Becoming City-zens: Non-formal Inter-communal Education in Birmingham (NICE-B)

This project works with non-formal educators in Birmingham’s cultural and community sectors to think through the idea of a Birmingham-wide network that co-produces innovative inter-communal learning and teaching resources to address actual and potential tensions between Birmingham’s diverse local communities and help foster better inter-communal relations.

The network and resources are intended to have the following benefits for the project participants: 

  • Enabling stakeholders to have a consistent and focused approach to issues of inter-communal teaching/learning, which they all identify as a key but challenging priority;
  • Enabling cultural and community stakeholders to benefit from each other’s expertise vis-à-vis inter-communal teaching/learning; 

In turn, the project aims to produce wider social impact by working to reduce tensions and generally foster positive relations between Birmingham’s diverse communities.

The Research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Research objectives

  • Run interactive workshops with key organisations from Birmingham’s cultural and community sectors to explore academic and non-academic work on intercommunal/intercultural education;
  • Collect and analyse data from events with key participants involved in non-formal education in Birmingham, in addition to a survey looking at residents’ perceptions and actions on intercommunal/intercultural learning in Birmingham
  • Publicise materials and findings to stimulate further engagement and potentially grow the network
  • Identify viable means for the continuation of the network

Research team

Dr Reza Gholami (PI)

Reza is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. He hasworked in consultancy/advisory roles with a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations including British Council, the Foreign Office and numerous community organisations. His work in this area has tended to focus on improving educational and citizenship outcomes, intra- and inter-communal relations, policy making/implementation and research capacity building. 

Read Reza's full profile

Dr Reza Gholami

Yousra Osman

Details to follow.



Outputs and impact

  • Ran two interactive workshops with key organisations in the cultural sector of Birmingham
  • Hosted event at Festival of Social Sciences: “City-zenship: What does a Brummie education look like?”
  • Grew the network further through the event
  • Running a survey on diverse communities in Birmingham
  • Produced a project report and a joint publication with project participants