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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Education, well being and the emergent economies of Brazil, Russia and South Africa

Grant reference: RES-075-25-0004

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Impact Report details

Education, well being and the emergent economies of Brazil, Russia and South Africa
The project was designed to address a series of questions concerning the relationships between rapid economic growth, education and children’s well being and security in Brazil, Russia and South Africa. The relationships between these three variables are poorly understood. This study provided a window on how they were linked at a time when the three countries are considered three of the key rising powers. At stake was a question about the sustainability of their economic ‘miracles’: was economic growth founded on the education system and if not was it necessary to support the future economic development of these countries? In order to address this issue a series of seminars were set up in Sao Paulo, Moscow and Cape Town, to which leading policy makers and academics were invited.

Primary contributor

Author Harry Daniels

Additional contributors

Contributor Hugh Lauder


This project facilitated the development of strong research within and across the nation states involved. One network was set up with nodes in each of Russia, Brazil and South Africa. The purpose was to bring together policy makers and academics to validate and discuss the questions outlined in the proposal. The networks in each country were formed though the activities led by the Visiting Fellows. These were remarkably successful in gaining the support and participation of very high level policy makers and academics (see the website for evidence). One of the three key fetures was the impact of the polarisation of income and wealth that has taken place in each country. In turn this raised fundamental question aboiut the role of education in contexts where access has been increased but the quality of provision for the poor has not. These networks are still 'live' and are leading to the development of concrete research programmes both within the existing constituency (e.g. Russia and South Africa) and beyond (e.g. Singapore). In Russia this will involve partnerships concerning 3 UK funded projects and the appointment of Daniels to the University Council. In Singapore Lauder is leading a research programme which draws on the insights developed in the Network. In South Africa Daniels is acting as a consultant to a NRF funded research programme which draws on the Network.

The practical impacts are related to the continuing functioning of these networks. (each node has been visited at least once since the completion of the project to provide further impetus to their workings). As mentioned earlier the full impact will only be achieved when the project has gained full political dispensation for the dissemination of results from the senior policy makers who participated in the seminars. A paper has been submitted to Comparative Education and two more are in preparation but are as yet without political clearance from the Network.

The network formation and maintenance has been achieved through a variety of media including: seminars (in each of the particpating countries) held after the project was completed; an email list; and skype.

The Visiting Fellows in each country report a high level of engagement on the part of both academics and policy makers.

The network forms the basis for a variety of possible research activities in future.

The network has given to the development of unexpected projects in Russia (Daniels) and Singapore (Lauder).

As mentioned above, much of what was discussed in the seminars was politically sensitive and it has proved difficult to obtain permission to release quotes and summaries of statements made by senior policy makers. Ther project operated with the understanding that any material gathered would only be released with the full permission of relevant personnel.

The network has lead to the development of models of the relationship between economic growth and children's well being and of the relationship between econmic growth and the uneven development of education. The economic and societal impact of the understandings that have been developed and will be published by the network will be witnessed on a very long time scale.

Cite this outcome


Daniels, Harry and Lauder, Hugh. Education, well being and the emergent economies of Brazil, Russia and South Africa: ESRC Impact Report, RES-075-25-0004. Swindon: ESRC


Daniels Harry and Lauder Hugh. Education, well being and the emergent economies of Brazil, Russia and South Africa: ESRC Impact Report, RES-075-25-0004. Swindon: ESRC.