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Dr Uma Pradhan
Dr Uma Pradhan profile picture
Appointment
  • Lecturer
  • IOE - Education, Practice & Society
  • UCL Institute of Education
Biography
Uma Pradhan is a Lecturer at IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society. Prior to joining UCL, Uma was Departmental Lecturer in South Asian Studies at the University of Oxford, where she held Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship from 2018 till 2021. 


She is a co-convenor of Education.SouthAsia Network, an interdisciplinary network of researchers and practitioners working on/in South Asia. Education.SouthAsia organises i) annual themed conference, ii) monthly research seminar series, and iii) blog series called ThinkPiece.


Uma co-hosts a podcast series - Nepal Conversations, which is available on YouTubeSpotify, and Soundcloud. She is also committed to public engagement through other multi-media projects such as documentary and photo essays.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

Uma's research uses ethnographies of education to gain insights into the social meanings of education and the larger processes of state-society interaction in its production, with a particular focus on Nepal and South Asia.


Research Strand 1: Language and Education

Her DPhil research - published as a monograph titled Language, Education, and the Nepali Nation - is an ethnographic study of two mother-tongue education schools, and analysed the embodied and material dimension of minority language education. Drawing on this research, she has published on material transformation, indexicality, diversityidentity, and contested process of knowledge-making in minoritized language education. She is currently exploring the role of technology in language education.


Research Strand 2: Materialities of 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). Here, she focuses on how seemingly neutral materialities become interlinked with the meanings that they bring to social lives. This also draws on her research on the impact of pandemic on education. Drawing on this, she will offer the module 'Materials and Meanings of Education: International Perspective' for the BA in Education.


Research Strand 3: Public Finance and Governance of Education

As a post-doctoral fellow in a DANIDA-funded collaborative research project: ‘Public Finance Dynamics in Education in Nepal’ (2016-2018), 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 development as well as question the idea of free school education.

Teaching Summary
Uma teaches on the following modules:


  • International Development (2022/23)
  • Materials and Meanings of Education: International Perspective (2022/23)
  • Education in the Age of Globalisation (2022/23)
  • Educating Minorities, Migrants and Refugees (2022)
  • Rights, Equality and Justice in Education (2022, 2023)
  • Global London (2022)

Appointments
01-JAN-2022 Lecturer   University College London, United Kingdom
Academic Background
  DPhil DPhil in International Development University of Oxford
  MA MA in Governance and Development University of Sussex
  FHEA   University of Oxford
  FHEA Fellow of Higher Education Academy University of Oxford
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