SHLC at the 2021 Comparative and International Education Society Conference

The SHLC team took part in a paper presentation and formal panel session at the 65th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society: Social Responsibility within Changing Contexts.

Conference Background

The 2021 conference themeSocial Responsibility within Changing Contexts, focuses our attention on closely examining the work we do and how others in the field experience our work, in a changing environment with a growing variety of actors who may or may not share the same visions for the future.

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, we see rapid changes in political, economic, environmental, cultural, and social spaces. Along with these changes is an increasing variety of actors, including non-state actors who are now more involved. These changes influence education globally and locally. This calls for revisiting the relationships among context, actors, visions, and action, and our own collective social responsibility.

Download presentations by clicking on the links below. Scroll to read more detail about each paper and panel presentation.

Paper Session: Exploring educational opportunities across neighbourhoods in urban centres: insights from Bangladesh, India, and Tanzania. 

Speakers: Yulia Nesterova, University of Glasgow and Michele Schweisfurth, University of Glasgow.


  • Historically, one of the reasons for rural-to-urban migration included the possibility to access better education services as a way out of poverty and rural labour and towards improved socio-economic prospects. Contemporary rates and styles of urbanisation, however, suggest that the benefits that access to urban educational opportunities used to offer may not continue to materialise for all in the Global South due to the growth of urban sprawl and slums, which puts more pressure on the already overburdened services, including education. The New Urban Agenda (UN-Habitat, 2017) thus emphasises the need to maximise the benefits and minimise the harms of rapid and poorly controlled urbanisation by investing in sustainable and inclusive opportunities for all, including (and especially) in education.
  • However, the lack of reliable and nuanced data on the distribution of opportunities, benefits, and harm within the urban population leads to policies operating at a very general level. This prevents moving towards systematic approaches to address inequalities in education that are customised to local realities and priorities.
  • This paper is a step towards addressing this gap as it focuses on understanding spatial inequalities and experiences in accessing formal education services. Mindful of the role of neighbourhoods in shaping opportunities and livelihoods and perpetuating inequalities, we studied and compared educational opportunities, facilities, and services in neighbourhoods of different income in Bangladesh, India, and Tanzania.
Formal Panel Session: Local challenges, global imperatives: Cities at the forefront to achieve SDG 4.

Panel Objectives

  • The ultimate objective of the panel is to foster knowledge sharing and critical thinking with members of the research community and partners on the key role played by cities in planning for SDG4. It will also provide an opportunity to take a step back in a quick changing and complex context, to reflect on the most relevant approaches for cities to plan for sustainable and inclusive quality education for their youngest citizens, children and youth.
  • Based on the results of qualitative and quantitative research projects conducted in diverse geographical areas and socioeconomic contexts, and from the experiences of cities, this panel precisely aims at discussing strategies to guide cities to successfully plan for SDG 4. The panel focuses on cities that have made education a priority for their territory, and that have developed holistic, innovative and successful strategies to guarantee – access to quality education for all children and youth.
  • Specific attention will be given to the city’s education strategy and its planning cycle, as well as the ecosystem of actors and sectors involved in educational planning and management at the city level.


  • Candy Lugaz and Chloé Chimier, International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) UNESCO
  • Léon MUGABE and Vincent Manirakiza, University of Rwanda
  • Alex Howells, UNESCO Institute for lifelong learning (UIL)

Chair: Michaela Martin, International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) UNESCO

Discussant: Michael Osborne, Professor of Adult and Lifelong Learning and Director of Research, School of Education, University of Glasgow