Institute of International Education (IIE), Department of Education, Stockholm University:
Postal address: Stockholms Universitet, SE-106 91,
Stockholm, Sweden Visiting address: Frescativägen 54 Web page:http://www.interped.su.se/
Contact person: Professor Vinayagum Chinapah, Head, IIE, &
Chair of International and Comparative Education, Dept. of Education, phone: + 46 (0)8 16 1064
The Institute of International Education is one of the few institutes in the Nordic countries specializing in International and Comparative Education. After more than thirty years in this field, IIE is now well recognized for its contribution to research and training. IIE is an ”international” institute, in the true meaning of the word. It has successfully created a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary research and teaching environment which attracts a number of visiting scholars and lecturers as well as students from many parts of the world.
At Advanced level we give several singles courses, one Master’s programme and a PhD programme. Moreover, the Institute is active in several international networks of researchers and practitioners in the field of education. The IIE was founded in 1971 as an answer to the increasing demand for a more international outlook and a comparative approach in educational research. Since 2006 the IIE makes part of the Department of Education.
In December 2009, Prof. Vinayagum Chinapah received SEK 600 000 as a three-year grant from the Swedish Research Links programme (funded by Sida and the Swedish Research Council)
for a comparative India/China related project entitled ”Education for Rural Transformation in China and India: A Comparative Study of Role of Education in Rural China and India”. See the full list of South Asia related projects given Swedish Research Links gants 2009.
The study will be conducted jointly by IIE, China National Institute for Educational Research (CNIER) and the Maharaja Sayajirao Baroda University, India (Faculty of Education and Psychology). Researchers in Sweden, China and India will work on agreed
themes or research problems. IIE will be responsible for the conduct and collective write-ups, publications and disseminations of the
comparative research outcomes and country case studies. The main collaboration partner on the Chinese side is Prof. Nan-zhao Zhou at the China National Institute for Educational Research in Beijing, China. Abstract: Any attempt at redressing our world increasing poverty and widening human development gaps is only possible through access to
relevant, equitable and effective education of our rural people who makes our world’s majority of illiterate, unhealthy, malnourished,
marginalized, and oppressed population. Their numbers are increasing at a rocket pace and yet very little research is looking at
causes and roots of such deteriorating situations. There is no better way to re-visit the failures of conventional educational deliveries
in the rural areas other than to carry out a comparative research study using both quantitative and qualitative research methods in
the two most populous countries of our world, namely China and India. Both are confronting rural poverty, environmental challenges,
health problems, and gender inequality. Education for rural transformation is the only way to reduce the widening human development gaps within and between nations. The
dynamics of rural transformation in the ”globalized” world has created new educational imperatives that call for a re-evaluation of
present educational policies and priorities and the re-examination the role of education for rural people from rather new perspectives.
There is therefore an urgent need for an in-depth comparative study of China and India using different but complementary research
methods to assess the current situations, problems and trends in education for rural transformation and to raise the awareness of the
necessity of educational reform in largely populated countries. It is vital to understand the roots and the causes of failures of existingeducational structures, contents, and methods in rural areas, and to identify good practices of educational empowerment and
practical-needs-based education for rural transformation.
The design for this comparative research study is based on both quantitative analyses on survey data to be collected through
questionnaires that are to be filled by students at grade 9, their teachers and school leaders, parents of students and head of village
and in-depth qualitative case studies (field visits, interviews and participant observations) in some selected rural areas. The study
will be conducted in selected 20 sample villages and their schools in China and India respectively. The selection of villages and the
selection of schools within selected villages will be done according to differential levels of development both countries from
developed regions to remote and less developed regions. In every sampled school, some 30 students will be randomly selected as
well as their school heads, teachers and parents for both quantitative and qualitative data collection processes.
At the end of the 3-year comparative research study, new empirical evidence will be found on the different impacts that education
can have on the process of rural transformation. The relevance of the educational system and sub-systems in benefiting rural people
will be thoroughly examined at the grass-roots levels. For instance, how education is contributing towards training for rural youth
through the school curriculum, civic education, revival of local craftwork and cultures and through non-formal and informal
The comparative study of China and India on education for rural transformation is of great importance for the world. The experiences
and lessons learned will be of high-value added to other countries and their majority poor and rural population. The research
outcomes may further provide insights for other similar large-populated countries such as Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia,
Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan. An International Symposium entitled ”Education For Rural Tranformation (ERT)” was held in Stockholm 8–10 November 2010. It was being organised by Professor Vinayagum Chinapah. The symposium will build upon results from the ongoing research project, but also on the ERT report that was prepared by researchers under the auspices of UNESCO International Research and Training Center for Rural Education (INRULED) in 2001 (read the report).
