Institute of Education


UCL Centre for the Study of Education in Muslim Contexts

Addressing the need for critical, academically sound research and debate about education in Muslim contexts.

Director: Dr Farid Panjwani

The Centre for the Study of Education in Muslim Contexts (CEMC) is the only research centre?of its kind in a mainstream British university.

CEMC?strives to be a catalyst to bring about progressive change, contextually relevant research and pedagogical excellence in Muslim educational contexts, in the UK and beyond.


    Viable solutions to educational challenges in Muslim contexts have to be found at local levels. Yet, there are sufficient overlapping educational challenges in Muslim contexts that a platform for dialogue, research and publication is needed for positive change and development across these contexts.

    Such challenges include, among others, debates regarding the aims of education, tensions between tradition and demands for change, the promotion of inclusive and democratic education, questions about access and resources, good governance and tackling the threat of extremisms.

    In this context, education is understood not only in institutional terms but more so in terms of a culture of learning, enquiry and dialogue.?

    The centre’s work is underpinned by:

    • A cosmopolitan approach to education with a belief that contemporary educational issues?can benefit from insights from a variety of cultures and traditions.
    • A purposeful and research informed approach to the exploration of educational thought and practices in Muslim contexts, past and present, in all their diversity.
    • A commitment to human rights and intercultural approaches.
    • An understanding of education as a public and private good and among the most powerful facilitators for equality of opportunities and social justice.
    Our staff


    Honorary Senior Research Associates

    Honorary Research Associates

    • Dr Shaikha Al-Ghanem
    • Dr Al-Karim Datoo
    • Dr Mike Diboll
    • Dr Lynn Revell

    Advisory Board Members (2016 - 18)

    • Professor Michael Reiss?(Chair) -?Professor of Science Education, UCL Institute of Education
    • Dr Clare Brooks?- Head of Department, Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, UCL Institute of Education
    • Dr Mark Chater -?Director, Culham St. Gabriel's Trust
    • Professor Richard Pring -?Research Fellow and Former Director, Department of Education, University of Oxford.
    • Professor Mona Siddiqui -?Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies, University of Edinburgh
    • Dr Ghazala Bhatti -?Senior Lecturer in Educational Studies, Bath Spa University
    • Dr Julia Ipgrave -?Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Education Studies, University of Warwick
    • Idris Mears -?Association of Muslim Schools
    • Debbie Jones -?Director of Children's Services, Tower Hamlets Council
    • Rev. Canon John Austin White CVO -?Emeritus Canon of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
    • Dr M. Manazir Ahsan -?Rector, Markfield Institute of Higher Education
    • Ms Aisha Chaudhry -?Headteacher, Al-Khair Muslim School, Tooting
    • Mrs Lubna Khan -?Headteacher, Berrymede Junior School
    • Professor Hugh Starkey?-?Professor of Citizenship Education, UCL Institute of Education

    Advisory Board Members (2012-2015)

    • Professor Richard Andrews (Chair) - Professor in English, Institute of Education
    • Dr Ghazala Bhatti - Senior Lecturer in Education, Bath Spa University
    • Dr Jacek Brant -?Senior Lecturer in Business and Economics Education, Institute of Education
    • Ms Margaret Buckingham - Chief Inspector, Bridges Schools Inspectorate
    • Mr Jonathan Freeman -?National Director, Mosaic Network
    • Dr Sophie Gilliat-Ray - Director, Centre for Study of Islam in UK, Cardiff University
    • Professor Eleanore Hargreaves -?Senior Lecturer in Effective Learning and Teaching, Institute of Education
    • Ms Helen Jenner -?Corporate Director of Children's Services, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
    • Dr Philip Lewis -?Honorary Visiting Lecturer, Peace Studies Department, University of Bradford
    • Mr Idris Mears -?Association of Muslim Schools UK
    • Professor Richard Pring -?Senior Research Fellow, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford
    • Professor Michael Reiss -?Pro-Director: Research and Development and Professor of Science, Institute of Education
    • Dr Ataullah Siddiqui -?Reader in Religious Pluralism and Inter-Faith Relations, The Markfield Institute of Higher Education
    • Professor Yasir Suleiman -?Director, Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge
    • Ms Salma Ullah -?Headteacher, Al Muntada Girls' Secondary School
    • Dr Fayyaz Vellani -?Head of Department, Graduate Studies, Institute of Ismaili Studies

    Our activities

    CEMC will continue to?build on the activities of CREME (2012-19)?and expand on its portfolio. We welcome enquiries for research and for collaborative projects in line with our vision and priorities. Please contact ioe.cemc@ucl.ac.uk?with any questions.?

