SOAS University of London

Registry

ESRC Collaborative Studentship: A political economy analysis of the origins and effects of the rise of private low fee schools in education in sub-Saharan Africa

Deadline: 28 February 2018

Principal Supervisor: Professor Elaine Unterhalter (UCL IOE)

Email: e.unterhalter@ucl.ac.uk

Co-Supervisor: Dr Elisa Van Waeyenberge (SOAS, University of London)

Email: ew23@soas.ac.uk

Project Partner: ActionAid

Applications are invited for a 1+3 studentship to be held at the UBEL DTP in September 2018.  This studentship is offered in collaboration with ActionAid and the UBEL DTP. The Structure ‘1+3’ study will involve the MSc Research for International Development at SOAS, followed by the MPhil/PhD at UCL IOE.

Summary of the project

The research will critically assess current aid policies that promote and strengthen the role of the private sector in education in developing countries, such as those associated with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations (UN) agencies, the World Bank (WB) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a key funding body for education. This will take into consideration the (domestic and international) political, economic and socio-cultural context within which policies are formed as well as deploy a gender lens to consider ways in which effects of privatisation can be understood and are commonly evaluated. The study will engage explicitly across a set of different terrains of research (including discourse and policy analysis, rigorous literature reviews, and a mixed methods approach to the impact of a specific set of interventions). It will foster an interdisciplinary approach across education, gender studies and political economy that will benefit from a practitioner perspective. The latter will result from collaboration with ActionAid, a key practitioner in the field of development policy, which works to keep the work of multilateral and bilateral agencies, including the GPE and the World Bank, under scrutiny, also with regard to the equity impacts of education privatisation (see Actionaid 2017; Archer 2017).

For further details about this project is available for download from the download box at the top right hand corner of this page.

Key References which discuss some of the issues to be explored


Bayliss, Kate and Elisa Van Waeyenberge (2017) ‘Unpacking the Public Private Partnership Revival’, The Journal of Development Studies, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2017.1303671.

Ron Balsera, M., Klees, S. J., & Archer, D. (2017). Financing education: why should tax justice be part of the solution?. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 1-16.

Unterhalter, W., 2017, ‘A review of Public private partnerships around girls’ education in developing countries: flicking gender equality on and off’’ Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy 33, 2, 181-199

Verger, A., Lubienski, C., & Steiner-Khamsi, G. (Eds.). (2016). World yearbook of education 2016: The global education

Value of the '1+3' Studentship
  • Full Award:

Tuition fees per year for 4 years (1+3). One year MSc and 3 years MPhil/PhD. 
Annual full-time maintenance stipend of £16,553 (17-18 rate) for 4 years (1+3).

  • Fees-Only Award:

Tuition fees per year for 4 years (1+3). One year MSc and 3 years MPhil/

If an applicant from an EU-country does not meet the residency requirements, they may apply for a “fees-only” studentship. These studentships will only pay the tuition fees for the studentship and will not pay a stipend.

Candidate Requirements

Normally minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in the social sciences including some economics and/or political economy, African studies or history with a significant component of dealing with Africa, and preferably a demonstrable interest in research and research methods. A degree related to Education/International Development would be desirable. Work and other experience may be taken into account. Each student must attend the Preliminary Mathematics and Statistics module of the MSc Research for International Development, and attend its exam. The preliminary module runs in September prior to the start of teaching in term one.

Residency Requirements

ESRC studentships are open to all UK applicants.

Applicants are also eligible for a studentship if they have been an ordinary resident in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship grant. For instance, if the applicant applies for a studentship to start in October 2018, they must have resided in the UK since October 2015. Please note: if the applicant is from an EU-country, these three years may include time spent studying however if the applicant is from outside the EU (international), these three years cannot include time spent studying at a Higher Education institution.

If an applicant from an EU-country does not meet the residency requirements, they may apply for a “fees-only” studentship. These studentships will only pay the tuition fees for the studentship and will not pay a stipend.

For more details, please read the ESRC Residential Guidelines.

Further information

Further information about the MSc Research for International Development  is available from HERE.

How to apply

Candidates wishing to apply for this 1+3 studentship starting September 2018 must complete both an admissions application and a studentship application. These are separate processes.

  • STEP 1: Complete Admissions Application for the MSc Research for International Development by 17:00 (UK local time) on 28 February 2018.

Applicants must submit a COMPLETE on-line application for admission.

A complete application for admission includes transcripts, an explanation of the grading system for any degrees obtained outside of the UK, two references, up-to-date CV and a supporting statement. The panel will be considering your Studentship application TOGETHER with your online application for admission.  Please note that complete application for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year.  You should be prepared to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods.

  • STEP 2: Studentship Application by 17:00 (UK local time) on 28 February 2018.

Apply for the Studentship by completing and submitting the studentship application form to scholarships@soas.ac.uk by no later than 17:00 (UK local time) 28 February 2018. The Studentship application is available for download from the download box at the top right hand corner of this page

Notification of results

If you are recommended for a studentship, you will be contacted by email the week commencing 26 March to complete the UBEL DTP procedures. The UBEL DTP procedures must be completed by 30 March.  Our recommendation is subject to the formal approval by the UBEL DTP.

For enquiries about the application procedure, please contact the Scholarships department:

Email: scholarships@soas.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7074 5094/5091

For enquiries about the project only, please contact

Principal Supervisor: Professor Elaine Unterhalter (UCL IOE)

Email: e.unterhalter@ucl.ac.uk

Co-Supervisor: Dr Elisa Van Waeyenberge (SOAS, University of London)

Email: ew23@soas.ac.uk