William C. Smith


William C. Smith is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Education and International Development at the University of Edinburgh. Prior to the University of Edinburgh he worked as a Senior Policy Analyst at UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report where he contributed to the 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2020 GEM Reports and led the development of the thematic section of the 2017/18 GEM Report Accountability in Education: Meeting our Commitments. William’s work in education and international development focuses on education access and barriers to education for the most marginalized. This includes his recent project exploring access to secondary education with partners in the Asia Pacific region and his role as the Academic Lead for the Data for Children Collaborative with UNICEF, a multi-million pound co-constructed project between the University of Edinburgh, UNICEF, and the Scottish government.

Spotlight Presentation

Access to Secondary Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Marginalized Pupils in Bangladesh, Lao PDR, Mongolia, and the Philippines

This live-streamed panel will share key findings and highlight recommendations to aid national and international efforts to provide equitable access to education from a recent scoping project in the Asia Pacific region. The project identified children with multiple disadvantages who are most likely to be excluded from secondary education. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 includes secondary education as an important target, encouraging countries to press forward toward universal access, at a time where up to one in three secondary school-age children in the Asia Pacific region remain out of school. The panel will start with a team from the University of Edinburgh providing a numeric overview of the state of access in the region, including new projections on when the region will achieve universal access to secondary education, and highlight marginalized populations most at risk of exclusion. Panellists from the BRAC Institute for Education, UNESCO Bangkok, the Mongolian Education Alliance, and ASPBAE will then share insights from their case studies on Bangladesh, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, and the Philippines. Discussions will highlight the economic, political, structural, and social barriers leading to the marginalization of specific groups of children in these countries. The conclusion will further examine the complex, intersecting and seemingly intractable nature of these barriers. Although the groups of children marginalized differ across the case studies, the web of barriers faced by them is very similar. Finally, a new tool, designed to help policymakers and local stakeholders to identify and address barriers to secondary education, will be introduced.

For the full report:

Stream: Primary & Secondary Education

Posted by IAFOR