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A Fair Chance for Education

A Fair Chance for Education

A Fair Chance for Education: Gendered Pathways to Educational Success in Haryana is a five-year action research project that seeks to determine the gendered factors that contribute to educational success for young people in Haryana, India.

Haryana experiences significant gender-based practices that affect the ability of young people to access and remain within the education system, and to progress into higher education. The project therefore focusses on gendered social relations and gender differences in choices, obstacles and opportunities for young people as they progress through the education system, and ultimately intends to devise interventions that can bring about positive social change.

The project design has been developed in collaboration with a core group of Indian partners and The Fair Chance Foundation. In addition, the project incorporates two fully-funded doctorates, contributing to capacity building in Indian higher education.

Following a scoping report on gender and education in Haryana undertaken by the project’s partners, the project aims are:

  • To contribute to capacity building in Indian higher education through two funded doctorates and project activities such as methodological workshops.
  • To establish which factors affect young people’s progression to higher education, and how these factors are gendered.
  • To design, implement and evaluate an intervention that targets obstacles identified in the first stage of the study.
  • To produce useful, robust evidence that may bring about social change.

Baseline evidence will initially be gathered about the gendered educational trajectories of students who are in their first year of higher education in the state of Haryana, and the factors which influenced their entry to and choice of higher education institution.

The evidence will be collected through biographical, narrative interviews and wider surveying methods with current students (first-year undergraduates including men and women, from a range of disciplines, and across the state of Haryana).

Higher education offers young people the possibility of a far wider range of opportunities in life. Through assessment of the communities that currently exist in the higher education system, the project will develop an understanding of who does and does not make it to higher educational level and reveal the challenges and barriers that result in some young people not being able to benefit from the opportunities that higher education offers.

Project Timeline

India project timeline

The project is designed around principles of collaborative research, and it is integral to the investigative team's research philosophy that the project is beneficial to as many different groups as possible.

Key elements include:

  • Project visits to UK and India to develop collaborations
  • Collaborative working groups will be established:
    • Core project group (University of Warwick, Ambedkar University, NUEPA, TISS Mumbai)
    • Research advisory group comprising experts in the field of gender and education
    • Consultative group to include scholars working across Education Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Human Rights and Socio-legal Studies, including early career researchers

    The broad composition of the Consultative group will ensure that the project is being informed by a range of disciplinary perspectives and will provide a space where the project can be informed by colleagues from different stages of the academic career path.

  • Two doctorates will be funded

There will be opportunities to be involved in events/discussions for future visits located in India, and opportunities for some members to visit the University of Warwick over the course of the five years.

The insights gained from the evidence gathering will be used to design and implement a small-scale targeted intervention. Further research will evaluate the process and results of the intervention.

The intervention will be conducted in collaboration with local partners and will be designed to produce social change in areas that have been identified by the baseline research.

The project is linked with Warwick’s interdisciplinary research network, the International Development GRP (Global Research Priorities).

Funded PhD Student Anjali ThomasAnjali Thomas is a graduate of English Literature and has a Masters in Social Work.

Anjali is interested in studying social forces like gender, caste, class and religion in India and how they influence the educational paths experienced by individuals.

She has worked with CORD (Collaborative Research and Dissemination) and ICRW (International Centre for Research on Women) on a qualitative research project in Haryana. The project evaluated how a long term conditional cash transfer social scheme might have changed the value of the girl child within the families and societies in Haryana.

Anjali also has an M.Phil. degree in Social Sciences through which she studied the narratives and experiences of undergraduate students in a college in Delhi University. Anjali's study tried to understand the conscious and unconscious forms of caste-based social discrimination and prejudices. This was elucidated by examining how they are practiced, experienced and comprehended by undergraduate students.

A Fair Chance for Education:
Gendered Pathways to Educational Success in Haryana

Jan 2017 - Dec 2022 (5 years)

Location(s): Haryana, India and UK

Principal Investigator:



Fair Chance Foundation Logo

WCPRS - Warwick Collaborative Postgraduate Research Scholarships

CES - Centre for Educational Studies

With additional contributions from the University of Warwick's donor community.


Dr Manish Jain, Ambedkar University, India

Dr Nidhi Sabharwal, NUEPA, India

Professor Nandini Manjrekar, TISS Mumbai, India


(PDF Document)

Project code: RLAAA3083