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Malcolm Tight supervises 32 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor Malcolm Tight


Malcolm Tight

County South



Tel: +44 1524 594239

Research overview

I have a broad range of research interests in the fields of higher and post-compulsory education. Over the years, these have included research into:

  • changing patterns of academic work
  • the nature of the academic experience
  • the development of higher education research
  • the history and meaning of higher education
  • alternative modes of study
  • the postgraduate and research experience
  • mature and 'non-traditional' students
  • comparative studies
  • patterns of participation
  • the role of learning in adult life

PhD supervision

Changing patterns of academic work; The nature of the academic experience; The history and meaning of higher education; Alternative modes of study; The postgraduate and research student experience; Mature and 'non-traditional' students; Comparative studies; Patterns of participation; The role of learning in adult life

Career Details

Career details

I previously worked at the University of Warwick, the Open University and Birkbeck College London.

I am Editor of the leading international journal Studies in Higher Education, and of the book series International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, and also on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Education and Work and Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning.



Current Teaching

I direct the Doctoral Programme, which offers a route to a PhD for professionals working in higher and further education. I also teach on masters and undergraduate programmes.

Additional Information

Current Research

Currently, there are two main research projects on which I am working, one concerning the nature of research into higher education, the other the post-war history of higher education in the United Kingdom.

The Nature of Research into Higher Education


For the last decade I have been undertaking a mapping of higher education research, with the aim of better understanding what has been studied and what needs to be studied more.

The initial part of this project focused on books in print (284 in total) and specialist academic journals (406 journal articles) published during the year 2000 outside of North America. The analysis focused on the themes and issues researched, the methods and methodologies employed, the levels at which the research was focused, and the characteristics of the authors. The results were published in my 2003 book, Researching Higher Education (Maidenhead, Open University Press).

Since then, I have extended this analysis to consider also the degree of theoretical engagement present in published research on higher education, citation patterns and North American publications. You will find several recent articles that have come out of this research in my publications list. I have also used the framework developed to produce two readers.

I am currently replicating the 2000 study for 2010, seeking to identify contemporary trends in higher education research and publication.


The Development of Higher Education in the United Kingdom since 1945


The major part of this project was recently published in book form. However, so much data was collected and generated, that I am continuing to work on it and publish supplementary analyses in article form.

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