Nikita Samanta's Arrival onto the Project
The project's second funded PhD Student has now arrived in the UK and settled into the project. Here is Nikita's account of her arrival:
Having lived in the UK before, arriving at Coventry wasn't much of a culture shock but it was quite a departure from London, where I'd previously spent a year. Having the project team to support and guide me through the initial few weeks of turmoil that is usual when trying to uproot and relocate was a welcome relief and provided me with much-needed comfort and reassurance. The student union organised multiple events and activities in the first week, which helped me get acquainted not only with the campus and my surroundings but also with several peers from all around the world who quickly became friends. I've managed to get involved pretty quickly with me representing my class as a PGR SSLC member, auditing 3 modules in rather diverse topics but all of which relate and will aid my research, taking up the responsibility of the project blog and joining various societies on campus besides juggling my own research. I was also able to give a short presentation at a conference in London at the SRHE within just two weeks of arriving at Warwick.
I've had a few meetings with the project team and my supervisor, Ann Stewart since my arrival and we've discussed my role in the project but also my own research within the project and the ways forward. I am excited to get started on my proposal for my upgrade and am hoping that all will be smooth sailing.
All in all, it has been a rather exciting and productive one month since I've arrived and I can only imagine how much more exciting (and busy) the next couple of months will get.
Anjali Thomas’ New Piece on Intersectionality in Higher Education
FCF Project PhD Student, Anjali Thomas, has published a new piece in July! The piece is an article for the University World News – also published on the project blog – on ‘Why higher education requires an intersectional lens’. The article explains intersectionality as a theoretical framework and explores how it may be useful to fight inequalities in the context of higher education, in particular regarding admission and course as well as college choice.
To read Anjali’s article, click here.
Project presentation at UCL Institute of Education CEID Conference
Emily Henderson and Anjali Thomas presented a paper entitled, “Gendering access to higher education in Haryana, India: A comparative study of two government colleges” at the CEID Annual Conference 2018: Higher Education and International Development at the Institute of Education, UCL, London. Many of the papers at this conference were from the African Continent, especially South Africa. The keynote speaker, Dr. Teboha Moja, presented a really interesting and critical analysis of development of scientific research from the African continent and the politics of collaborative work between the global north and south.
The project paper shared the context, design and preliminary findings of the Pilot study conducted in February 2018. We were the only paper in the conference working on data from India and received a lot of interest from scholars working on education in the Indian subcontinent. We were asked why we chose to study Haryana. We reiterated that we have chosen to focus on Haryana as it is a leading state in India in terms of agricultural, industrial and infrastructure development, which is however also a leading state in terms of violence against women and people from historically marginalised communities. There is a need to examine these inconsistencies in narratives of development so that similar unequal development models are not replicated elsewhere. There was curiosity whether women choosing urban higher education institutions over rural institutions were an attempt to access less restrictive spaces with more independence or an attempt to reshape gender relations. There was also concern whether we could be paying attention to details such as family size and birth order. We explained that we would give significant attention to factors such as family size and birth order, we further clarified that our understanding of college choices by students were not inferred rather they were the concerns directly reported to the Pilot research team.
‘Deconstructing Haryana’ at the ‘Order/Disorder’ conference at University of Warwick
The Fair Chance for Education project saw its first formal conference presentation in April. The conference was organised by Sarah Hodges (History) in relation to the University of Warwick Global Partnership Fund Award 2017/18. A delegation from Shiv Nadar University, India visited Warwick and the conference itself was held on the 26th and 27thof April 2018. The conference was titled “Order/Disorder: Self and Society in Modern South Asia”. The event was attended by the four visiting academics from the Shiv Nadar University and faculty and research students (History, Literature, Sociology, CES and Theatre) from Warwick. A majority of the presentations were on literature, history and political developments in India.
