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Personal profile

Research interests

Nienke Alberts is an Anthropologist with interest in access to Higher Education and student support.

Nienke is currently working on the Personal Tutoring Project, a project funded by the Tuixen Foundation which was set up to review and evaluate personal tutoring models at the University of Bristol. As part of this project, Nienke is following 55 undergraduate students throughout their time at Bristol. The report ‘Someone who knows you’ was based on these students’ expectations and experiences of personal tutoring. Nienke is also working with staff and students in 6 schools to understand variations in personal tutoring models in the context of the school.     

Funding for the project has recently been extended; in the coming years research will focus on the experience of postgraduate students, students from a BAME background, international students and students with a disability and how these students can be best supported by their personal tutor.

In previous research she has looked at the barriers particular disadvantaged groups face accessing Higher Education, and how universities can support those students. She has published reports on the difficulties BAME students can have accessing higher education in the creative arts and the barriers unaccompanied asylum seekers face getting to university.

Nienke has worked as a researcher in evolutionary anthropology, and has conducted fieldwork with chimpanzees, baboons, and zebra.

Nienke has experience in using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods, including focus groups, interviews, behavioural observations, participant observation, thematic analysis, statistical analysis, and social network analysis.


  • Higher education
  • Personal tutoring
  • Academic advising
  • Student support
  • access
  • primates


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