About Globed…

The Erasmus Mundus Joint Master in Education Policies for Global Development (GLOBED) aims to set new standards as an international Master in the field of globalization, education and international development.

The programme has been recently awarded an Erasmus+ grant by the European Commission for the third time, covering the years 2023-2029 and following the 2014-2019 and 2018-2024 periods.

Started in September 2015, GLOBED constitutes a solid and coherent international education program in the areas of global education policy and international development. The existing postgraduate offer in Europe does not devote sufficient attention to these themes; education for development is usually part of broader International Development Studies, and typically features a narrow disciplinary and territorial focus. By bringing together research centres from all around Europe from different backgrounds and networks, GLOBED will promote an interdisciplinary approach to the field of education and development, and will provide expertise from all regions of the world.

The GLOBED project is funded by the European Commission (under the Erasmus Lifelong Learning Programme) and is being developed by a consortium of four European Universities. The consortium includes the Globalisation, Education and Social Policies research group from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, as the coordinating institution; the College of Social Sciences from the University of Glasgow, the Department of Political Sciences from the University of Bremen; and the Department of Educational Sciences from the University of Cyprus.

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

University of Glasgow

University of Cyprus

GLOBED will bring on board a wide range of +50 associate partners, including key international players in the field of education for development that, among other aspects, will offer the chance for our students to develop internships in their institutional settings.

Why globed?

Education today is, more than ever, a necessary condition for social inclusion and sustainable development. In a context of economic downturn and increasing economic inequalities, being excluded from education neglects almost every possible opportunity a person can have in their life. Local and national governments, as well as supranational organizations, are clearly aware of these challenges. They are also concerned about the need to develop quality education systems to enhance economic competitiveness and social cohesion, but also to guarantee education as a basic human right. However, another matter entirely is whether policymakers know and find the appropriate policies and strategies to ensure educational development.

In the globalization era, policies, programmes and practices are subject to processes of global production, circulation and dissemination around the world. This leads to the constitution of global agendas for educational development that are identified and intensively shared as universal good practices for achieving educational targets, such as those defined in global compacts such as the MDGs and EFA goals. Despite all these efforts, many challenges have yet to be unaccomplished in this terrain. In the 21st century, there are still many children out of school (especially girls), shortages of qualified teachers in many countries, problems with quality schooling, a lack of basic vocational skills, high levels of absenteeism in poor areas and a long list of other critical educational problems, which are still persisting despite an unprecedented level of academic and technical production in the field of education and international development. Knowing which policies “work” or can be considered to be the best practices to ensure development is not just a question of technical knowledge. It is also a matter of political options and the choice of priorities, mainly related to social justice and equity.

By introducing a new perspective to the field of education and development, GLOBED aims to respond to the challenges that education faces in the context of globalisation. GLOBED will include a detailed and critical revision of policies and programmes that have dominated the field of education for development in recent decades, will provide the most state-of-the-art methodological tools to evaluate which policies work under what circumstances, and will also explore alternative education policy strategies for social and economic development. In doing so, GLOBED aims to develop a comprehensive approach to education and development and provide opportunities for future Master graduates to work in this field with open perspectives and critical analytical skills.

Not only new knowledge but also new sensitivity is needed in the field of education and development. GLOBED will provide the basis for professionals to work in this field with not only technical expertise but also the ability to be thoughtful and creative. That’s our challenge!

Curriculum rationale

The Erasmus Mundus Joint Master on Education Policies for Global Development (GLOBED) aims to become an international reference Master in the field of globalization, education and international development. It aims to construct an attractive Masters for students who are either currently working in this field or aim to do so.

GLOBED will constitute a solid and homogeneous training in the area of educational development research and international cooperation activities. The existing offer in Europe in this field is usually part of broader International Development Studies programmes, and is characterised by a single specialisation or disciplinary focus (basically, education sciences) and by a specific regional focus. By joining different Universities and different research teams, the new Masters will bring an interdisciplinary approach to the education and development area of study and will include expertise from all regions of the world.

To achieve this goal, GLOBED’s curriculum design and teaching strategies are grounded on the following rationale.

Theoretical and normative orientation

  1. A focus on social justice and inequality. The key and transversal focus of the Master is the consideration of inequality and social injustices, in relation to education and development. Equity and social justice are fundamental principles in policy making, unfortunately not always included as priorities in mainstream educational policy developments. GLOBED will locate social justice and equity as central aspects of the policy making process, in terms of policy rationales, decision-making and implementation/impact.

  2. The GLOBED study programme will strive to engage with the world as it is, in order to imagine a world as it could and should be. In other words, GLOBED will not ignore the potential normative dimension across all the study units on offer, adopting standpoint theories informed by critical social sciences.. For instance, study units focusing on research methods will move beyond considering research as a technical accomplishment, privileging instead catalytic research and forms of action research that provide tools for social transformation. At the same time, GLOBED will never refuse the analysis of other perspectives that inform policy-making processes and will check all possible political and ideological options.

  3. GLOBED considers globalization as an analytical dimension. This principle has important implications in the field of comparative education. The analysis of educational policies must overcome the three isms that have mainly characterized the study of national education policies (statism, nationalism, educationism). The analysis of education policies and practice will take into account the broader and complex context in which education policies are designed, travel and are implemented.

