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Dr Uma Pradhan
Dr Uma Pradhan profile picture
  • Lecturer
  • IOE - Education, Practice & Society
  • UCL Institute of Education

Uma Pradhan is a Lecturer at IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society. Uma's research explores cultural and material dimensions of education, through ethnographic research in Nepal and South Asia. At UCL, She is part of Centre for Education and International Development (CEIDand Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World. Before joining UCL, she was a Lecturer and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Oxford. Uma is committed to public engagement through multi-media projects such as documentary and photo essays.

Other roles within the research community

Research Grants
  • UCL Research Culture Award, 2022
  • Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, 2018-2021
  • ESRC IAA Knowlege Exchange Award, 2021
  • Research England GCRF QR Fund 2019/20
  • Public Engagement with Research Seed Fund 2019/20
Research Summary

She is currently working on a research project that explores the themes of Artificial Intelligence, Technology and Indigenous Language Education. This project builds on her DPhil project which explored the role of indigenous knowledge and minority language education, through an ethnographic study of two mother-tongue education schools. This research, now published as a monograph titled Language, Education, and the Nepali Nation analysed both embodied and material dimensions of minority language education. Drawing on this research, she has published on material transformation , indexicality , diversity , identity , and contested process of knowledge-making in minoritized language education. 

She is completing a book manuscript based on her research on reconstruction of government schools after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal (supported by Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship). This research focuses on how seemingly neutral materialities become interlinked with the meanings that they bring to social lives. She will also draw on her research on the impact of pandemic on education.

As a post-doctoral fellow in a DANIDA-funded collaborative research project: ‘Public Finance Dynamics in Education in Nepal’, she examined the ways in which social assistance for education, in its attempt to address inequalities faced by marginalised groups, shapes the relationship between state and citizens. Publications emerging from this research discuss state-citizen relation , school-community relation , and state infrastructural power, and question the idea of free school education .

Teaching Summary

Module Leader

  • Materials and Meanings of Education: International Perspective (2022/23)
  • Researching Education and Society: Qualitative Methods (2022/23)
  • Education in the Age of Globalisation (2022/23)

Seminar Leader
  • Rights, Equality and Justice in Education (2021/22, 2022/23)
  • Educating Minorities, Migrants and Refugees (2021/22)
  • Global London (2021/22)

01-JAN-2022 Lecturer   University College London, United Kingdom
2018 – 2022 Lecturer and Leverhulme Career Fellow   University of Oxford, United Kingdom
2016 – 2018 Postdoctoral Fellow   Copenhagen, Denmark
Academic Background
  FHEA Fellow of Higher Education Academy University of Oxford
  MA MA in Governance and Development University of Sussex
  DPhil DPhil in International Development University of Oxford
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