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Paul Ashwin supervises 19 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor Paul Ashwin

Head of Department, Professor

Paul Ashwin

County South

LA1 4YL

Lancaster

Tel: +44 1524 594443

Research overview

I am interested in how curricula in higher education can be designed in ways that help to transform students' understanding of themselves and the world.  I am also interested in the role of policies in shaping the education offered by higher education institutions. The kinds of questions that I explore in this research include:  What counts as high quality teaching and learning in higher education? How is this positioned in policies and practices? How do we research and theorise these competing notions of quality? How do we enhance the quality of education in ways that also support greater societal equality? 

PhD supervision

I am interested in receiving PhD proposals in most areas related to knowledge, curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment in higher education, particularly those relating to students' and academics' experiences of higher education.

Profile

I am a Professor of Higher Education, Head of Department and Deputy Director of the Centre for Global Higher Education. My research is focused on the educational role of higher education. I am interested in how curricula in higher education can be designed in ways that help to transform students' understanding of themselves and the world.  I am also interested in the role of policies in shaping the education offered by higher education institutions. The kinds of questions that I explore in this research include:  What counts as high quality teaching and learning in higher education? How is this positioned in policies and practices? How do we research and theorise these competing notions of quality? How do we enhance the quality of education in ways that also support greater societal equality? 

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on understanding the education that is offered by higher education institutions. My work examines the international, national and local policies and practices that determine the quality of this education and how it shapes the lives of students and contributes to societies globally.  

My latest book, ‘Transforming University Education: A manifesto’, is an impassioned argument that we need to focus on the educational, rather than economic, purposes of university degrees if they are to have a transformational impact on students and societies. You can watch the launch of this book here.

I am also the lead author on the recently published second edition of  Reflective Teaching in Higher Education, which is written by an international team to support the development of research-informed university teaching. I discuss transforming university teaching in this keynote presentation

I am Deputy Director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE). CGHE is a partnership between seven UK and nine international universities with its headquarters at the University of Oxford

 As part of CGHE, I am leading a project that examines Understanding Knowledge Student Agency in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in England, South Africa and the United States. This project involves researchers from Lancaster, University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, and Virginia Tech. We have studied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering students through their undergraduate degrees. In the follow-on Graduate Experiences of Employability and Knowledge (GEEK) Project, we are examining the same students’ experiences after completing their degrees.

As part of CGHE, I led an ESRC/National Research Foundation funded International Centre Partnership with Jenni Case, University of Cape Town. This partnership brought together established and emerging researchers from South Africa, the UK and internationally to examine access to, students’ experiences of, and outcomes from South African undergraduate higher education. We edited an open access book based on the outcomes of the project called ‘Higher Education Pathways: South African Undergraduate Education and the Public Good’

The Understanding Knowledge and Student Agency project builds on a previous ESRC funded project looking at quality and inequality in undergraduate Sociology degrees, which I worked on with Monica McLean, University of Nottingham and Andrea Abbas, University of Bath. We published a book based on the outcomes of this project entitled ‘How Powerful Knowledge Disrupts Inequality’

I am a co-ordinating editor of Higher Education, the leading Higher Education research journal, and co-editor, with Manja Klemencic, of the Bloomsbury book series 'Understanding Student Experiences of Higher Education'.

Career Details

Before coming to Lancaster, I spent four years researching students' experiences of learning at the Institute for the Advancement of University Learning, University of Oxford and, before that, seven years implementing and researching peer learning at Newham College of Further Education.

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