  4. Building bottom-up approaches regarding the relationship between globalization and education. GLOBED will problematize simple top-down approaches regarding the relationship between globalization and education (as two unproblematic separate entities. Building a bottom-up approach carries at least two methodological implications: 1) the development of a multi-scalar approach. That is, education policies take place at different scales of decision, from the supranational to the local scale. Education policy is recontextualised, negotiated and transformed through those scales. And 2) the study of specific agents and interest groups that interfere in the adoption, translation and implementation of global education policies. This principle includes also the study of local actors and social movements that shape with their action the directions education policy can take.

  5. An interdisciplinary approach to the study of education policy: globalization carries a high degree of complexity and interconnections between the economic, the political and cultural spheres. Trying to grasp these complexities implies unavoidably the development of an interdisciplinary approach. GLOBED integrates different disciplines thanks to the different fields of expertise of the lecturers and the research centers involved in the programme.

  6. Education policy analysis and evaluation will be carried out from a critical perspective. One of the main implications of this principle is the fact that policies and programmes will be studied and assessed as hypotheses that may work or may not depending on contextual factors and the interests and preferences of the agents involved. Instead of assuming expected effects coming from mainstream theories of education and development, GLOBED will critically question what is considered mainstream positivistic views of educational policy and international development and will develop methodological strategies that aim to empirically contrast what works for whom and under which circumstances. This approach necessarily must take into account all possible contextual factors, and in particular the history of institutions and social forces in that context.

  7. From a North-South perspective to a multi-polar understanding of power relations. Globalisation is not only a neoliberal project defined in the North and delivered to the South. Globalisation is today a complex process that departs and takes place in different poles of the world. International economic and political relations are being reorganized and produce a complex network of actors, organisations and processes that alter traditional forms of path dependency. GLOBED challenges unidirectional forms of understanding North-South relationships and employs multi-polar understanding of power in global politics and in the development of education policy worldwide.

  8. European approaches to aid for development will be critically engaged with throughout the course, with special attention given to comparing and contrasting EU policies with those of other countries, economic and political blocs, and international aid agencies from other regions.

Pedagogical issues

  1. The course gives great importance to fostering an “esprit de corps” among and between lecturers and students. This convivial and collaborative spirit will be fostered and encouraged in a number of ways, including: non-hierarchical relations; strong student representation on the governing boards of the course; opportunities for joint teaching; a large number of core courses that bring all the student group together for sufficiently long periods of time to ensure deeper interaction, while allowing specialization through a smaller number of electives; promoting academic apprenticeship through such initiatives as joint publications and other forms of research dissemination between staff and students.

  2. Students are encouraged to actively co-design learning pathways, thus taking charge of their own learning, in response to their own needs and drawing on the expertise available among both the staff and student body. While study units will be prepared in line with the Bologna Process, whereby learning objectives and learning outcomes are clearly signposted, deeper endorsement of learner-based approaches require programmes to be negotiated with students, while guaranteeing access to the knowledge base that is normally associated with courses on education and development. Some specialization study units will thus be co-designed designed by students and lecturers, and will be adapted to specific individual needs in order to ensure adequate preparation for the research project.

  3. GLOBED lecturers will develop teaching strategies with a strong focus on those competencies required to develop professional work in this field. The need to cover a wide range of professional competencies implies the use of a variety of teaching methods and strategies. These competencies, aligned with those recognized by the EHEA, will be developed in a transversal form in different teaching and learning strategies previously planned. A special focus will be given to the development of communication skills, collaborative work and critical thinking. Skills development will have a key role in the structuring of teaching and learning strategies. A special emphasis in research and academic skills will be given for those students aiming to develop a future PhD thesis in the field. Competencies for developing analytical capacities, and writing skills will be provided.

  4. GLOBED will provide opportunities to students for learning by doing. The structuring and accompaniment of fieldwork experiences and the organization of internships in associate partner institutions will be of paramount importance for the acquisition of the necessary experience and skills to develop quality work in the field of education and international development. Fieldwork and internships guidelines will be produced to maximize the learning experience of the students, and help them to build networks for future career options. Moreover, GLOBED students will have to develop a portfolio of academic and professional activities that will help them to develop writing skills, report presentation strategies or abilities for academic publication.

Curriculum structure

I 30 BARCELONA Global education policies (5 ECTS)
Actors in education and development (5 ECTS)
Theories of social justice (5 ECTS)
Educational development, poverty and global inequalities (5 ECTS)
Basic research methods (10 ECTS)
II 30 GLASGLOW Advanced policy inquiry (10 ECTS)
Education and international development (10 ECTS)
International and comparative education (10 ECTS)
CYPRUS Advanced research methods (10 ECTS)
Comparative education (10 ECTS)
Special and inclusive education (10 ECTS)
III 30 ASSOCIATE PARTNER COUNTRY Internship (academic / professional) (15 ECTS)
Fieldwork and Winter School (10 ECTS) and Regional Specialization (5 ECTS) U. CYPRUS
Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)

Quality assurance

The accreditation process guarantees that GLOBED reaches the quality standards that are expected in highly internationalized European public universities, and that high-quality teaching becomes strongly related to the research and knowledge transference experience of the master’s lecturers.

Opening Speech

Take a look at the Opening Speech for the official inauguration of the Globed master by Professor Xavier Bonal, on October 1st 2015.