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Dr Laila Kadiwal
20 Bedford Way
United Kingdom
  • Teaching Fellow
  • IOE - Education, Practice & Society
  • UCL Institute of Education

Dr. Laila Kadiwal has specialist interests in the role of youth and teachers in conflict and peacebuilding in the global South and in the issue of education and conflict in Muslim contexts.  She has carried out fieldwork in a variety of complex contexts worldwide, including; Tajikistan, Pakistan, UK, China, and Dubai. Although, a sociologist by training, most of her research projects apply an interdisciplinary, and a mixed-method approach.  Her insights are deepened by her lived experiences in low- or middle-income countries. She has worked as a development practitioner, and teacher and youth educator in India for more than 15 years before moving to the UK. She has also taught briefly in Pakistan as Civic Studies teacher.

Dr. Kadiwal was awarded her DPhil at the University of Sussex from School of Law, Politics, and Sociology in 2015, where she worked under the supervision of Professor Gerard Delanty and Professor John Pryor. Her thesis examined the peacebuilding agency of teachers in a minority Muslim context. The research spanning three years involved in-depth interviews and focus groups with 21 trainee-teachers from 13 different countries. The study contributes to a niche in the existing literature on the role of teachers in social cohesion in Muslim communities. 

Dr. Kadiwal graduated in MSc Higher Education from the University of Oxford with distinctions in core subjects in 2009. Using ethnographic methods, her work examined the adaptation of the UK teacher education model – the Postgraduate Certificate in Education – to the context of Dubai. The study investigated the young people’s and tutors’ role as active agents in negotiating cross-cultural dynamics in the offshore educational setting.

Research Summary

Dr. Kadiwal has carried out research for a range of academic, non-governmental and governmental organisations. Some of her key works include:

- 'Being young in Brexit Britain’ research project for Centre for Global Youth at IOE-UCL. 

This project examined young people’s attitudes towards Brexit and explored their hopes, fears, and aspirations for the future of Britain (and for their own future in Britain).  

- Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding- a partnership between UNICEF and the University of Amsterdam, the University of Sussex and the University of Ulster. 

Between Oct. 2014 and Jan. 2016, Dr. Kadiwal was Postdoctoral Research Fellow for this project which addressed one of the Peacebuilding, Education, and Advocacy Programme (PBEA) key objectives. The Research Consortium worked closely with in-country partners in each research country, which are Pakistan, Myanmar, South Africa and Uganda. It also included a gender analysis. 

- Internationalisation of Chinese Higher Education for the Higher Education Academy, the UK in the People’s Republic of China.

- Secondary education evaluations in six countries: UK, USA, Canada, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and India for the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London.

-‘Negotiating the Nation: Education and National Identity in Post-Soviet Tajikistan’ for the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. The project explored the role of education in facilitating the sense of belonging to the nation for the people of Pamir in the Post-Soviet Tajikistan.

Teaching Summary

Currently, Dr. Kadiwal is the Module Leader for Education and Development in Asia and the Module Co-convener for African Studies and Education. Laila also tutors on the MA in Education and International Development at the UCL Institute of Education. Her particular interest lies in “Education in Muslim Communities”; “Learning and Teaching in the Context of Education for All”; “Education, Conflict and Fragility”; “Education and International Development” and “Understanding Research”.

Previously, Laila has convened and co-taught a BA module “Education for Development: Aid, Policy and the Global Agenda’ for the Institute of Development Studies and the University of Sussex.  Laila has also taught / co-convened the following courses: “Education for Development: Aid, Policy and the Global Agenda”; and “Education, Peacebuilding and Conflict and Introductory Sociology” (all at University of Sussex, UK); and “Sociology of Life Course” (University of Brighton, UK). She has also taught “Education in Muslims Societies” (Sodertorn University, Sweden) and “Internationalisation of Higher Education” (Gothenburg University, Sweden).

In addition, Dr. Kadiwal has taught Research Method course at Beijing Normal University in the summer of 2012. 

Dr. Kadiwal is currently co-director of Best Foot Music (https://www.bestfootmusic.net/), an intercultural arts and music charity that works with musicians from refugee and marginalized communities in the UK. She was also a community mediator for two years.

Proficient in English, Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi languages, Dr. Kadiwal has a good knowledge of Urdu language and working knowledge of Arabic language.

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