Research

This is a selected list of the major projects I worked on or led in the past 10 years. Please get in touch if you are interested in other social research I have been involved in.

Comparative view of the research and teaching nexus in Europe’s universities - UoN, Nottingham

My current project as a Nottingham Research Fellow compares and contrasts the research / teaching nexus in selected case-study countries within the European Economic Area. It also explores how the research / teaching nexus is stratified in the light of persistent social inequalities within higher education. A cross-case analysis of the link between research and teaching will also shed light on the potential domestic policy change derived from the Europeanisation of education. Given the prevalence of metricisation of both research and teaching and the corresponding issues regarding equality and diversity amongst staff, the outcomes will reflect on whose research and teaching are propagated within academia. The outcomes of this project will contribute to debates on the purpose and future of universities, pointing to the different approaches in which the roles of universities can be understood.

'Sheffield Student 2013' Longitudinal tracking project - TUos, Sheffield

University of Sheffield

The ‘Sheffield Student 2013’ project followed the undergraduate cohort of 2013 throughout their studies at the University of Sheffield in order to gain information about their experiences during their studies.

Through employing a longitudinal research design, and following the same individuals through their undergraduate university life, a deeper understanding can be gained of the multiple transitions they make whilst at university, the changes they experience, and how these experiences resonate with the university’s support networks.

This study, based at the University of Sheffield, sought to explore how students make the transition into, and through, university. The study focused on the undergraduate cohort of full-time Home students starting their studies in September 2013 and, specifically, the expectations and experiences of the lowest-income students. Lowest-income in the project were defined as getting a tuition fee waiver from the University in their first year of studies.

Europeanisation of information systems - UOB, Birmingham

Considerable resources are spent on school leavers’ and graduates’ information systems (SLGIS) in numerous European countries, but it is not clear what happens to the results. This research investigates how school leavers’ and graduates’ data are produced and to what extent the data are then applied in educational policy planning, institutional decision-making and informing students. This investigation categorises the currently available SLGIS in Europe using documentary data, analysis of which leads to a typology and the selection of three distinct cases. These cases - England, Finland and the Netherlands – are explored based on 15 élite interviews in each country, and further documentary data.

Helsinki

The reported uses of SLGIS are broadly similar across the different case study countries, despite the clear differences in the design of their SGLIS. This suggests that the ‘value’ might not be intrinsic to the data itself but it depends on the judgement of the society. On the other hand, their uses are contrasted in terms of data-production and data-utilisation based on the interplay of data-needs of the different actors regarding the SLGIS. The data-needs of the policy and the institutional levels differ substantially. For example, whereas policy is largely content with a national picture, institutions require more detailed information at the level of educational programmes. Findings like these suggest that national and international investment in SLGIS could be made more efficient.

School segregation and the Value-added measure- UOB, Birmingham

Jointly with my PhD supervisor and colleagues from the University of Birmingham, I worked on two British Academy funded projects: one project computed segregation and dissimilarity indices in English schools between 1989 and 2011 using the Annual Schools Census data, whereas another looked at the stability of contextual value added measure between 2006 and 2010. The project looking at school segregation was widely reported in the media in 2013, and presented at a comparative symposium in Brighton at the BERA Annual Conference.

vocational education & local policy making in education- HIERD, Budapest

Whilst researching vocational education at the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research & Development, our interdisciplinary team looked at the outcomes of national policies at the local level such as the raising of the compulsory school age and the organisation of regional VET centres. In these projects I drew on questionnaire data, student and teacher interviews, as well as documentary evidence, triangulating them within the research process. I led on the research strand of comparing school leavers surveys, publishing the results as academic papers.

Further, I led two research teams exploring the impact of national policies on local educational contexts, publishing the results in the corresponding edited books (see links below photo).

Multi-grade schools in Hungary - ELTE, Budapest

Classroom

Having been involved in a photo-documentary project of multi-grade small schools across Hungary, I started researching these types of institutions with fellow sociology students at the Eötvös Lóránd University. We presented our results in 2009 at the Conference of Scientific Students' Associations.

Subsequently, I conducted research for my Masters dissertation at one such school. In the 'Hawthorn Primary School' I looked at classroom interactions to understand the unique nature of time and space in this case study institution.