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Stranmillis launches Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement

Stranmillis University College today launched a new Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement. The new centre, located at Stranmillis, will provide an important focus for research into one of the most significant and complex challenges facing society in Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Noel Purdy, Director of Research and Scholarship at Stranmillis, commented: “Educational underachievement is highly complex and multi-faceted, and it has been the subject of numerous studies over many years.  These reports suggest that underachievement is closely correlated with social disadvantage, and that many of our children and young people face enormous barriers to learning, both inside and outside the classroom.  Research carried out at Stranmillis has been shaping educational policy and practice and unlocking pupil and teacher potential for almost 100 years.  It is important that through our new Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement we work to extend and deepen our understanding of educational underachievement across all sections of our community, and that we offer evidence-based responses which can inform not just policy in the boardroom but also everyday teaching and learning in the classroom”. 

The core aim of the new Centre is to engage in a focused portfolio of innovative, interdisciplinary research into educational underachievement in Northern Ireland.  The Centre’s objectives are to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature and extent of educational underachievement and then provide evidence-based responses to the challenges of educational underachievement - responses that will be of significance to government, elected representatives and departmental officials, educational stakeholders, teachers, parents and, most importantly of all, to children and young people.

The launch was attended by over sixty leading educational stakeholders from schools, universities, statutory and voluntary sector representatives, as well as elected representatives from all the major political parties, including Rt. Hon. Arlene Foster, MLA, former First Minister.  The keynote address was delivered by Will Haire, CB, Chair of Trustees at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

For further information about the launch, please contact Patricia O’Lynn on or 028 9038 4212, or Graeme Watson on or 028 9038 469

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