Educational research capacity in Wales: The challenge of devolution

Year: 2002

Author: Furlong, John

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The establishment of the National Assembly for Wales in 1998 has marked the growing separation of Wales from England in both educational policy and practice. No longer can it be said, if it ever really could 'For Wales see England'. There is now a growing confidence and difference in educational policy which is perhaps expressed most explicitly in the Assembly's ambitious educational policy document 'The Learning Country' ( 2001). Where there is a continuity with England however, and with many other countries, is the commitment to establish a growing role for educational research at all levels of the educational system. As in Australia, the mantra of 'evidence based policy' has been warmly embraced by the fledgling Assembly. But how well prepared is the higher education system in Wales to contribute the development of educational policy and practice and how experienced are educational institutions in Wales in effectively utilising educational research when it does exist? This paper will report findings from a recent review of Educational Research Capacity in Wales (Furlong and White 2001) which examined both 'producers' and 'users', and trace its subsequent role in the development of a national strategy for Educational Research in Wales.