IIE sponsored some 8-10 international participants mostly from India and China and selected invited resource persons. The extensive list of seminar participants and speakers included Dr. Pushpanadham Karanam and Prof. Sudarshan C. Panigrahi, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda; Prof. K. Sujatha, National University of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi; Prof. Ranjit Singh Ghuman, Punjabi University, Patiala; and Mr. Jibachh Mishra, Director, Non Formal Education Centre, Kathmandu, Nepal.
The papers and contributions from this ERT Symposium will later be published. Professor Zhou Nanzhao will coordinate the country thematic papers and contributions from China, Dr. Pushpanadham, for the country thematic papers and contributions from India, and Professor Vinayagum Chinapah for the international thematic papers and contributions. More information including full programme.
Shortly before the big conference, Prof. Chinapah and the Institute of International Education, Stockholm University, hosted a half-day seminar on Mahatma Gandhi, organised for students and invited guests by the Embassy of India in Sweden, including diplomatic representatives from several countries. SASNET was represented by its deputy director, Mr. Lars Eklund.
The seminar, held on Monday 1 November 2010, was entitled ”Is the Mahatma still relevant?” and featured presentations by Prof. Chinapah and the Ambassador H.E. Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar (seen on the photo to the right).
Two other prominent speakers with a deep knowledge of Mahatma Gandhi were invited to elaborate on the subject, namely Prof. Björn Wittrock from Uppsala University, Principal of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS); and Prof. Emeritus Ishtiaq Ahmed, Dept. of Political Science, Stockholm University.
On Friday 2 November 2007 Pia Karlsson and Amir Mansory defended their joint doctoral project. The PhD thesis is titled ”An Afghan Dilemma: Education, Gender and Globalisation in an Islamic Context”. The faculty opponent was Prof. David Stephens from the School of Education, University of Brighton, United Kingdom. Abstract: The thesis deals with the socialisation process of
rural village girl students in Islamic education and 'Modern' education
from a holistic and ecological development perspective. Islamic education
(mosque schools and madrasas of various types) and 'modern' education
(primary level) with regards to goals, aims and functions, particularly
in relation to female education will be described. Of particular interest
are views on knowledge and learning in the two educational systems especially
in relation to female education. The teaching-learning processes in the
two educational systems as observed in classroom practices, especially
girls' education is studied. Read the abstract of the thesis.
Previously Dr. Mansory held a MA degree from 2000, when he wrote a thesis
titled Mathematics Achievements among Afghan Primary School Children.
He has also a MSc in engineering from Poland in 1982. Amir originally
comes from Afghanistan, and is presently working for the Ministry of Education
in Kabul. He is heading the Education Programme which is supported by
the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan.
He carried out his PhD studies on part time basis and visited the IIE
2-3 times per year.
Dr. Pia Karlsson (photo to the left) was also a PhD Student
at IIE since 2001, holding an MA degree titled Wastes or Gains?
A discussion about the concept Educational Wastage with examples from
Afghanistan. Pia worked as Education Advisor with
the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan during the period 19962000. Besides studying
she has worked as an aid consultant and has experience from Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Angola and other countries.
The joint PhD project was first presented at the Development studies research conference held at Lund
University in January 2003, wher Pia Karlsson presented the project in a paper
called ”Islamic and Modern Education in Afghanistan –
Conflictual or Complementary?”. Read
The research project was financed by grants from Sida/SAREC.
In January 2003 they also received a SASNET
grant for the the planning of the research project, then titled Education
In 2004 Pia Karlsson and Amir Mansory conducted
two case studies in two villages, one in the north and one in the south
of the country, where parents, students, teachers, mullahs and elders
Some preliminary findings are: 1) Education is held in extremely high
esteem. The trust on education has definitely returned. Only a handful
of parents did not send their children to school. 2) There seems to be
a breakthrough for girls’ education. There was a general consensus
that girls and boys have the same right and the same need for Islamic
as well as Western style education, only that girl schools must be run
under certain conditions: in separate classes and with female teachers.
