About the reading group

UCL’s Social Policy and Social Research postgraduate students lead a reading group open to all MA/MSc students in the IOE Department of Social Science, introducing major contemporary debates from a critical perspective. It can be a space to meet fellow students, social scientists and practitioners.

This is an initiative run by students with the purpose to engage in stimulating reading and discussions about contemporary issues regarding social policy theory and practice. We aim to constitute a learning community to co-construct knowledge, covering areas such as education, labour markets, social protection, and human development and well-being. 

Everyone is welcome. Whether this is your specialist field, or you just want to know a little bit more about different contemporary issues, please join us for an open discussion.



Venue and timing

Every Tuesday evening, 6-8pm.

Room G02, 55-59 Gordon Square.




We will discuss each topic over the course of several weeks. The first four sessions will cover one of the most pertinent social policy spheres – education.   


Topic 1. Privatization of education: causes, impacts and tensions

Today, different forms of privatization are being introduced into public education systems around the world. Most of these changes are being implemented through deliberate policy reforms that affect not only curriculum and management, but also how education is conceptualized. Thus, their impact can be far-reaching, for the development of students, social justice, redistribution, and human rights.

  • Week 1 (12 March): Neoliberalism, funding and regulation of the educational system
  • Week 2 (19 March): The role of different actors
  • Week 3 (26 March): Is education a matter of social justice or is it a commodity?
  • Week 4 (2 April): Research in different contexts: improving quality or increasing inequalities?




You can find the reading materials, videos and other resources for each weekly session at this Google drive folder: goo.gl/B5sPxJ. Even if you do not get the chance to read the articles ahead of the session, you are welcome to come and join the debates.




You can find a Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/673555859728751/



Main Reading Room, now Social Science and History Department of the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Photographic Prints. Free Library of Philadelphia: Philadelphia, PA.

Social Science and History Department of the Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia.