I am the Director of the Lifelong Learning Centre at the University of Leeds and a Professor of the Sociology of Education. My background is in community education and I have also held a number of academic and professional services roles in HE. I am a member of the Governing Council of the Society for Research into Higher Education and chair the Society’s Research and Development Committee, as well as the Academic Advisory Board of the Network for Evaluating and Researching University Participation Interventions (NERUPI). I am also a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I was previously Professor of Higher Education at Leeds Beckett University and Professor of Education Research at Sheffield Hallam University.
- Director, Leeds Lifelong Learning Centre
I have a particular interest in policy and practice relating to equity and diversity in higher education, widening participation, student success, pedagogic diversity and the enactment of HE policy in practice. My recent experience includes monitoring and evaluating education policy and practice in relation to access, retention and success, and I have undertaken substantial commissioned work as an external researcher and evaluator.
My body of research incorporates three broad empirical strands: research focussed on race, gender, age and social class in relation to access to higher education and educational achievement; research exploring the social and academic experiences of Black, Asian and Minority ethnic (BAME), religious students and refugees, amongst other social groups; and research exploring pedagogic diversity and teaching excellence.
A particular focus of my work is on adult learners and I have also researched, and worked, extensively with part-time learners, including those with extended or non-traditional trajectories into higher education. Drawing on theoretical concepts of resilience, time and temporality, future ‘possible selves’, and social and cultural capital, my work has expanded academic and policy-makers’ understanding of students’ access to higher education, their social and academic experiences once there, and, consequently, why some students drop out whereas others do not, as well as the causes of the degree awarding gap.<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>
- Doctorate in Education, University of Leeds
- M.Ed. in Lifelong Learning, University of Leeds
- BA (hons) History, University of Cambridge
- Society for Research into Higher Education