Aberdeen University awarded Scottish Universities Insight Institute Programme

Dr. Joan Forbes, Reader in Education at the University of Aberdeen, and Dr. Daniela Sime, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at the University of Strathclyde, have led a successful Knowledge Exchange Programme proposal to the Scottish Universities Insight Institute on: Children and Young People's Experiences and Views of Poverty and Inequality.

The Programme addresses the key issues of inequality and social exclusion of children and young people in Scotland, which are also global issues with significance beyond Scotland.

The aim of the Programme is to increase equality and help realise the human potential of children and young people in Scotland, through a series of innovative approaches to develop fresh solutions in activities that encourage evidence-based practice, stimulate collaboration amongst a range of stakeholders and involve young people as active citizens.

The Programme includes four main types of activities held in Glasgow, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire: 

  • Children and young people’s theatre workshops, working with Govan, Glasgow-based Hopscotch Theatre Company;
  • Four policy briefings on social inequalities; a ‘Travelling’ arts exhibition produced by children and young people involved in the Programme, supported by Hopscotch Theatre and staff and students from Glasgow School of Art;
  • Two international seminars and linked workshops to coincide with the art exhibitions, which bring together a wide range of participants, including young people, to debate evidence on child poverty and inequalities, tackle key aspects of inequality and identify solutions.

A number of University of Aberdeen academics will contribute specific knowledge and expertise to the Scottish Universities Insight Institute Programme including Anne Valyo, Drama Lecturer, on facilitating children’s art workshops; Neil Curtis, Head of Museums, on community art exhibitions and knowledge exchange; Dr Archie Graham on children’s voices; and Dr Joan Forbes on societal intersectionalities and dis/advantage.

A number of partners in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire will also contribute notably including Aberdeenshire Council curriculum and inequalities group; Aberdeen City Council creative learning team; and the Montgomery Development Education Centre of Aberdeen for a Fairer World (previously Aberdeen Third World Centre).

Designed to investigate the discourses and practices that shape child poverty and dis/advantage, in/equalities and in/exclusions in contemporary society and institutions, the new Scottish Universities Insight Institute funded Knowledge Exchange Programme is the most recent of a series of outputs which contribute to the strength of the University of Aberdeen, School of Education THEORY SPACE research agenda (The Theory Space).