Prosperity & Resilience

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Despite numerous initiatives to tackle educational inequalities and encourage social mobility, little has changed in the past 50 years. Here, Dr Carol Fuller, Associate Professor at Reading’s Institute of Education invites you to join her at a symposium in Westminster on 27 February which she hopes will help change the way policy-makers think about education.

Turning education policy on its head

Our research shows that activities that build confidence, resilience and self-efficacy outside the classroom can make a real difference in the classroom. But despite a wealth of evidence and research, activities like these are not part of the formal curriculum. And education policy-makers remain transfixed with attainment figures and grades.

On the 27 February, I will be joined by education experts and practitioners at a symposium in Westminster to figure out why the educational attainment gap between “the haves” and “the have nots” shows no change.

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Reading was fifth in the UK for funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

Researchers at the University of Reading won a record amount of research funding from the UK Research Councils in 2016/17, a new analysis has shown.

Funding for Reading-led research projects from the six main research councils increased to £14.5 million in 2016/17, up by more than 40% from 2015/16.

The success was highlighted by an analysis of Research Council success rates by Times Higher Education (THE).

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By Lydia Messling, University of Reading

Is it fair that climate change has the worst effects in areas that contributed to the problem the least?

It isn’t just polar bears being affected by climate change – people all over the world are already being negatively affected by changes to the climate, from droughts, flooding, and ruined harvests.

That’s not fair. Particularly as these communities had no role in making the problem in the first place. Fast forward a few years, and the environmental situation for our children’s children is not looking too peachy either… but could it look green?

If we changed the way we thought about climate change instead of it being ‘just a problem for science to solve’ to a problem about social justice, could we come up with a solution that addresses injustice that would help these communities and climate change at the same time? Can fairness create a green future?

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By Professor Rosa Freedman, Professor of Law, Conflict and Global Development, University of Reading

United Nations flag

The vast majority of the over 100,000 UN uniformed peacekeeping personnel perform their jobs with courage, dedication and professionalism. Yet those who do commit sexual offences bring shame on the entire UN system and betray the trust of those that they have been sent to protect.

There is a need for system-wide reform to ensure that such abuses cannot again occur with widespread impunity. University of Reading researchers and Keeping Children Safe are forming a proposal for such reform (details on our website) and the project will be showcased during our ESRC Festival of Social Science events next week.

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By Dr Yota Dimitriadi, Institute of Education, University of Reading

The pain and fear of death is a topic that unites us all.

Generous funding by the ESRC is allowing us to put together a community event during the upcoming Festival of Social Science to discuss the unspoken ‘D’ word.

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The first edition of the Prosperity and Resilience theme’s newsletter was recently sent out. It showcases the research of our newest Research Division, Global Development, which brings together researchers from four of the University’s Schools – Agriculture and Policy Development; Archaeology, Geography, and Environmental Sciences; Law; and Politics, Economics and International Relations – with a common interest in issues of global development.

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Neighbourhood Planning HIVE: The University of Reading, 6th June 2018

Meadow Suite, Whiteknights Campus, University of Reading

Since 2011 Neighbourhood Planning has developed considerable momentum and many lessons have been learned. The University of Reading has become renowned for its academic research on Neighbourhood Planning activity, and this has informed Government policy and communities.

On 6th June 2018, the University of Reading will host an event aimed at capturing and sharing first hand experiences from citizen-planners active in their local Neighbourhood Planning Groups. The event will be led by Prof Gavin Parker and be designed to address emerging issues from these invaluable experiences; over the next few months we will engage with registered delegates in order to shape the event so that it provides the best learning value.

The aims of the day will be to discuss and share experiences, with a view to consolidating and analysing practical knowledge in order to inform and enhance Neighbourhood Planning in the future. A report will be published after the event. Based on delegate experiences, it will provide on the ground practical advice which will assist in the implementation of community-led planning priorities.

Registration will open in March 2018.

Mike Goodman

Mike Goodman

Professor Mike Goodman (SAGES) ran a workshop on ‘Everyday Climate Cultures’. Bringing together scholars from media and cultural studies, communications, human and physical geographies and earth sciences, the workshop explored ways of understanding and critically evaluating the everyday practices of climate change cultures, and the media representations that both inform, and are informed by, the everyday.

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Delegates attending the BRAVE Project Annual General Meeting

Delegates attending the BRAVE Project Annual General Meeting

In January 2017, more than 40 institutions from Burkina Faso, Ghana and the UK were present in Accra for the BRAVE Project Annual General Meeting.

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Dr Stefania Lovo

Dr Stefania Lovo

Dr Stefania Lovo (SPEIR) has continued to work closely with the World Bank, providing research and expertise on development economics to (i) the International Trade Unit, regarding ‘Trade competitiveness in Armenia’; (ii) the Poverty Global Practise unit, regarding ‘Are we confusing poverty with preferences?’; and (iii) the International Trade Unit, regarding ‘Trade in services in Ghana’. One of her co-authored World Bank blogs may be found here.

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