3) Islamic education has some pedagogical advantages to be borrowed by
primary education. 4) A general view is that Islam cannot be separated
from education. The mosque school (or madrasa) was considered as a necessary
complement to the primary school but teaching about Islam was required
also in the western style school. 5) Education risks a new backlash,
mainly for two reasons: a) The new curriculum has considerably decreased
the Islamic subjects in primary school. b) The poor quality (over-crowded
classes, unqualified and inexperienced teachers poor organisation and
administration of schools) may cause reactions of disappointment, resignation
and questioning of the usefulness of education.
In August 2004 Mansory
and Karlsson got a separate SASNET planning
a project on ”Opportunities and
Obstacles for Girls’ Education in Rural Afghanistan a project
including capacity development of Afghan Educators”.
The purpose of this new project was to explore possibilities of future
cooperation between the Institute of International Education and an
education institution in Afghanistan, other than Kabul University. Once
such a collaboration has been established the project aims at training
and upgrading Afghan educators in research methodologies, while simultaneously
studying the hindrances that affect girl’s participation in education.
The networking was carried out by Mansory, Karlsson and Professor
Holger Daun, and involved contact journeys to the universities of Jalalabad
and Mazar-e-Sharif in April 2005. Moreover, they wished to explore the
interest among potential financiers for a project. The delegation from
IIE met with several education institutions
in Afghanistan and a number of meetings were held with national authorities,
organizations and donor agencies, among others Ministry of Higher Education,
Faculty of Education at Kabul University, the newly established Institute
for Policy Research at Kabul University, University of Education
in Kabul, UNESCO, NORAD and DANIDA. They also spent one day in Jalalabad,
visiting the Faculty of Education of Nangarhar
response was unambiguous; from governmental authorities to individual
teacher trainers the interest was overwhelming. Already at the initial
meeting they found the faculty in Jalalabad very interesting and eventually
discussions ended up in a tentative project proposal.
The Faculty of
Education at Nangarhar University (FoE/NU) has, as practically all higher
institutions in Afghanistan been cut off from external inputs and support
since the mid-seventies. Being a university outside the capital (it is
located around 150 km south of Kabul) this situation is by and large
remaining; the major bulk of assistance goes today to Kabul institutions.
This fact is actually one of the reasons for opting for FoE/NU. More
important though, is the fact that FoE/NU has long experience of teacher
training; for many decades teachers and principals for primary and secondary
schools have been trained, even during the hard and long years of war.
FoE/NU is the second oldest university in Afghanistan and had until recently
three institutions, Teacher Training College, Faculty of Education and
Institute of Pedagogy. All three are now joined into the Faculty of Education.
In addition, a specialized unit for Educational Psychology has also been
established. The main activities include training of teachers for primary
and secondary level but also education administrators, planners and managers
will get training there. At present, there are 750 teacher students enrolled,
out of which 200 are women. Some 500 students belong to an in-service
training programme. The training lasts for four years. The teaching staff
includes 50 members. A considerable number of young teachers and lecturers
has recently been recruited, many of whom have their education from Pakistani
universities. The majority of the participants to be recruited for the
capacity building will be found among the staff from the FoE/NU.
Back in Sweden, contacts with NORAD
in Oslo, and Sida in Stockholm has however turned out to be unsuccessful.
No funding could be procured from any Nordic agency for this project.
In 2007, IIE managed to secure Euro 750 000 as an Asia Link Programme
from the European Commission to fund a collaboration project with Nangarhar
University in Jalalabad. The project also involves three other universities,
Bochum University in Germany, Tampere University in Finland and Kathmandu University in Nepal.
Other South Asia collaboration projects
The Institute of International Education has established a collaboration agreement with the University of Baroda in India. The collaboration has been funded by grants from the Swedish Institute. During 2007 and 2008, Assistant Professor Karanam
Pushpanadham from the Maharaja Sayajirao Baroda University visited Stockholm on several occasions. He was connected to IIE as a visiting researcher. While in Sweden, he made studies on leadership in four upper secondary schools in the Stockholm region.
In the Fall 2008, Prof.
Hans Ingvar Roth from IIE also visited India. He went there as a representative of the Stockholm School Authority, that also is involved in a collaboration project with Indian schools.
On 1 January 2009, Prof. Roth moved to Lund University where he has got a professorship in Human Rights, at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University, but has since moved back to Stockholm again.