Barbara Ischinger (OECD), Hebe Vessuri (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) and Andreas Eckert (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Forum Transregionale Studien) discussing about “Global Knowledge Disparities – The North-South Divide”.
Text: You can find the discussion paper of the Humboldt-Ferngespräch here (pdf). The text and video are based on the “Humboldt Ferngespräche” discussion held at the Humboldt-
Universität zu Berlin on November 20, 2014 within the framework of the international Winter Academy “Education, Inequality and Social Power. Transregional Perspectives” organized by the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Stiftung –
Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland.
By Jane-Frances Lobnibe (University for Development Studies, Tamale) and Jana Tschurenev (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)1
Report of the Winter Academy “Inequality, Education and Social Power: Transnational Perspectives”. The Winter Academy took place in Berlin, November 16-25, 2014 and was convened by the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Stiftung – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland.
An condensed version of the text is published via the online communication platform H-Soz-Kult.
Participants Winter Academy (Photo: Photo: Forum Transregionale Studien under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
As the global economy slowly recovers from the 2008/9 recession, rising social inequality exacerbated by stagnating wages and unequal income distribution is emerging as a major concern of policy makers and national leaders in both the “developed” and “developing” worlds. This development has come about amid a fast changing knowledge economy, requiring specialized labor skills and high quality education to meet the challenges of this complex technological and interconnected world. To be sure, there is a widespread assumption that a panacea to the current predicament is an expanded equal access to quality education. However, as a public good and ideologically charged concept, education is often viewed as a means of and for social mobility and is set with high expectations. But education can also produce inequality and disenchantment in case some groups are denied or excluded from its benefits. The interdisciplinary Winter Academy and conference “Inequality, Education, and Social Power,” in Berlin explored this ambiguity from multiple perspectives. The seven-day event was convened by the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Stiftung – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland in Berlin in cooperation with the Max Weber Foundation’s Transnational Research Group (TRG) on “Poverty and Education”, the research network desiguALdades.net and the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung.
Since both authors participated in the same working group and to some extent also in the thematic discussion groups, this summary is necessarily a very selective one and cannot do justice to all the rich and inspiring presentations given within the winter academy and conference. [↩]
The organizers would like to thank all the participants for the fruitful discussions during the workshops, lectures and coffee breaks. It was your active engagement that made the Winter Academy a great success.