The UNESCO Chair

The UNESCO Chairs

UNESCO aims to facilitate the international exchange of scholarship in relation to educational, scientific and cultural developments.

The UNESCO Chairs have an important role to play in facilitating that exchange, forming a world‑wide network of more than 600 academics based in Universities in over 130 countries. Further information about the UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN networks can be found at the UNESCO and UNITWIN websites.

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UNESCO Chair, Professor Alan Smith

Photo of UNESCO Chair and Centre Director, Professor Alan Smith

The UNESCO Chair held by Professor Alan Smith, is located in the School of Education on the Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster.

Established formally in 1999 the Chair has a programme of work in Education for Pluralism, Human Rights and Democracy.

The emphasis of Alan’s work in the past year has been on further development of research related to education, conflict and international development. This has been achieved through:

  • A report on ‘Education, conflict and International Development’ for DFID
  • An expert paper on ‘Children and Transitional Justice’ for UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, Italy
  • A ‘Political Economy Analysis of Education in Nepal’ completed and published following a presentation to European Commission staff in Brussels
  • A study on ‘Education and Peacebuilding in Sierra Leone’ for the German Government Development Agency, GIZ
  • An education research project on the role of education in peace building for UNICEF
  • Consultancy for International Alert, UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank in Bosnia, Nepal and Sri Lanka

In addition to this, Alan was:

  • A UK representative to the Council of Europe
  • A British Council visiting fellow to Nigeria and Indonesia
  • Invited in March 2012 to address part of the 53rd meeting of the standing committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva
  • One of four key advisors to the 2011 Education For All Global Monitoring Report, ‘The Hidden Crisis: Armed Conflict and Education’

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Further Information

More detailed information on our links with UNESCO and of the work of the Chair can be found in those sections of our website.

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Contact Details

Professor Alan Smith

Centre Director


School of Education
University of Ulster
Co Londonderry
BT52 1SA
Northern Ireland


+44 (0)28 7012 3593



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