Fairer World

Across the world, millions of people fight for justice – from inclusive education and healthcare access, to gender equality and political conflict. We are on an unrestricted mission to address these global challenges.

Globally, millions are still fighting the threat to justice – from educational inequity and poor access to healthcare to gender inequality and political conflict. Our research is looking to contextualise and make changes to address these challenges, giving everyone a better life and a fairer future.

In recent years, our research has progressed the fight for gender equality in the Republic of Ireland. The work of Professor Fiona de Londras and Professor Máiréad Enright has offered practical proposals for policymakers and reform advocates, including creating model legislation ahead of the referendum, which finally gave women the right to lawful abortion.

Read more about our real-world impact, and how our research identifies inequalities and addresses their damaging effects on people across the world.  

Gender equality

We are tackling the enduring presence of gender inequalities across all areas of society. Our Institute for Global Innovation is working to confront gender inequality, examining issues from violence against women, children and other vulnerable people in sub-Saharan Africa, through to safe access to maternal health, and tackling political rights and barriers to participation.

In 2020, over 82 million people were forcibly displaced. Just under half were female. Of these, as many as 50% have experienced SGBV. Many victims who are seeking asylum are trapped within the UK’s system for years after arriving in country, struggling with personal finance, work, and healthcare due to their status. The SEREDA Project offers policy recommendations on how systems could be improved to protect, rather than harm, vulnerable victims. 

The Birmingham Business School is also committed to reducing inequality in the workplace, exploring ways in which organisations can better support those who are or have experienced the menopause. Through research and through participation in the menopause pledge, the School is focused on making workplaces more equal through policy change. 

Inclusive education

The Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) is challenging the prevalent misconceptions around autistic children and young people. ACER is offering knowledge of autism to staff in education settings, supporting them to steer away from generalist understandings of what makes for ‘good’ education of autistic students.

The Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research focuses on the social and educational inclusion of people with vision impairment. It has conducted studies in developing countries aimed at increasing access, promoting inclusion, and improving the curriculum and teaching methods. This work is taking place alongside research in the UK, which is empowering young people with greater educational and social inclusion as they transition through to adulthood.

Working to close gaps in educational achievement and improve the educational experiences and career outcomes of Black and minority ethnic people at all ages, The Centre for Research in Race and Education leads on pursuing race equality and social justice.

Global migration

Children Born of War is a network aimed at enhancing our understanding of the challenges experienced by children born of war in volatile societies. The network informs the debate and policies on the reintegration of children born of war into post-conflict societies.

Our Institute for Research into Superdiversity is challenging policy and rhetoric on migration, helping to understand how to support migrants and the communities that they settle into to integrate effectively. By working with governments, charities and NGOs, the Institute is working to protect the most vulnerable groups of society including refugees, and is improving the understanding of historical conflict and how humanitarian aid is delivered.

Regional development

City-REDI brings together partners across the Midlands to shape policy, advancing economic and social development of cities and regions and creating a fairer world that equips regions equitably to grow and be secure. Through place-based research, City-REDI is leading on the Local Policy Innovation Partnership, a research hub exploring how local places can be empowered to meet the needs of their communities.

Supporting inclusive economic growth in the West Midlands and across the UK, WMREDI is addressing the skill gaps that exist within society today that are preventing people from seeking and having access to opportunity as well as finding meaningful work.

“The global threat to justice is seen in the inequality between genders, in race and migration, in the disparities between regions, and in socioeconomic inequalities. It is seen in the experiences of those with disabilities, and in educational settings where students are denied access to a decent and equitable education.

As an institution, we are working to create a fairer world, tackling the inequality that permeates society, from industry to healthcare to education.

In the School of Education, we are committed to driving meaningful change that benefits individuals, their families, and society as a whole through our breadth of research.

As well as teaching the next generation of educators, we are informing curriculum and policy to drive real change for future generations of learners, no matter their needs or background. Everyone should have equal access to high-quality education that suits their needs, allowing them to lead prosperous and fulfilling lives."

Professor Karen Guldberg

Professor Karen Guldberg

Head of the School of Education

Discover more...

  • Our Research Impact

    Read more about our real-world impact and how our research is seeking to identify inequalities and address their damaging effects on people across the world

  • The IMPACT Centre

    ‘IMProving Adult Care Together’ is a new £15 million UK centre for implementing evidence in adult social care.

  • The Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and AI

    We are ensuring new technologies do not amplify existing inequalities, by designing ethical and regulatory frameworks for responsible and fair use.

  • Birmingham Stories

    We are working with local schools, young people, businesses and cultural organisations on a series of engaging activities to spread awareness of the importance of storytelling and literacy at every stage of life.

  • Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research

    To understand better, and reduce the barriers to, learning and participation that may be experienced by people with vision impairment.

  • Sexual and gender-based violence in the refugee crisis

    This is a major new research initiative to understand the incidence and nature of SGBV experienced by women, men and child refugees who have fled conflict in the Levant Region.

  • Institute for Global Innovation

    Working to achieve sustainable improvement in women’s health and human rights through a network of global research, policymakers, governmental and non-governmental partnerships.

Our researchers

  • Policy experts

    University of Birmingham researchers and academic experts are working across all major policy areas, this guide aims to enable policy makers to contact researchers quickly and efficiently.

  • Media experts

    The University of Birmingham is one of the UK's leading universities for research and can offer expertise to the media on many different subjects.