Does education matter and if so, what do we need to learn to make a difference?

This is a hybrid event.

Join Alex Beard, Senior Director of the Global Learning Lab at Teach for All and author of Natural Born Learners; Jonathan Black, Director of the Careers Service at Oxford University and chair Dr Helen Carasso, Honorary Norham Fellow at the Department of Education, University of Oxford, as they discuss the question, ‘Does education matter and if so, what do we need to learn to make a difference?’ (A third speaker will be confirmed shortly).

The discussion will be followed by a Q & A session.

Hosted both in-person and online, this event is free and open to all. Booking is required.

Booking deadline: 12 noon, Tuesday 25 January 2022

Please note, this event will be recorded.


Alex Beard
Alex started out as a teacher in London, before joining Teach For All, a growing network of organizations working in sixty countries worldwide to ensure all children fulfil their potential, where he now heads the Global Learning Lab. He’s fortunate to spend his time travelling the world in search of the future of learning, and has written about his experiences for the Guardian, Financial Times, and Wired. He presented The Learning Revolution, a three part series on the future of education for BBC Radio 4, and is the author of Natural Born Learners, a guide to transforming learning in the twenty-first century.

Jonathan Black
Jonathan Black has been Director of the Careers Service at Oxford University since 2008 after a broad career including in blue-chip management consultancy, international academic publishing, and co-founding a successful medical publishing start-up.

Jonathan coaches students one-to-one, runs workshops and seminars for groups of undergraduates and postgraduates, trains colleagues, and devises new and innovative programmes that provide hands-on experiences for students. He works with senior academics to explore how the Careers Service can support academic work, presents at seminars and conferences in the UK, Europe, Australia, South Africa, and the USA, and runs research programmes on what is required in order to secure a graduate-level job.

Jonathan writes the fortnightly, ‘Dear Jonathan’ column for readers’ careers questions in the Financial Times, and produced three short careers videos for the FT in July 2018 and anchored six 10-minute FT/YouTube careers videos launched in April 2019. His recent book, ‘How to find the Career you’ve always wanted’ was described by Baroness Gillian Shephard as, ‘One of the most practical and comprehensible career guides ever produced.’

Outside the Careers Service, Jonathan is a Fellow and Tutor for Welfare at New College, Oxford, Chair of the Oxford University spin-out, Skylark Works, and member of the Oxford Alumni Society Board.

Dr Helen Carasso
Helen’s academic interest in higher education policy developed from more than 20 years of professional experience of university administration – in public relations and admissions.

She gained her doctorate from Oxford in 2010 (a study of the market created by the introduction of £3000 fees for Home/EU undergraduates at English universities in 2006); since then, she has conducted research into the impacts of student fees and funding on institutions, students, graduates and applicants within the higher education sector in England. She also works as a consultant to higher education institutions.

Helen was Pathway Convenor for the MSc Education (HE) for two years and has taught on this course since completing her DPhil. As an inspector for the British Accreditation Council, Helen has the opportunity to gain insights into the operation of higher education providers globally. She is also an Associate of the SKOPE, the department’s research centre for Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance.

From 2012-17, Helen was a member of the governing council of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), serving as Vice-Chair from 2014-17.