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.