University of Worcester Holds Conference on the Future of International Education


A conference, held at the St John's campus, looked at the future of teacher training in a global context.

It considered strategies on how to make the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) sustainable development goal of providing universal quality education by 2030 a reality.

Academics and practitioners with wide-ranging expertise in teaching from 11 different countries attended the University's two-day conference titled Education: A Global Perspective, hearing presentations and taking part in discussions.

Topics included internationalisation of higher education, mobile learning and teacher education in the 21st century and the role of IT.

The conference was organised by the University of Worcester's Institute of Education in association with the British Educational Research Association.

Dr Pinky Jain, a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education, who leads on international development within the Institute of Education at the University of Worcester, said: "As an outcome from the conference, the network of conference delegates is working on a report for UNESCO UK, which it hopes will form a policy briefing document which makes recommendations to support the 2030 goals for education.

"This is a key document, which UNESCO will use worldwide to mobilise the "education for all children" agenda and we, as a university, could be playing an important part in that process."

Keynote speaker Gary Brace, Vice Chair with Education Portfolio of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, told the conference teachers were at the heart of ending poverty.

He said: "It's never been more important to ensure that teachers are getting the training they need to have to be a force for change by equipping children and adults with the skills they need."

He told how 58 million children do not go to school and, of those who do, 130 million are unable to read or write after four years.

Mr Brace said attendance was not producing an adult population with the skills necessary to bring a country out of poverty and it was the quality of teaching that was most significant.

"All countries need to ask themselves what children and adults need to learn and how teachers can best teach," he added.