Joanne Hughes

Joanne Hughes is Director of the Centre for Shared Education in the School of Education at Queen’s University Belfast. Her main research interests are in the role of education in divided societies and inequalities in education. She has led numerous research projects on these themes and has been awarded research grants from the EU, ESRC, British Council, Nuffield, UNICEF, Atlantic Philanthropies, and a range of other sources. Current research projects explore longitudinally the effect of inter-group contact between Protestant and Catholic pupils in Northern Ireland as well as the development and effectiveness of shared education interventions locally and in international settings. In recognition of her international work, in 2016 she was appointed to a prestigious UNESCO Chair on Globalising a Shared Education Model for Improving Intergroup Relations in Divided Societies. She has advised government officials and ministers nationally and internationally on the development of policies and interventions to promote good relations in schools. Her research in Northern Ireland informed the Shared Education Act (2016), and in the Republic of Macedonia, the establishment of a state-wide Interethnic Integration in Education Programme. In Israel, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia, she is working with local NGOs and officials to develop shared education interventions. Relating to research impact, her work is one of nineteen Signature Projects supported in Queen’s Social Charter (2017). Recent (2016-present) expert advisor roles include: British Academy, ‘Education in Conflict and Protracted Crises’; Academy of Social Sciences, ‘Making the Case for Education in the UK’- subsequently launched in the House of Lords (2017); Salzburg Global Session 605, ‘Climate Change, Conflict, Health and Education’; and Research Review of mid-Sweden University - Chair of the Education Panel. From 2010-2014 she was editor of the prestigious British Educational Research Journal. She is also an appointed member of the Executive Council of the British Educational Research Association.