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Dr Paul Fean

Associate Lecturer

Dr Paul Fean

About Research



As an education and youth livelihoods specialist, Paul has designed, implemented, and researched humanitarian and development programmes in the Middle East, Africa, and globally. Paul is a practitioner-academic and is currently Global Programme Lead on youth employment and entrepreneurship with Plan International, which complements his role with St Mary’s University.

Paul was previously Global Roving Youth Advisor with the Norwegian Refugee Council, in which he provided technical support to youth education and livelihoods projects in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Paul’s areas of expertise in education in emergencies include youth participation and development, teacher development, formal and informal education, life skills and employability training, and experiential learning.

Paul has a PhD in International Education and a MSc in Social Research Methods in Education (Distinction) from the University of Sussex. He also holds a BA in Middle Eastern and Modern European Languages (Arabic and French) (First Class) from the University of Manchester.


Research profile

Paul’s research interests focus on policy and practice in education in emergencies, youth education, training and livelihoods, and teacher education in humanitarian and development contexts. His methodological areas of interest comprise qualitative applied research and evaluation, action research, and participatory methodologies.

As his doctoral study (2012), Paul conducted a participatory action research study with youth education teachers in Khartoum, Sudan, which he analysed using postcolonial and poststructuralist theories.


  • Fean, P. (2012) ‘Learners’ cultures as ‘knowledge’? Sudanese teachers’ perceptions of cultures and languages in adult education’ (2012), Compare: A Journal of International and Comparative Education, 42, 5, 683-701.
  • Fean, P. (2012) ‘Forms of in-service teacher development’ in: ‘Time for Change: Developing English Language Teaching at Tertiary Level in Sudan’, Gray, B and Krzanowski, M (Eds.), Garnet.


Conferences (Papers presented)

  • ‘Youth training and transition to resilient self-employment: lessons from the Central African Republic’, UK Forum for International Education and Training (UKFIET) conference, Oxford, 17-19 September 2019.
  • ‘Developing reflective practice of Syrian teachers of refugee youth in Jordan’, with Basma Abu Daabes, UKFIET conference, Oxford, 13-15 September 2015.

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