Dr Yuchen Wang

Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellow


Personal statement

I am currently working at the School of Education as a Chancellor’s Fellow. I grew up in China and received my early training in psychology and special education and was involved in projects on child development, mental health and intercultural communication. After witnessing exclusion and maltreatments against disabled children in segregated educational institutions, I shifted my research focus to inclusive educational development and particularly advocated for children’s rights to participation and their invaluable role in leading change. In 2016, I completed my PhD research ‘Imagining Inclusive Schooling’ at Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, which explored the experiences of disabled children and their teachers in Chinese mainstream schools through an ethnographic approach. Following that, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher in inclusive education in Moray House and later was awarded the ESRC GCRF Postdoctoral Fellowship ‘Counting Every Child In’ to engage a range of key stakeholders to promote disabled children’s access to inclusive and quality education at all stages in China. Before joining Strathclyde in 2019, I was a Research Associate at the Centre for Research in Digital Education and developed projects to critically examine the relationships between inclusive education and technologies such as artificial intelligence and lecture recording in higher education. One of the projects resulted in the publishing of a co-edited book ‘Artificial intelligence and inclusive education: speculative futures and emerging practices’ with colleagues from the Centre, which won the 2020 Springer Nature New China Development award.

In Strathclyde, I continue to develop research focusing on the role of student voice in inclusive educational development in international contexts. I contribute to teaching on social research methods (BA Primary Education and MSc Education Studies) and strength-based multi-agency working in children’s services (BA Childhood Practice and MEd Inclusive Education). I am the module co-leader of Inclusive Pedagogy and co-coordinate the MEd Inclusive Education pathway (GTCS professional recognition certificate: Additional Support Needs 3-18). I regularly deliver short professional development programmes for Scottish practitioners to build their capacity in inclusive practice. I am also a member of committees and groups including the Scottish Universities Inclusion Group, Strathclyde Autism-Friendly University working group, School of Education’s Global Engagement working group and the Strathclyde Early Years Hub. Furthermore, I broadly promote Scotland-China exchange and partnerships in education and culture, and have successfully supported visiting programmes for researchers and practitioners from China.

I welcome prospective students who are interested in inclusion and diversity issues, international perspectives of inclusive educational development and student/child-led approaches to get in touch regarding supervision opportunities. Below is a list of some completed and on-going projects supervised by colleagues and myself in Strathclyde:

Maggie MacAskill. EdD. Title: What agency do students with Complex Additional Support Needs have in educational subject choice and what are the factors that determine this?

Roseann Maguire. PhD. Disabled children and young people’s understanding of participation in home and school environments.

Xunrou Shen. PhD. Parent involvement in early childhood education.

Rosie Campbell. EdD. The GIRFEC approach and socially just education for pupils with SEBN.

(Completed) Megan Chism. BA dissertation. Title: A literature-based study investigating the role education has in protecting girls who are at risk of female genital mutilation. 2020.


'Teachers did not let me do it.' : disabled children's experiences of marginalisation in regular primary schools in China
Wang Yuchen
Disability & the Global South, pp. 2053-2070 (2021)
Artificial intelligence and inclusive education : speculative futures and emerging practices
Wang Yuchen, Knox Jeremy, Gallagher Michael
UNESCO Mobile Learning Week 2020 - Artificial Intelligence and Inclusion (2020)
Artificial Intelligence and Inclusive Education : Speculative Futures and Emerging Practices
Knox Jeremy, Wang Yuchen, Gallagher Michael
Perspectives on Rethinking and Reforming Education Perspectives on Rethinking and Reforming Education (2019)
Introduction : AI, inclusion, and 'everyone learning everything'
Knox Jeremy, Wang Yuchen, Gallagher Michael
Artificial Intelligence and Inclusive Education Speculative Futures and Emerging Practices (2019) (2019)
Learning from children : experiences of bullying in regular classrooms
Wang Yuchen, Florian Lani
Promoting Social Inclusion Co-Creating Environments that Foster Equity and Belonging (2019) (2019)

More publications

Research interests

  • Inclusion and diversity in education
  • Student/pupil voice
  • International development
  • Technology
  • Research engagement and impact

Professional activities

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (Publisher)
Peer reviewer
Children and Society (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Co-creating transdisciplinary environmental solutions with children and young people
Additional Support for Learning and Multi-agency Collaborative Working in Scotland
CLPL workshop on ASN and inclusion
CLPL workshop on ASN and inclusion

More professional activities


Co-creating transdisciplinary environmental solutions with children and young people
Wang, Yuchen (Principal Investigator) Davis, John (Co-investigator) Mevawalla, Zinnia (Co-investigator) Martinez-Lejarreta, Loreain (Researcher) Ross, Kirsty (Co-investigator) Somorin, Tosin (Co-investigator) Lennon, Marilyn (Co-investigator) Liggat, John (Co-investigator) Mckendry, Stephanie (Co-investigator) Mitchell, Richard (Co-investigator) Smithx, Cowboy (Co-investigator) Cairns, Liam (Co-investigator) Phillips, Alexandra Lort (Co-investigator) McGroarty, John Paul (Co-investigator) Walters, Hannah (Co-investigator)
The project aims to develop an interest group through snowballing to establish an internal network and shape the vision and framework of a Strathclyde-based Hub on children and young people's leadership role in sustainable environmental solutions. The intended outcomes are: extended transdisciplinary networks to enable Strathclyde-led research, KE and CDTs development; increased capacity in Strathclyde’s community on working with children and young people as agents of change.
03-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2022
Artificial intelligence and inclusive education
Wang, Yuchen (Co-investigator)
Advanced Innovation Centre for Future Education, Beijing Normal University.(£22,899)
01-Jan-2018 - 01-Jan-2019
Lecture recording and inclusive practice in higher education
Wang, Yuchen (Co-investigator) Knox, Jeremy (Principal Investigator)
Principal's Teaching Award Scheme, University of Edinburgh. (£14,397)
26-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2019
Counting every child in: promoting inclusive and quality education for disabled children in China
Wang, Yuchen (Principal Investigator)
The struggle for disabled children to access inclusive, equitable and quality education is a globally shared challenge. In particular, low and middle-income countries tend to face further economic, social, political and cultural barriers.

In China, while nearly half of the designated disabled children are still placed in segregated special schools, progress has been made to enrol disabled children into mainstream schools. However, the ethnographic study ‘Imagining Inclusive Schooling’ found that the ‘included’ children were experiencing forms of marginalisation and exclusion. Much needs to be done to realise children’s aspirations of change, to enhance learning outcomes, opportunities to participation, wellbeing and dignity for everyone.

Directly responding to the call of UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, the project ‘Counting Every Child In’ (CECI) is based on ‘Imagining Inclusive Schooling’, to promote inclusive and quality education for disabled children in China, contributing to the country’s engagement with sustainable development. It was funded by the UK ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship (£123,345), involving partners from but not restricted to the University of Edinburgh, Beijing Normal University and Dublin Trinity College.

The CECI project includes a wide range of engagement and impact activities, designed to influence current policy, practice and understandings of inclusive education in China by disseminating 4 key messages:

- Children’s voices much be heard and acted upon as a sustainable and local strategy to inform the development of responsive, enabling and inclusive practice.

- Much more clarity is needed for the conceptualisation of inclusive education. Inclusive education is about every child’s learning, participation and wellbeing.

- To ensure quality education, it urgently needs teacher education programmes to provide support for teachers’ development of inclusive pedagogy in mainstream classrooms.

- It requires stakeholders at all levels to work together to overcome deep-rooted barriers, explore local approach, and systematically transform educational provision.​
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2017

More projects