• BS8 1JA

  • 35 Berkeley Square , School of Education

    BS8 1JA Bristol

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research interests

My research concerns students’ lived experiences of higher education, inequalities and social justice, which are all critical in a changing world. I research the connections between digital, spatial, social and historical inequalities in higher education and the importance of student agency in overcoming these.  I have pioneered working with students as co-researchers to research their own learning lives across many different contexts nationally and internationally..

I was the  Principal Investigator on a three year  (2016 - 19) ESRC/NRF/Newton funded project based in South Africa called SARiHE (Southern African Rurality in Higher Education – see http://sarihe.org.za) with partners from the Universities of Johannesburg, Rhodes and Fort Hare and in the UK, University of Brighton. The research is about inequalities in access and participation in higher education. We investigated how students from rural areas in South Africa negotiate the transition to higher education foregrounding the social and cultural capital they bring and how they are shaped by their home, school and community.

Recently (2021 -2023),  I  completed an international literature review on social and digital inequalities during the Covid-19 pandemic with a particular focus on differences across the global South and North, working with researchers from University College Dublin, Geogetown University, USA and Chinese University of Hong Kong under the auspcies of Worldwide Universities Network.

Previous work includes an  EU funded widening participation project called Access4All (see http://access4allproject.eu) on access and inclusion and  which acts as a laboratory for the creation of innovative and flexible strategies to support universities across Europe. From 2013 – 2016, I led a study funded by the University of Bristol’s Widening Participation Research Fund called ‘DD-lab’ or Digital Diversity, learning and belonging, investigating the role of digital media in fostering a culture of belonging amongst undergraduate students from non-traditional backgrounds. 

I supervise PhD students in areas related to the above interests - widening participation, social justice, students’ lived experiences and identities, digital inequalities, cultures and practices in higher education.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • SoE Centre for Higher Education Transformations
  • Higher Education
  • participatory research methods
  • decolonisation
  • transitions
  • rurality
  • digital divides
  • inequalities
  • lived experience
  • literacies
  • data colonialism
  • SoE Language Literacies and Education Network


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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