Dr Matthew Schuelka

Dr Matthew Schuelka

School of Education
Lecturer, Inclusion and Special Educational Needs
Programme Director, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Dr. Matthew Schuelka is Lecturer in Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and also serves as the Program Director for the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) program. He comes from a diverse background of study, research, and teaching experience – having taught multiple ages and subjects in the United States, Bhutan, Malaysia, and now the United Kingdom. Besides a passion for teaching and advising, Dr. Schuelka is very active in inclusive education development, policy, and understanding around the world. He has been involved in educational research and development projects in places such as the United States, Serbia, Zambia, Bhutan, India, and Malaysia and for such organizations as UNICEF and USAID. He is an active consulting advisor for the Global Resource Center on Inclusive Education, based at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Schuelka primarily carries out research as an educational anthropologist and continues to base his primary research agenda in Asia and, specifically, the country of Bhutan. 


  • Ph.D, University of Minnesota – Educational Policy and Administration with emphasis in Comparative and International Education
  • M.A., Stanford University – International Education Administration and Policy Analysis
  • M.Ed., University of Vermont – Special Education
  • B.A., University of Minnesota – Music Education with minor in English Literature



Research interests include:

  • Inclusive Education
  • Cultural Construction of Disability  
  • Anthropology of Education
  • Education Policy
  • International Comparative Education
  • Education in Asia

Other activities

Dr. Schuelka is an active member of the British Association for Comparative and International Education, the American Anthropological Association, the National Association of Special Education Teachers (USA), the Society for Disability Studies; and the Comparative and International Education Society, to which he currently serves as Program Chair for the Inclusive Education Special Interest Group. He has consulted/continues to consult with UNICEF, USAID, the Global Resource Center for Inclusive Education, the Bhutanese Ministry of Education, and various NGOs in the country of Bhutan. 


Schuelka, M.J. & Maxwell, T.W. (Eds.). (2016). Education in Bhutan: Culture, Schooling, and Gross National Happiness. Singapore: Springer.

Schuelka, M.J. (2015). The evolving construction and conceptualisation of disability in Bhutan. Disability & Society, 30(6), 820-833. DOI:10.1080/09687599.2015.1052043 

Schuelka, M.J. (2013). Education for youth with disabilities in Bhutan: Past, present, and future. Bhutan Journal of Research and Development, 2(1), 65-74.

Schuelka, M.J. (2013). Education for youth with disabilities in Bhutan: Past, present, and future. Bhutan Journal of Research and Development, 2(1), 65-74.

Schuelka, M.J. (Ed.). (2013). Proceedings from the International Conference on Leveraging Cultural Diversity. Thimphu, Bhutan: Royal Thimphu College.

Schuelka, M.J. (2013). Constructing a modern disability identity: Dilemmas of inclusive schooling in Zambia. In A. Azzopardi (Ed.), Youth: Responding to lives (pp. 137-152). In Studies in Inclusive Education (Vol. 25). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Further details

Schuelka, M.J. (2013). Inclusive education in Bhutan: A small state with alternative priorities. Current Issues in Comparative Education, 15(1), 145-156.

Schuelka, M.J. (2013). A faith in humanness: Disability, religion and development. Disability & Society, 28(4), 500-513. DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2012.717880

Schuelka, M.J. (2013). Excluding students with disabilities from the culture of achievement: The case of the TIMSS, PIRLS and PISA. Journal of Education Policy, 28(2), 216-230. DOI:10.1080/02680939.2012.708789

Schuelka, M.J. & Johnstone, C.J. (2012). Global trends in meeting the educational rights of children with disabilities: From international institutions to local responses. Reconsidering Development,  2(2), online.

Johnson, D. R., Thurlow, M. L., & Schuelka, M. J. (2012). Diploma options, graduation requirements, and exit exams for youth with disabilities: 2011 national study (Technical Report 62). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes.