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Global Chair Public Lecture: Professor Penny Jane Burke

Prof Burke will give a public lecture presenting the vision and focus of their UNESCO Chair project looking at mobilising HE as a vehicle for social justice.

  • 26 Jun 2023, 5.30pm to 26 Jun 2023, 7.30pm BST (GMT +01:00)
  • 10 West, 2.47, University of Bath
  • This event is free

Please join us to listen to Professor Penny Jane Burke, one of the University's 2020/21 Global Chairs hosted by the Department of Education and the International Relations Office, give a public lecture titled 'Mobilising Higher Education to Contribute to Gender Justice and Challenge Gender-based Violence'.

A reception will be held directly after the lecture, where drinks and canapés will be provided.


This seminar presents the vision and focus of the UNESCO Chair in Equity, Social Justice and Higher Education (HE) to mobilise HE as a vehicle for social justice. Efforts to address inequalities in HE are profoundly limited by deficit imaginaries and overly simplistic, mono-dimensional and individualising frameworks for equity. This misframes equity as located in the perceived deficiencies of individuals constructed through the lens of disadvantage. Deficit imaginaries get lodged in policies and practices that lock us in a viscous circle of perpetuating the very inequalities we are seeking to remedy. The UNESCO Chair develops a multidimensional framework for collaborative social justice praxis committed to generating constellations of impact through sustaining communities of praxis. A key aim is to dislodge deficit imaginaries that are built into HE structures, policies and practices in ways that are insidious and almost impossible to see. To illustrate this, the seminar presents work being developed as part of the UNESCO Chair considering the impact of gender-based violence (GBV) on higher education access and participation. GBV is an insidious and wide-spread social problem across the globe rooted in gender injustice but is a silent issue in relation to HE equity agendas. Through the collaboration taking place under the UNESCO Chair, which includes research, evaluation, new programs, student advocacy and inter-agency collaboration, the UNESCO Chair is producing critical knowledge and action to mobilise HE in its capacity to contribute to gender justice and challenge GBV.


Professor Penny Jane Burke is UNESCO Chair in Equity, Social Justice and Higher Education, Global Innovation Chair of Equity and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE) at the University of Newcastle. She is committed to mobilising higher education as a vehicle for social justice and has developed PPOEMs (Praxis-based, Pedagogical, Ethically-oriented Methodologies) as a way to open time and space to do equity differently. Her personal experience of returning to study via an Access to Higher Education program has fuelled her deep commitment to generating research with impact, firmly located in social justice principles. An influential scholar and practitioner, Penny is co-editor of the Bloomsbury book series on gender and education, was executive editor of Teaching in Higher Education (2010 – 2020), received the Higher Education Academy’s National Teaching Award (2008) and was an expert member of the Australian government’s Equity in Higher Education Panel (2020-2021) and Equity Research & Innovation Panel (2018-2020). She has published widely in the field and her books include Accessing Education, Reconceptualising Lifelong Learning: Feminist Interventions, The Right to Higher Education, Changing Pedagogical Spaces in Higher Education and Gender in an Era of Post-Truth Populism. Professor Burke is also an honorary professor at the University of Exeter.

Register for Professor Burke's public lecture

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Please join us in 10 West 2.47.

10 West, 2.47 University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY United Kingdom

Contact us

If you have any questions about this public lecture or the Global Chair scheme run by the International Relations Office, please contact us.