Learning through a UNESCO Chair partnership

6th March 2023

The UEA UNESCO Chair in Adult Literacy and Learning for Social Transformation was established in 2016 as partnership between UEA, UNESCO and six universities in the Global South. The seminar will be facilitated by members of the UEA UNESCO Chair team from the UK, Nepal, Malawi, Ethiopia and the Philippines.


Session facilitators: Kamal Raj Devkota (Research Centre for Educational Innovation and Development, Tribhuvan University, Nepal), Gina Lontoc (University of Santo Tomas, the Philippines), Turuwark Zalalam Warkineh & Abiy Menkir Gizaw (Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia), Ahmmardouh Mjaya (University of Malawi), James Bridge (UK National Commission for UNESCO), and Hélène Binesse, Lauren Bouttell, Burcu Evren, Theresa Frey, Catherine Jere, Yann Lebeau, Chris Millora, Anna Robinson-Pant, Qingru Wang (University of East Anglia).


This multi-media session will offer a space to reflect on some of the below questions, to find out more about the UEA UNESCO Chair in Adult Literacy and Learning for Social Transformation and to share your own experiences of intercultural and cross-institutional partnerships.

  • How can we move beyond short-term instrumental North-South partnerships in education?
  • What is a UNESCO Chair and what can this offer to universities in the Global South and Global North? What are the constraints?
  • How can individual researchers, PhD students and international policy makers engage in more creative learning together?

Whilst partnerships in international education are designed to address global issues, they can also stimulate their actors in their personal and professional development. This seminar sets out to explore an alternative model for South-North collaboration from those usually established through externally funded research projects. The UNESCO Chair links universities in the Global North and South to share expertise and co-create new knowledge to inform national and international policy – based on a shared theme but without any prior committed funding. There are over 700 UNESCO Chairs established in universities across the world.