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Prof Moses Oketch
UCL Institute of Education
University College London
20 Bedford Way
London
WC1H 0PD
Tel: +44 (0)20 3073 8345
Fax: +44 (0)20 7612 6632
Appointment
  • Professor of International Education Policy & Development
  • IOE - Education, Practice & Society
  • UCL Institute of Education
Biography

I am Professor of International Education Policy and Development. My research focuses on the connection between the theory of human capital and implementation of policies. I have argued that however compelling the theory of human capital is, it remains tacit if actual implementation of policies don't work. Areas of research interest include economics of education, education policy analysis, impact evaluation, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Previously I worked at Vanderbilt University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and in 2012 I was a Visiting Professor at University of Pennsylvania. I have also contributed to and supported research capacity strengthening in Africa through my involvement with African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) as a Senior Research Scientist and Director of Research (while on leave from university). During this period, I mentored several researchers on research proposal writing, implementation and management of large scale projects, and co-authored research papers with them.

I received my PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign focusing on economics of education.

I have supervised about a dozen PhD students, and through research have contributed approximately 100 papers to the field of education and international development. I have also presented my research at about 100 conferences nationally and internationally. Personal country knowledge includes USA, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. I have also researched Ghana and Botswana. I speak and can write fluently in Kiswahili. I have appeared in various media platforms such as BBC World- Africa Have your say Radio program; Nation Television (Kenya) Breakfast show; Kenya Television Network Breakfast show, to discuss and comment on education and development issues related to my research.

 

Research Summary

My present research interest and focus is in three areas: 1) Opportunity to Learn (OTL) and vulnerabilities associated with structural inequalities in sub-Saharan Africa with greater focus on East Africa, notably Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, 2) Higher Education finance in relation to market and non-market benefits; and 3) TVET policies and practices and employability in sub-Saharan Africa. My work is primarily in sub-Saharan Africa although I have collaborated on research that look at rates of return and non-market effects on development of higher education in the UK and the US. All of my research build on the connection between the theory of human capital and implementation of policies, and I have argued that however compelling the theory of human capital is, it remains tacit if actual implementation of policies don't work. Through research I have contributed about 100 papers to the field of education and International development, presented this research at about 100 conferences nationally and internationally, and engaged policy makers, particularly in Kenya; I have supervised about a dozen doctoral (research) students on a range of topics interrogating education and development in several contexts. Examples of my recent research include looking at why poor slum children are utilising the so called ‘private schools for the poor’ and I have discovered that it is due to excess demand and not differentiated demand. Through collaboration with colleagues at African Population and Health Research Center and Stanford University we have researched the effect of classroom resources on learning gains in low and high achieving schools. This has led to a featured publication in Comparative Education review titled ‘The Role of Classroom Resources and National Education Context in Student Learning Gains: Comparing Botswana, Kenya, and South Africa’. My research in higher education covers finance in relation to market and non-market benefits. Example include the work on the Impact of Tertiary Education on Development which can be found here. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/327901/Tertiary-education-2014-Oketch2.pdf

 

Teaching Summary

Teaching on the MA EPEID, Planning for Education and Development
Teaching on MA EID, Education and Economic Development Session, CTI Module

Doctoral supervision:
I have supervised about a dozen doctoral students and several are ongoing. I am accepting PhD students interested in interrogating human capital theory and evolution of education policies; applying evaluation methods such as propensity score matching and difference-in-difference to estimate the effect of policy or intervention programmes on structural inequalities; Policy interrogation in relation to political economy of education for sustainable development, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. My past students have conducted their Doctoral research on Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Cambodia, UK, USA, Rwanda, Japan, Ghana, and Nepal. They have covered a range of themes such as: NGOs Intervention in Vocational Education for Vulnerable Young People's Employment and Empowerment in Cambodia; Primary Education in Sierra Leone and Partnership with Britain: Progress Towards Achieving Education for All (EFA); A Critical Inquiry into the Effectiveness of Public and Private Schools in Nigeria; Critical thinking at Rwanda's public universities and implications for higher education reform, among others.

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