Emily Henderson and Anjali Thomas presented the first Fair Chance for Education paper on the second day of the event on 27th April 2018. The paper was entitled ‘Deconstructing Haryana: Dis/order in representations of gender, caste and education’. Emily started the presentation with a brief introduction of the project and its focus on gender and educational trajectories in Haryana. The second part of the presentation was a conversation between Emily and Anjali, where Emily discussed the process of deconstruction and Anjali deconstructed the narratives and representations of gender, caste and education in Haryana. There was a lot of interest in the funding and the focus of the project. People were also interested in how we deconstructed the emerging narratives of development and gender empowerment in Haryana.
Dr Nidhi S Sabharwal Blog Post ‘Mind the Gap – Gendered and Caste-based Disparities in Access to Conference Opportunities’
Project partner Dr Nidhi S Sabharwal has published a guest post on the Conference Inference blog co-edited by Dr Emily Henderson, project co-investigator for the Fair Chance to Education project. Running parallel to this project, Emily Henderson’s other research explores various aspects of academic conferences, and her blog – which she runs with Dr James Burford (Thammasat University, Thailand) – considers critical and social issues relating to conferences, such as caring responsibilities in the context of conferencing.
To extend the project collaboration beyond the Fair Chance project, Emily invited Nidhi to contribute a post to the blog. In her post ‘Mind the Gap – Gendered and Caste-based Disparities in Access to Conference Opportunities’, Dr Nidhi S Sabharwal answers some pressing questions about the issues of caste and gender inequality in relation to access to conferences in India, as well as the correlation between the prestige of the institutions and the diversity of access. Dr Sabharwal also discusses the repercussions that such limitations have on individual professional growth.
Click here to read the full post.
February 2018 Pilot Visit in Haryana – Development of the Research Instruments
The Fair Chance for Education Project Team has made its way to Haryana this February to run the pilot study for the project. The Consultative Group on the project contributed greatly to this by assisting with the development of the research instruments. Particular thanks go to Sharmila Rathee, Manju Panwar and Roma Smart Joseph who helped trial the research instrument by sampling it with their students. Thank you also to project partner Nidhi S Sabharwal, who provided invaluable feedback on the research instruments.
(Photo: Dr Manju Panwar’s student completing the survey)
New! Project Blog Launched
We are pleased to announce that the Project Blog for the Fair Chance for Education Research Project is here!
Our PhD student Anjali Thomas has put a lot of work into this blog and it looks great!
We welcome guest contributions for the blog, and encourage submissions about issues connected to the project such as gender, education, Haryana, etc.
To have a look at the newly launched blog, see here. To stay updated, see the Follow icon on the right-hand side of the blog website.
For more details on guest submission, see here.
Global Engagement Meeting Delhi
Our project partner in India, Dr Nidhi S. Sabharwal has attended a Global Engagement Meeting in Delhi this month, here are her thoughts on this event:
“Attending the Global Engagement Meeting (GEM) in Delhi provided me with clarity on the current research focus of the global initiative GCRF. The current research agenda of GCRF takes the SDG lens and encourages project proposals to align with the SDGs. It emphasises the creation of new knowledge, and promotes innovations to ensure that 'no one is left behind'. Importantly, disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and international partnerships to identify pathways of change are encouraged. The main focus is the production of knowledge connected with social transformation, and on pro-actively finding solutions. The broad SDG goals that our work addresses include: improving access to inclusive and equitable quality education; reducing gender inequalities; and, strengthening of institutions that enable respect for human rights and the rule of law. Cyril France (one of the participants), from Youth Path Organisation in Ghana, was kind to share this link that helps determine which Sustainable Development Goal(s) and targets relate to our work: http://sdgfunders.org/wizard/
Attending the Global Engagement Meeting (GEM) allowed me to engage with a wide spectrum of research peers - it also offered an opportunity to explore the possibility of additional research opportunities for the Fair Chance for Education: Gendered Pathways to Educational Success in Haryana project. It gave me a platform to speak about the Gender and Education in Haryana project and showcase the collaborative research opportunities available.”