UCL’s first Arabic MOOC will bring education opportunities to refugees in Lebanon

Eileen Kennedy

English dominates the internet. Most MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are available only in English. UCL has run many MOOCs with English language course providers such as FutureLearn. When you want to reach an Arabic speaking audience, however, you need to take a different approach. To reach as many participants as possible, UCL has created its first MOOC on the Edraak platform.

At the RELIEF Centre (for research and learning focused on inclusive growth and prosperity in Lebanon)we are investigating ways of fostering prosperity in places affected by mass displacement. Refugees account for over a quarter of the population of the small country of Lebanon. Such a massive influx of people puts extra pressure on an Read more ›

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Posted in Further higher and lifelong education, International development

Why Britain’s private schools are such a social problem

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Francis Green. 

Private schools tend to be richly resourced and expensive, so those children lucky enough to attend them normally receive a good education, with academic advantages enhanced by a range of extra-curricular activities. But while this might be great for private pupils these schools pose a serious problem for Britain’s education system and society.

Britain’s private schools are very socially exclusive and there is no sign that attempts to mitigate this exclusivity through means-tested bursaries are working. The scale of bursaries is far too small to make a difference – just 1% of children go for free.

The exclusivity stems from the enormous price tag of private schooling. Fees average £17,200 a year per child, and are much higher for boarding schools. Some question Read more ›

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Posted in Schools

More British children are learning Mandarin Chinese – but an increase in qualified teachers is urgently needed

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Mandarin Chinese: coming to a school near you soon?
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Katharine Carruthers.

Mandarin Chinese is seen as being of increasing strategic importance, and in recent years there’s been a growing number of students taking up the language in schools across the UK.

There were more than 3,500 GCSE entries for Mandarin Chinese in 2018. But it’s not just China’s global dominance that makes Mandarin an appealing alternative to learning a European language. For students, it’s exciting and Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

Social media and screen-time: To ban or not to ban – that’s probably not the question

Rob Davies, CLOSER.

Informed by evidence from academics, royal societies, health officials, social media companies, young people, teachers, government ministers, research funders and more, the Science and Technology Committee report on the impact of social media and screen-use on young people’s health covers a range of issues: from risks, harms and benefits, regulations and guidance, to resources for schools and teachers.

It makes a number of specific recommendations to government, many of which are relevant to research: Read more ›

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Posted in Social sciences and social policy, young people

We Are Movers: new ways of collaborating with women migrants and refugees

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Amalia Pascal, Amy North, Claudia Lapping, Hanna Retallack, Iman Azzi, Rachel Benchekroun, Rachel Rosen, Raphaela Armbruster, Sara Joiko Mujica, Tabitha Millett (as part of Refuge in a Moving World, an interdisciplinary UCL network focused on displacement, forced migration, exile and conflict).

We may think we know about the experience of migrants. We see images of camps, beach landings, tragic losses at sea, the Calais Jungle, targeted racist aggression, disturbing rhetoric about crime and security. We also hear stories of settlement, friendship and educational success. What is our specific responsibility to contribute to this picture?

Read more ›

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Posted in Further higher and lifelong education
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