My research focus combines sociology and higher education. I am mostly interested in studying policies on the funding and governance of higher education and how this influences the ways that universities and the people involved with them act. This tends to incorporate issues of inequality and social justice, globalisation and international comparisons, usually understood through the lenses of social theory.
After completing an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Management in Leeds, I worked in policy analysis for government agencies in the UK and then in New Zealand. This work involved comparing and benchmarking national education systems for international student and employment mobility. A sabbatical year became five, starting with travel throughout Asia and Oceania and leading on to teaching English in Japan. I then studied a Master’s degree in Educational Research Methodology at the University of Oxford and completed an ESRC-funded PhD at the University of Bristol. My doctorate explored how German and English undergraduates understand and negotiate higher education.
I have coordinated various academic staff development initiatives between universities, and worked on a number of research projects. These include mapping higher education research and doctorates in the UK and investigating the role of Mathematics teaching and qualifications in relation to university access in the UK. I am currently leading on a funded project that looking at doctoral funding policy in the social sciences with colleagues here at Liverpool Hope and Bath Spa University.
I am an associate director of the Centre for Education and Policy Analysis (CEPA) and serve on the faculty research and doctoral training committees, as well as contributing to a university-wide group looking at widening participation. I am the departmental lead on Educational Policy courses and the final year undergraduate dissertation. I teach at all under- and postgraduate levels and also supervise undergraduate, Master's and doctoral researchers. I would be in interested in hearing from prospective postgraduate students with an interest in higher education policy and international comparisons.
I tweet regularly via @ddubdrahcir, have an interest in, and history of, public engagement in schools, and also blog on all things HE on my Wordpress site, Stuff About Unis. For a look at papers in progress, conference presentations and so on, my academia.edu pages are up do date.