Department of Education

Research student insight

Edmond Maher

Ed MaherEdmond Maher is studying on the Doctor of Education (EdD) programme under the tentative title: How and why universal primary education came to be selected as a priority in the UN Millennium Project.

His research is being supervised by  Dr Manuel Sotero and he works closely with researchers in the Department, including Prof Hugh Lauder, Dr David Eddy Spicer, Dr John Lowe and Dr Kelly Teamey.

Prior to studying at the University of Bath, he was a student at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana (USA) as well as Australian Catholic and Edith Cowan Universities (Australia).

Research focus

Ed became interested in development work and its effects through his own family history and experiences growing up in Australia, where he developed a concern for the poorest.

Around 18 Million people each year die of starvation and poverty related causes, while many others have more than they need.

When we think of development we often think of donating money to charity, but we can easily underestimate the effect of policies on the current distribution of wealth. I hope that my research will shed some light on what is going on at a policy level, and maybe help improve these.

It is still early days for Ed’s research, but so far he is finding that educational development is incredibly complex.

There are disconnects between the rhetoric of those ‘doing’ development and the experience of those on the receiving end. I am finding that some policies state that they are meeting the needs of the poor, yet in practice these are counterproductive.

He is currently analysing changes in the UN Millennium Project since its inception in 2000 through to the present day. So far, he has found the changes to be substantial, which is generating more questions as well as answers.

Studying by distance learning

Ed has had to be persistent with his part-time research while also managing his time alongside his other commitments of being Head of School and also spending time with his family.

The programme gives you exposure to a range of staff, and each has been supportive and pushed me to improve and develop.

He has attended Summer Schools at the University, enabling him to meet with staff and students in the Education and Social & Policy Sciences departments.

The University and academic staff are excellent. I have found their detailed critique of the papers I have written to be most useful.

Ed has also found the time to undertake research skills training in writing and data analysis to support his studies.

Looking ahead

Ed is hoping to finish his thesis and later publish a book on the UN Millennium Development Goals.

So far every question I have tackled opens up a new one. So it’s the sense that I will only ever know a tiny fraction of what there is to know that excites me.

Further information

If you would like to find out more about Ed’s research then you can contact him by email:

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