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Past event

Education: The State of the Discipline

Since 2020, BERA has been running a large-scale initiative that aims to provide a clear, comprehensive account of the state of education as an academic discipline in universities; as a field of practice; and as a significant and central element of social and political policy in the four nations of the UK. Our hope is that we can equip the discipline as a whole with the most objective and powerful information on which to base their advocacy for, and their efforts to grow the size, influence and impact of, education.

This high-level invitation-only event brought together the outcomes of our commissioned research and analysis and allowed senior leaders from across the discipline to discuss the findings, the wider issues raised and debate how educational research should respond. 

At this conference we heard from the research teams behind two of the most critical elements of this initiative:

We also discussed the outcomes of a quantitative assessment of the progress of education as an academic discipline in UK universities through the analysis of REF data, comparing the 2021 outcomes to both the 2014 REF and other disciplines.

Draft Programme:


09:30 Registration, tea and coffee
10:00 Welcome and Introduction
Professor Dominic Wyse and Professor Vivienne Baumfield
10:15 Structural inequalities in the Employment of Academic Staff in the UK Discipline of Education: In what ways can our research serve to address exclusion, marginalization and disadvantage?
Dr Dina Zoe Belluigi, Queen’s University Belfast; Prof Jason Arday, Cambridge University and Dr Joanne O’Keeffe, Queen’s University Belfast
11:15 Education research in the UK: mapping the experiences and perspectives of those working in the discipline
Tom Perry, Rebecca Morris, Emma Smith and Jess Pilgrim-Brown, University of Warwick
12:30 Lunch and networking

The Progress of Education: An Analysis of Data from the Research Excellence Framework (REF)
Dr. Bernardita Munoz Chereau

14:00 Breakout Sessions –
Reflections on the draft BERA response and next steps for UK universities
Led by Professor Dominic Wyse and Professor Vivienne Baumfield
15:00 Tea and Coffee
15:30 Concluding Plenary – BERA next steps
Led by Professor Dominic Wyse and Professor Vivienne Baumfield
16:00 Event Close


Profile picture of Dominic Wyse
Dominic Wyse, Professor

Professor of Early Childhood & Primary Education at IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society

Dominic has made a leading contribution to research on curriculum and pedagogy, including national curricula, for more than 25 years. He has led multiple research projects and has published many books and research papers. Dominic’s main...

Profile picture of Vivienne Baumfield
Vivienne Baumfield, Professor

Professor of Professional Learning at University of Exeter

Vivienne Baumfield is Professor of Professional Learning in the Graduate School of Education and co-leader of the Centre for Research in Professional Learning. She is interested in the interaction of research, policy and practice when...


Profile picture of Dina Belluigi
Dina Belluigi, Professor

Professor at Queen's University Belfast

Dina researches and teaches critical Higher Education Studies. A primary interest in her work are the conditions for the development of critical consciousness in those who represent and commemorate knowledge and knowing, particularly academics...

Profile picture of Jason Arday
Jason Arday, Professor

Professor of Sociology of Education at Glasgow University

Jason Arday, PhD is Professor of Sociology of Education at the University of Glasgow, School of Education, College of Social Sciences. Previously, Professor Arday was Associate Professor in Sociology at Durham University in the Department of...

Profile picture of Joanne O’Keeffe
Joanne O’Keeffe, Dr

Researcher at Queen's University Belfast

Dr Joanne O’Keeffe is a Researcher in the School of Social Sciences Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast. Joanne’s work is driven by her interest in addressing discrepancies and gaps in education in relation to mental...

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Thomas Perry, Dr

Associate Professor at University of Warwick

Thomas Perry’s research and teaching focus on research- and evidence-informed education policy and practice. He has specialist methodological expertise relating to systematic review and evidence synthesis; quantitative methods and secondary...

Profile picture of Rebecca Morris
Rebecca Morris, Dr

Associate Professor at University of Warwick

Rebecca Morris is an associate professor in the Department of Education Studies at the University of Warwick. Her research interests include education and social policy; teachers and teaching (in both schools and higher education); social justice...

Profile picture of Emma Smith
Emma Smith, Professor

Professor at University of Warwick

Emma Smith is a professor of education at the University of Warwick. Her research interests are in the field of sociology of education, specifically exploring issues of social justice, inequality and policy as they apply to access and engagement...

Profile picture of Jess Pilgrim-Brown
Jess Pilgrim-Brown, Mrs

Research Associate at University of Bristol

Jess Pilgrim-Brown is a research associate at the University of Bristol and a current EdD student at Oxford Brookes University. Her thesis research focuses on social class and organisational culture in higher education through the experiences of...

Profile picture of Bernardita Munoz Chereau
Bernardita Munoz Chereau, Dr

Lecturer at IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society

Bernardita Munoz-Chereau is a lecturer at the Centre of Educational Leadership, Department of Learning and Leadership, Institute of Education, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society; she is also an educational psychologist. The main focus of...

Content related to this event

Spring 2023

Research Intelligence issue 154: Education: The State of the Discipline

RI 154 front cover

Research Intelligence10 Mar 2023