Developing an Education Evidence Eco-System in a Small Country: Lessons from Wales




Evidence Ecosystem, Education Research, Wales


This paper’s aim is to explore the challenges of developing an education ‘evidence ecosystem’ for Wales.

Methodology. The analysis is derived from ongoing research and debates with key stakeholders in higher education and the Welsh Government and draws on policy research from other small countries.

Results. It might be argued that Wales provides the perfect environment for developing such an ecosystem because of its size, commitment to evidence-based policy, political consensus, collaborations between policy-makers, researchers and the education profession. That it has not yet been able to do so illustrates the constraints of wider political and historical circumstances which structure provision, particularly in small countries.

The paper concludes by considering how some of these challenges might be addressed so that the potential can be realised.


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Author Biographies

Sally Power, Cardiff University, Wales, the United Kingdom (UK).

Sally Power, Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD), Cardiff University, is Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, and a Co-Director of WISERD. In addition to her work on civil society, she is also interested in young people’s trajectories and the sociology of education policy.

Chris Taylor, Cardiff University, Wales, the United Kingdom (UK).

Chris Taylor, Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD), Cardiff University, Academic Director, Cardiff University Social Science Research Park (SPARK), is Professor of Social Sciences at Cardiff University and is the Academic Director for the Cardiff University Social Science Research Park. He has undertaken a wide range of interdisciplinary research in the fields of education and civil society and has published extensively on issues of participation and inequalities.


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How to Cite

Power, S., & Taylor, C. (2023). Developing an Education Evidence Eco-System in a Small Country: Lessons from Wales. Educational Challenges, 28(1), 35-43.