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Dr Nic Spaull

Name: Nic Spaull
Post-Doctoral Research Fellows Alumni  Staff Members

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About Dr Nic Spaull

Dr Nic Spaull is currently a postdoctoral fellow within the SARCHi Chair for Integrated Studies for Learning Language, Mathematics and Science in the Primary School. Nic was recently awarded the Thomas J Alexander Fellowship by the OECD, and before that was a Visiting Scholar in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University in the United States. Nic has a PhD in economics and has published numerous journal articles on education focusing on assessment, accountability, literacy and education policy in South Africa. The research he has conducted in the current postdoc focuses on language in the primary school, and specifically on second-language learners. One area was on oral reading fluency and comprehension, co-authored with Prof Elizabeth Pretorius, and was published earlier this year in the prestigious international journal “Reading & Writing” (Springer – DOI 10.1007/s11145-016-9645-9). He will also be publishing his other UJ research on assessment titled “Disentangling the Language Effect in South African Schools” which will appear in the South African Journal of Childhood Education (SAJCE) later this year. Nic is also a research fellow at Stellenbosch University and sits on the Joint Advisory Committee of the South African Human Rights Commission. He has recently been awarded an ESRC/DFID grant to research exceptional township and rural schools in South Africa in 2016/17/18. Nic has been involved in a number of research projects for local and international organisations, including the South African Presidency, the Department of Basic Education, UNICEF, the EU, UNESCO and SACMEQ. The most recent of which was the “Binding Constraints in Education” project for the South African Presidency and the EU. He advises numerous NGO’s , policy-makers and grant-making bodies, and also regularly updates his website ( with new research and articles he finds interesting.