Vasiliki Toumanidou

Vasiliki Toumanidou


I have graduated from the Faculty of Education at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), following which obtained an MSc degree in Anthropology of Childhood, Youth and Education at Brunel University. Since then, I have participated in a number of seminars and conferences relevant to my areas of interest. I have also worked as a school teacher for a period of time before I started my PhD study.

Teaching activities

‘Identities, Inequalities and Policy in contemporary society’-Level 1: Teaching Assistant (semester 1, 2017/2018) - University of Leeds, UK

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

I am mainly motivated by the theory I've encountered, in combination with the research and volunteer work undertaken during my undergraduate and postgraduate study, which triggered my research interest in the field of sociology of education. They have also provided me with a unique insight on issues closely related to my research topic - such as social exclusion and inequalities in education, social reproduction, youth transitions, migration and educational mobility. The PhD study will grant me with the unique opportunity for further specialization in the research fields of sociology of education, migration, life course and social exclusion in education and labor market. Also, it will contribute to the development of my theoretical, methodological, analytical and social research skills which in combination with my existing experience will enable me to be on par with qualified researchers and academics within the above areas of research.

What makes me passionate about my subject?

I have always been particularly interested in research in the fields of sociology of education, social exclusion, youth transitions and educational mobility.  I am very passionate about my project and believe in its contribution to the above study areas. Specifically, I believe that my research project would enrich existing knowledge and understanding within the field and further enhance academic research and examination, understanding and analysis of contemporary European youth migration and more specifically of the migration of Greek tertiary-level students to the United Kingdom. Finally, I hope my research findings would be used for further improvement of the immigration, educational and occupational policy in the UK, Greece and other countries promoting the consolidation of social justice in education and in the labor market through measures against unemployment.

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

Once I have completed my PhD I hope to remain within academia and contribute to my areas of interest through teaching, writing and conducting research.

Research interests

My research aims to examine taught postgraduate students’ migration from Greece to the United Kingdom in times of economic recession and in the wake of Brexit. It will explore the patterns and trends of Greek taught postgraduate students’ migration to the United Kingdom and the factors which may underpin their migratory decision-making processes. It will also investigate their migratory aspirations, perceptions, motivations, experiences and graduation plans.  In addition, the study is going to examine the dynamics of student migration by exploring how social networks and especially family relationships may impact on mobile students’ decision-making processes as well as on their aspirations, motivations, experiences and plans.

Finally, the research will investigate the relationship between student migration and economic recession by exploring how educational migration to another country, and specifically to the United Kingdom, may be perceived, used and experienced by students in times of crisis. This study aims to improve knowledge of the contexts of student migration and more general, to contribute to theoretical understandings of contemporary European youth migration.