Staff Profiles


Mr Zulfi Ali

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Humanities & Educational Studies

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 921747

Profile summary

Zulfi joined Canterbury Christ Church University in 2015. He has a background in international development, with over two decades of field experience in South Asia, focusing on educational development and peace and human rights education. His research interests include postcolonial history, the political economy of education policy and delivery, and activism.

He did his first degree in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Nottingham, and his MA in Policy Studies in Education from the Institute of Education, University of London. He is currently working on his PhD at the UCL, Institute of Education entitled: A Postcolonial History of Education in Pakistan: Explorations in Class, Ideology and Role of the State.

Prior to moving to the UK, Zulfi was Director at the Children’s Museum for Peace and Human Rights in Karachi, Pakistan. This was a £4 million project aimed at delivering socially relevant education through a proactive, inclusive and innovative institutional model.


2020      Member of the Sustainability team at CCCU that won the national Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) by Advance HE 

2019       Winner,  EUAC national Green Gown Award in the category ‘Sustainability Champion of the Year – Staff’

2019       Runner Up Golden Apple Award for Commitment to Sustainability, Christ Church Students’ Union

2018       University Teaching Excellence Award – Early Career, CCCU

2018       Golden Apple Award for Commitment to Sustainability, Christ Church University Students’ Union

2017       Golden Apple Award for Faculty of Education, Christ Church University Students’ Union

Research and knowledge exchange

2018       Lead for the Postgraduate Academic Journey Review, CCCU.

2017       Evaluation of Youth Travel Ambassadors Project for Transport for London, £30,000.

2017       Rainbow Centre Winter Shelter Evaluation.

2016       Department for Education Impact Assessment of the Adoption Subsidy Scheme, £60,000.

2016       Ready for School Project Evaluation and Literature Review.

2015       Impact Assessment of Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, £ 120,000.

In the International Development sector Zulfi has experience of extensive involvement in national, regional and international networks and has worked with a large number of international organizations such as UNICEF, UNESCO, Save the Children, British Council, FCO, Asia Foundation. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Network of Museums for Peace (based in the Hague) from 2005 to 2011. He serves on the Board of All Pakistan Music Conference (APMC), Katachi, Pakistan. 

Teaching and subject expertise

Zulfi teaches on the BA Education Studies and the MA Early Childhood Education programmes. He has led a range of modules, including:

  • Historical and International Perspectives on ECE (MA)
  • Policy and Practice (MA) 
  • Developing Criticality (MA)
  • Human Rights and Citizenship Education (BA)
  • Sustainability and the Global Village (BA) 
  • How do humans think and learn? (BA)
  • Orientation to Higher Education and Research (BA)
  • Researching Education (BA)
  • Investigating Psychology of Education (BA)

External activities

Grasping Gramscian Optimism for Resistance: The Exciting Prospect of Expanding Socially Relevant Educational Spaces From Below. Keynote at the Learning And Teaching Conference And Scholarship Day at CCCU, 2019.

On Existential Threats and the Need to Reorient Higher Education to Inspire and Nurture Youth Activism. Presentation at Leverhulme Trust funded conference on Youth Activism, Engagement and the Development of New Civic Learning Spaces, Budapest, Hungry, 2019.

Community of Practice in International Perspective: Reflections on Reigniting Hope in Children. Keynote at the ‘Early Years Community of Practice Conference’ at CCCU, 2015.

Education, Children and Citizenship. Presentation at British Council International ‘Connecting Classrooms’ Conference, Nottingham, UK, 2009.

Neo-liberalism and Private-Public Partnerships: The Political Economy of Education in Pakistan. Presentation at the Policy Dialogue Conference held by Aga Khan University, Institute of Educational Development, in Quetta, Pakistan, 2005.

The Potential of Children’s Museums for Peace as Activist Organisations in the Developing World. Presentation at International Network of Museums for Peace Conference in Bilbao, Spain,  2005.

Innovations in Human Rights Education Delivery in Asia. Presentation in Osaka, Japan, 2004.

Investing in the Future: The Work of Human Rights Education Programme in Pakistan. Presentation at HURights Osaka, Osaka, Japan,  2001.

Education, Human Rights and Development in the Asian Context. Presentation given at the ‘Dialogue with Asia’ conference in Stockholm, Sweden hosted by the Swedish International Development Assistance. 2000.

Publications and research outputs

Author/Co-Author or Editor of eight illustrated books for children (in English and Urdu) on topics ranging from peace, tolerance, conflict resolution, participation, hope and social change, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (published in 7 languages).   


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Last edited: 19/11/2020 13:32:00