Education today is, more than ever, a necessary condition for social inclusion and sustainable development. In a context of economic downturn and increasing economic inequalities, being excluded from education neglects almost every possible opportunity a person can have in their life. Local and national governments, as well as supranational organizations, are clearly aware of these challenges. They are also concerned about the need to develop quality education systems to enhance economic competitiveness and social cohesion, but also to guarantee education as a basic human right. However, another matter entirely is whether policymakers know and find the appropriate policies and strategies to ensure educational development.
In the globalization era, policies, programmes and practices are subject to processes of global production, circulation and dissemination around the world. This leads to the constitution of global agendas for educational development that are identified and intensively shared as universal good practices for achieving educational targets, such as those defined in global compacts such as the MDGs and EFA goals. Despite all these efforts, many challenges have yet to be unaccomplished in this terrain. In the 21st century, there are still many children out of school (especially girls), shortages of qualified teachers in many countries, problems with quality schooling, a lack of basic vocational skills, high levels of absenteeism in poor areas and a long list of other critical educational problems, which are still persisting despite an unprecedented level of academic and technical production in the field of education and international development. Knowing which policies “work” or can be considered to be the best practices to ensure development is not just a question of technical knowledge. It is also a matter of political options and the choice of priorities, mainly related to social justice and equity.
By introducing a new perspective to the field of education and development, GLOBED aims to respond to the challenges that education faces in the context of globalisation. GLOBED will include a detailed and critical revision of policies and programmes that have dominated the field of education for development in recent decades, will provide the most state-of-the-art methodological tools to evaluate which policies work under what circumstances, and will also explore alternative education policy strategies for social and economic development. In doing so, GLOBED aims to develop a comprehensive approach to education and development and provide opportunities for future Master graduates to work in this field with open perspectives and critical analytical skills.
Not only new knowledge but also new sensitivity is needed in the field of education and development. GLOBED will provide the basis for professionals to work in this field with not only technical expertise but also the ability to be thoughtful and creative. That’s our challenge!