    Our activities include:


    We conduct?and promote?research on a range of topics and we actively encourage?participation. Our research projects include:

    1. Addressing extremism: Views from the classroom?
    2. Teachers and texts: Improving RE through hermeneutics
    3. Teachers’ conception of history and historiography: the case of teachers in Lahore, Pakistan
    4. Faith Schools and Religious Diversity.

    See more:


    We offer consultancy support and bespoke courses on curricular, pedagogical, philosophical and assessment aspects of education.

    Consultancies that we have undertaken include:

    • Higher education in Islamic/Muslim education in Singapore (2018-present)
    • Philosophy Course Curriculum Development, University of Central Asia (2017-2018)
    • Intervention Development, CVE & Education, Measurement and Evaluation Commission, Albany Associates and Hedayah (2017)
    • Teacher Education in Punjab - Scoping Report to the British Council, Pakistan (2016-17)
    • Science and Religion: educational challenges and possibilities in the Muslim world: a study in three countries (2019 -)

    Please contact us with any questions to:?ioe.cemc@ucl.ac.uk

    Public engagement

    Working with schools

    Our centre aims to work with schools, particularly those with a significant number of Muslim pupils. It can provide expertise to strengthen teacher education, curriculum enrichment, school governance and ethos, and student experience.

    Recent projects

    For further information, email ioe.cemc@ucl.ac.uk

    Special Reading Group series

    Educational thought in Muslim contexts: Classical texts and their contemporary relevance

    This?Special Reading Group series aims to deepen participants' knowledge of Muslim scholarship, teaching and learning and cognate activities.

    The series provides participants the opportunity to generate and explore new meanings of seminal texts and discuss their contemporary relevance.

    Recent events

    Teaching and PhD Supervision

    Our work will be developed over the coming years to cater to the growing demand for courses and doctoral supervision on the topic of Muslim education.


    Centre staff teach the following IOE modules:

    Masters level

    Undergraduate level

    Research Degrees (MPhil/PhD)

    Centre staff also offer doctoral supervision in the following areas:

    • Moral education in Muslim contexts
    • Philosophy of Education
    • Religion and Education in Muslim contexts
    • Citizenship and Education in Muslim contexts

    We encourage prospective students interested in undertaking doctoral study in one of the above or related areas to contact ioe.cemc@ucl.ac.uk

    Further information

    Bespoke courses

    We offer bespoke courses on a range of education topics. Please contact ioe.cemc@ucl.ac.uk to discuss your requirements.


    The aim of our learning resources - articles, seminars' slides, video and audio - is to stimulate scholarly and professional discussions, and to inform policy and media debate. Perhaps most importantly of all, they will be of practical use for the professional practice and development of education practitioners in all phases and sectors of education.?


    Download papers

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    Further resources


    If you would like to submit an article, please send us a short abstract (no more than 300 words) and short biographical information (about 100 words) to: ioe.cemc@ucl.ac.uk. Should the editorial board deem your abstract to be suitable, you will be invited to submit the full paper which should be between 3000 and 4000 words.

    Full papers

    We welcome reflective pieces, papers summarising research, distillations of unpublished Masters and Doctoral theses and extended book reviews. Submitted papers will be subject to peer review and editorial processes leading to formal acceptance and online publication. All materials published as part of this project are copyrighted to the IOE. However, they will be freely available for reasonable use on the understanding that appropriate credits or citations are given.


    Videos / slides

    Symposium on the Comparative Study of Religious Seminaries, UCL Institute of Education, 5 October 2016

    From other events

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