Advancing Education in Muslim Societies (AEMS)

We are committed to high quality and data-driven research and recommendations to Advancing Education in Muslim Societies (AEMS). AEMS is the crown project of IIIT’s research initiative with focus on educational research in areas of curriculum, pedagogy, leadership, policy, and monitoring and evaluation. Its vision is to promote thriving Muslim societies in which individuals achieve their fullest potential through transformative learning, social development and personal growth. Its mission is to support and promote the advancement of education and political and economic well-being in Muslim societies, through cutting-edge research, compelling policy recommendations, and unique learning solutions to foster societal and individual development.

IIIT philosophical and conceptual research on Islamic thought which spans a period of more than 35 years is the foundation of AEMS research agenda and plans. The ground-breaking work on topics such as Islamization of knowledge -later Integration of Knowledge- and now Unity of Knowledge is available at the library of IIIT in Virginia which has more than 100,000 volumes.  To expand the publication legacy of IIIT, AEMS research results and recommendations will be disseminated through various avenues such as conference presentations, policy briefs, and publications. In collaboration with Indiana University Press two venues for publications are available: 1. a peer reviewed Journal on Education in Muslim Societies (JEMS) and 2. a book series on topics related to the research agenda.

Is IIIT a Research Institute?

This was one of the questions that Dr. Ilham Nasser – Director, Human Development Program – was asked at a recent research presentation at the Comparative International Education Society (CIES) annual conference. IIIT is indeed a research institute concerned with the betterment of human life. We not only engage in intellectual discourse on Islam and society, but we also design, implement, and analyze field based evidence in societies of interest. We further make our data public to benefit the field. Check out our data set and relevant documents on our website at

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The empirical research agenda of Advancing Education in Muslim Societies (AEMS) explores constructs that align with the universal Islamic values and their impact on individuals in Muslim societies and communities. “Mapping the Terrain” is the main annual study to explore the human orientation among adult learners and educators both in K-12 schools and higher education institutions.