Conference 2023 News & Events

Keynote speakers at ESAI Conference 2023

ESAI welcomes three keynote speakers to its Annual Conference, March 30th to April 1st 2023 at Stranmillis University College, Belfast.

Joanne HUghesJoanne Hughes is Professor of Education in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, and Director of the Centre for Shared Education in the School. She also holds a UNESCO Chair in education. Her main research interests are in the role of education in divided societies, and inter-group relations in conflict and post-conflict societies. In recent years she has led a number of research projects on the implementation of the shared education model in Northern Ireland, and worked with academics and educational stakeholders in regions across the world to explore the potential for adapted shared education models in other divided contexts. She has also advised Government Officials and Ministers nationally and internationally on the development of policies and interventions to promote good relations in schools. In 2019, her work along with that of colleagues at Queen’s, was recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in an Anniversary Prize, awarded to Queen’s University for Shared Education.


Karl Kitching

Karl Kitching is Professor of Public Education at University of Birmingham. His research focuses primarily on matters of race, faith, childhood, and sexuality in education. He has published two books and numerous articles, including Childhood, Religion and School Injustice and The Politics of Compulsive Education: Racism and Learner-Citizenship. Karl is currently leading a 2.5 year research project titled ‘Free Expression in School? The Making of Youth Engagement with Race and Faith’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. This project maps the political, geographic, affective and cultural conditions that ‘make’ young people’s expression on race and faith equality issues in and out of schools across England.



Gry Paulgaard Gry Paulgaard is Professor at the Department of Education and Dr.Polit. in Pedagogics and UiT, The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, Northern Norway.  Her scholarly interests include geography of education;  implying the importance of contextualization of educational research, globalization and uneven development between center and periphery; particularly focusing on how young people growing up in northern areas live their lives, experience their opportunities for education and work, and the ‘choices’ they have.  In recent years, after 2015, much of her research has focused on migration, refugee education and integration of young people and families in rural places, particularly in the rural north of Norway. She is also the head of the research group ICred – Intercultural Relations in Education – at UiT the Arctic University of Norway.

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