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1991 …2019
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Personal profile

Research Interests

Joanne Hughes is Director of the Centre for Shared Education in the School of Education at Queen’s. Her main research interests are in the role of education in divided societies, and inequalities in education. She has led numerous research projects on these themes and has been awarded research grants from the EU, ESRC, British Council, Nuffield, UNICEF, Atlantic Philanthropies, and a range of other sources. Current research projects explore longitudinally the effect of inter-group contact between Protestant and Catholic pupils in Northern Ireland, and the development and effectiveness of shared education interventions locally and in international settings. In recognition of her international work, in 2016 she was appointed to a prestigious UNESCO Chair on Globalising a Shared Education Model for Improving Intergroup Relations in Divided Societies. She has also advised Government Officials and Ministers nationally and internationally on the development of policies and interventions to promote good relations in schools. Her research in NI informed the Shared Education Act (2016), and in the Republic of Macedonia, the establishment of a state-wide Interethnic Integration in Education Programme. In Israel, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, she is working with local NGOs and officials to develop shared education interventions. Relating to research impact, her work is one of 19 Signature Projects supported in Queen’s Social Charter (2017). Recent (2016-present) expert advisor roles include, British Academy, ‘Education in Conflict and Protracted Crises’; Academy of Social Sciences, ‘Making the Case for Education in the UK’- subsequently launched in the House of Lords (2017); Salzburg Global Session 605, ‘Climate Change, Conflict, Health and Education’; Research Review of mid-Sweden University  - Chair of the Education Panel. From 2010-2014 she was editor of the prestigious British Educational Research Journal. She is also an appointed member of the Executive Council of the British Educational Research Association.


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Projects 2007 2019

Research Output 1991 2019

Education in conflict-affected areas: Final report

Gallagher, A., Robinson, G., Hughes, J. & Connolly, D., 10 Apr 2019, London: British Council. 31 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Open Access
conflict resolution

Circling a conflicted policy landscape: Child poverty and education in Northern Ireland

Gallagher, A., Leitch, M. & Hughes, J., 2018, Resisting Educational Inequality Reframing Policy and Practice in Schools serving vulnerable communities. Gannon, S., Hattam, R. & Sawyer, W. (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge, p. 70-81 12 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Developing Social Cohesion through Schools in Northern Ireland and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: A Study of Policy Transfer

Loader, R., Hughes, J., Petroska-Beshka, V. & Tomovska Misoska, A., 31 Aug 2018, In : Journal on Education in Emergencies. 4, 1, p. 114-140 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Fostering Harmony and Dealing with Difference in Education: A Critical Review of Perspectives on Intergroup Relations

Hughes, J., Loader, R. & Nelson, J., 31 May 2018, Critical Human Rights, Citizenship, and Democracy Education. Keet, A. & Zembylas, M. (eds.). London: Bloomsbury Academic, p. 123-138 16 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Open Access


peer review
Social Policy
educational research
think tank

Appointed to UNESCO Chair in Globalising the Shared Education model

Joanne Hughes (Recipient), 2016

Prize: National/international honour

educational research
professional association
research method

Activities 2000 2019

Peacebuilding through education: Promoting collaboration between the divided school systems in Kosovo

Joanne Hughes (Member of programme committee)
24 Jan 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

The Learner Research Network Advisory Board

Joanne Hughes (Board Member)
2019 → …

Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

Shared Education in Northern Ireland and the Balkans

Joanne Hughes (Organiser)
01 Mar 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Global Values Research

Joanne Hughes (Advisor)
Jul 2019

Activity: Consultancy typesWork on advisory panel to industry or government or non-government organisation

Shared Education: A model for peace building through schools in deeply divided societies

Joanne Hughes (Keynote speaker)
26 Jul 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference


Shared Education: Building Positive Intergroup Relations in Divided Societies

Tony Gallagher (Participant), Joanne Hughes (Participant), Karen Carlisle (Participant), Caitlin Donnelly (Participant)

Impact: Public Policy Impact, Societial Impact


Applying Theory-Based Interventions to Encourage Successful Intergroup Contact Through Shared Education Programme in Northern Ireland

Author: Kinghan, D., 2019

Supervisor: Turner, R. (Supervisor), Hughes, J. (Supervisor) & McKeown, G. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Essentially Christian in character? Ethos in integrated schools

Author: Wardlow, M., Jul 2013

Supervisor: Hughes, J. (Supervisor) & Donnelly, C. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Shared Education in Northern Ireland: A Qualitative Study of Intergroup Contact

Author: Loader, R., Jun 2015

Supervisor: Hughes, J. (Supervisor) & Gallagher, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy