My research focus combines sociology and higher education. I am mostly interested in education and particularly higher education as a sector, how policies are made, and how they affect, as well as how they are experienced and mediated by, organisations and people. 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. 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.
In addition to coordinating academic staff development initiatives between universities, I have worked on a range of research projects, from mapping higher education research in the UK to investigated the role of Mathematics and social inequality in university access. I am currently leading on a funded project that looks 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.