“IED [should be] organised to bring research competence t​o bear on issues ranging from the very practical problems of classroom teaching and school management to relevant questions of educational policy “

(His Highness, The Aga Khan, 1994, cited in Report of  AKU-IED Third Task Force)

“When people are dying because existing knowledge is not applied, when the very basic social and public services are not available to all members of the society, then that society is misusing its resources if it pursues pure learning for its sake”

(Nyerere, 1966, Address to the World University Service General Assembly entitled Role of Universities)

These quotes by our Chancellor, the Aga Khan,and by Mwalimu Nyerere recognise the central position of research in a university of international standing, especially in its relevance to the peoples and their problems within the context in which they are situated. AKU-IED takes this situated view of research to extend understanding and contribute to educational problem solving.


Head Research IED EAProfessor Anjum Halai

Office of the Head Research, at IED EA is responsible for the leadership, quality assurance and management of research at the institution and works closely with two university wide offices:

Developments in research and quality assurance also falls under the Research Advisory Committee (RAC)  Members of RAC are:


Multi-Literacy in Multilingual Education (MIME)

Schools and classrooms globally are increasingly multilingual in nature so that monolingual classrooms are not necessarily a norm.

While reasons for multilingualism vary, in East Africa, this is not simply because of the wide range of local/regional African language backgrounds of the teachers and the learners, it is also because the policies of language of instruction in the region mandate that teaching and learning processes are often in the second or the third language of the learner. The MIME network is the intellectual home for research focused on improving basic education especially the development of multiple literacies in multilingual contexts.  Here, literacy is not limited to the traditional notion of reading and writing of print materials. It is a holistic and complex notion of literacies that embrace scientific, mathematical and ICT literacies as well as language and literacy.

Inclusion and Equity in Education (InEEd)

Improving access to quality education raises issues of inclusion and equity, so that all learners can access quality education irrespective of gender, HIV AIDS or other forms of exclusion.  This network focuses on issues of equity and inclusion within the multilingual contexts of education and more broadly.  Researchers working within this network are investigating approaches to teaching controversial and sensitive issues, concerns of social justice in, for example, the language of instruction and effective learning, gender – boys and girls - issues in classrooms  and school governance and leadership. , students’ experience of seeking teachers’ help in classrooms, contextually relevant approaches to early childhood care and education, and provision for gifted and talented students in mathematics.

Research Interest Groups

Within each research network there are research interest groups as follows:

Special Interest Group in Mathematics and Science Education (SIGMAS)
ICT Research and Development Group
Early Year's Education (EYE)​
Educational Leadership, Gender and Participation​​​​