.

Current research projects

  • Inclusive education in postwar Nepal - Dr Tejendra Pherali, Co-Principal Investigator (UCL Institute of Education) with Dr Marit Haug (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway), Dr Pramod Bhatta (Tribhuvan University, Nepal) and Professor Basudev Kafle (Tribhuvan University, Nepal)
  • Distance learning modalities in compounded crisis: The case of Lebanon - Dr Mai Abu Moghli, Co-Investigator (Centre for Lebanese University, Lebanese American University) and Dr Maha Shuyab (Centre for Lebanese University, Lebanese American University)
  • De-weaponising Identities and Education in Crisis - Dr Laila Kadiwal, Principal Investigator (UCL Institute of Education), Professor Peter Sammonds, Principal Investigator (UCL Institute of Education) and Dr Kusha Anand, Research Assistant (UCL Institute of Education)
  • UCL's ESRC-funded RELIEF Centre (Refugees, Education, Learning, Information Technology, and Entrepreneurship for the Future) - Dr Tejendra Pherali, Co-Investigator (UCL Institute of Education), Dr Elaine Chase, Co-Investigator (UCL Institute of Education), Dr Mai Abu Moghli, Research Associate (UCL Institute of Education)

Current doctoral projects

  • Pukhtun women of Pakistan: peacebuilding through education - Sadaf Yasir
  • An examination of refugee education policies and practices in Indonesia - Laetitia Lemaistre 
  • Critical peace education for refugee youth: An investigation of empowerment education for Syrian refugee youth in Jordan (ESRC-funded) - Arran Magee 
  • The role of higher education in peacebuilding in Nepal - Ganesh Khadka
  • Conflict, constraints, and cohesion: Local responses to external influences in education provision in Nigeria - Vanita Datta
  • The role of education in peacebuilding in Southern Thailand - Chawin Pongpajon.

Recently completed projects

Teaching programmes

We offer the MA in Education and International Development: Conflict, Emergencies and Peace that is linked with our research and scholarly activities.

If you have any queries about our teaching programme, please feel free to get in touch with the Programme Leader Dr Tejendra Pherali t.pherali@ucl.ac.uk.

Civic engagement and knowledge dissemination

Seminar series

The centre organises public seminars on Education in Conflict and Emergencies and hosts the Network for Research in Education, Conflict and Emergencies. To view our past events, visit our YouTube channel.

Education and Conflict Review (ECR)

The Centre for Education and International Development is home to ECR, a scholarly publication focusing on theoretical and empirical knowledge in the field, and promotes collaborations with academic institutions countries that have been affected by violent conflicts. More information: Education and Conflict Review

What’s going to happen to education in conflict zones after the pandemic?

Dr Humera Iqbal talks to Dr Tejendra Pherali about his work, which focuses on the role of education in conflict and peacebuilding in emergencies and fragile environments. A journey that begins in Nepal and takes us through some of the world’s most vulnerable areas affected not only by war, conflict and displacement, but also the coronavirus.

SoundCloud Widget Placeholderhttps://soundcloud.com/ioelondon/whats-going-happen-education-conflict-z...

COVID-19 Blame Game

An insightful and moving documentary tracking the vicious scapegoating of marginalised people by majoritarian political elites around the world during pandemics past and present.

It is based on the research and concept developed by Dr Laila Kadiwal, Fellow of Education and International Development at UCL and made by the acclaimed director of Sameer and Birth 1871, Dakxin Chhara. More information: COVID-19 Blame Game.

Education for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon 

In a conversation with the UCL Grand Challenges team, Dr Tejendra Pherali explores the barriers and difficulties of access to education for migrants and refugees, and in particular Syrian refugees in Lebanese settlements.

SoundCloud Widget Placeholderhttps://soundcloud.com/uclsound/voices-from-grand-challenges-migration-a...