Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER)

News Archive: 2015/16

August 2016

Rose Kiishweko post-viva champagneCongratulations to CHEER researcher, Rose Kiishweko, who was recommended for the award of PhD in Education for her thesis 'Albinism in Tanzanian Higher Education: A Case Study'. Her examiners were Anne Gold (Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Management, Institute of Education - University College London), and Tamsin Hinton-Smith (Senior Lecturer in Higher Education, University of Sussex). Both commented on how original and interesting Rose's feminist study was, and noted its potential to contribute scholarship from Tanzania on gender, higher education and disability to the international field. Louise Morley (Director, CHEER) was Rose's first supervisor and Linda Morrice (Senior Lecturer & Director of Doctoral Studies) was her second supervisor.

July 2016

1. Higher Education Knowledge Exchange and Policy Learning in the Asian Century: A UK/Japanese Partnership
CHEER is delighted to announce that it has been funded by the International Research Partnerships & Networks Fund at the University of Sussex to develop a partnership with the Research Institute for Japan, the UK and Europe (RIJUE), Hiroshima University. The partnership will develop original comparative higher education research on current policy priorities in the two countries, including:

  • Privatisation
  • Internationalisation
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Leadership
  • The Future of Doctoral Education

The partnership will comprise seminars and secondments for academic staff and doctoral scholars in Sussex and Hiroshima, collaborative publications and research.

2. Professor Louise Morley was the keynote speaker at the New Governance and Gender Equality in Science conference in Cologne, Germany. Her presentation Gender, Neoliberalism and Research in the Global Knowledge Economy [PPTX 1.61MB] was based on her international research on how women fare in research leadership.
The conference, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, was a joint project between the Centre of Excellence for Women and Science – Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences in Cologne under the leadership of Dr. Andrea Löther (Cologne) and Sociology at the University of Paderborn under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Birgit Riegraf (Paderborn). The Conference focussed on 3 main topics: Governance, Higher Education and Equality, and was attended by gender equality scholars and practitioners from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the USA.

  Professor Louise Morley presents in Cologne: July 2016  Professor Louise Morley presents in Cologne: July 2016

June 2016

1. Professor Louise Morley has been awarded a Visiting Professorship at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She will spend a total of 12 weeks with colleagues in Sweden from October 2016 to June 2017, contributing to developing higher education studies in Gothenburg's Faculty of Education, and furthering research and scholarship links with CHEER.

2. Professor Louise Morley presented Future Directions for UK Higher Education [PPTX 1.06MB] on 6 June at the Society for Research into Higher Education's (SRHE) conference Future Directions for UK Higher Education: Looking Forward in Uncertain Times. The event was attended by members of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Quality Assurance Agency, the National Union of Students, the Higher Education Commission, and academics from around the UK.

SRHE 2016

May 2016

CHEER was delighted to welcome Professor Yumiko Hada and Dr Ryo Sasaki from Hiroshima University, Japan on 3 May. The newly-founded Research Institute of Japan aims to develop co-operation between British and Japanese research institutes and universities, as well as involving business sectors - such as companies, private entities and civil societies - in order to deepen the relationship between the two countries.

The partnership with CHEER will include collaborative research, joint seminars in the UK and Japan, and co-authored papers. It will involve CHEER members and doctoral scholars. Some of the key areas of collaborative higher education research interest include: 

  • Internationalisation
  • Peace
  • Teaching and learning
  • Equity and inclusion
  • Leadership
  • The future of doctoral education.

Professor Yumiko Hada & Dr Ryo Sasaki, Hiroshima University with CHEER members  Professor Yumiko Hada & Dr Ryo Sasaki, Hiroshima University with Dr Tamsin Hinton-Smith, CHEER

April 2016

1. Congratulations to Nihad Al-Zadjali who successfully defended her PhD thesis on 28 April. Nihad's research constituted an ethnographic case study of ESL teacher identity construction within Omani Higher Education and drew on the theories of Pierre Bourdieu to illuminate the tensions and contradictions provoked by new national policy priorities associated with assessment and quality assurance. Nihad's external examiner was Professor Gari Donn (University of Edinburgh) and her internal examiner was Professor Kwame Akyeampong. In recommending a pass with corrections, Nihad's examiners commented particularly on the theoretical lacuna that a Bourdeusian analysis of such issues was addressing in this context.
Nihad's first and second supervisors were Dr Barbara Crossouard and Professor John Pryor.

2. Professor Louise Morley gave the keynote address, Diversifying Higher Education Leadership [PPTX 21.11MB] at the Aurora Alumni Conference, London on 27 April. Aurora is a women-only development programme run by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education in the UK. 3,500 women have completed the programme to date which is currently in its third year. The programme was initially developed in response to Professor Morley's Stimulus Paper, ‘Women and Higher Education Leadership: Absences and Aspirations’.

  Professor Louise Morley presents at Aurora 2016 - CROP  Professor Louise Morley and colleagues at Aurora 2016

3. Dr Jessica Gagnon's doctoral research on the daughters of single mothers and higher education was cited in the Times Higher Education on 7 April.

4. Sara Maria Camacho Felix was recommended for the award of International Doctor of Education following her viva voce examination on 11 April for her research Fostering Criticality within Neoliberal Higher Education: A Critical Action Research Study with First Year Students in Kazakhstan.  The study considered how, Sara, as a practitioner in international higher education, could engage students in criticality, as defined by critical pedagogy, despite a global trend towards the neoliberalisation of higher education policy. Drawing on Foucault’s theory of performativity and Allman, Barnett, Freire, and Kincheloe's work on critical pedagogy, she conducted a piece of critical action research at a state university in Kazakhstan, with a central research question: how do students voice their criticality through engagement in writing narrative reflective essays?
Sara's external examiner was Dr Kelly Coate (King's College, London) and her internal examiner was Dr Rebecca Webb. 
Her first supervisor was Professor Louise Morley and her second supervisor was Dr Jo Westbrook.

Sara Maria Camacho Felix with supervisor, Professor Louise Morley  Sara Maria Camacho Felix with examiners Dr Kelly Coate & Dr Rebecca Webb

5. Professor Louise Morley has been unanimously voted in as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of European Women Rectors Association (EWORA), Brussels, Belgium for four years. EWORA is an international non-profit association established in Brussels under Belgian Law in December 2015 to promote the role of women in leadership positions in the academic sector and to advocate gender equality in higher education and research at international scales. The Scientific Advisory Board evaluates the Association’s activities and advises the Board of Directors on future actions and projects. EWORA is also a continuation of the European Women Rectors Platform (EWRP), which has been active since 2008 in organising the biennial European Women Rectors Conference.

6. Emily Danvers was recommended for the award of the degree of PhD in Education on 5 April following a viva voce examination for her thesis Re-thinking Criticality: Undergraduate Students, Critical Thinking and Higher Education. She drew specifically on the theoretical insights offered by Karen Barad and Sara Ahmed to interrogate how critical thinking emerges through the web of social, material and discursive knowledge practices and with different bodies that enact it. Emily argued that critical thinking is not simply a cognitive act or a disembodied, rational skill set, but involves deeply affective processes of becoming critical. Critical thinkers are not neutral subjects, she argued, but gendered, classed and raced beings, and becoming a critical thinker is inseparable from the ways in which bodies are unequally positioned in the academy.
Emily was highly commended for her rigorous, theoretically informed and original work.
Her external examiner was Professor Carole Leathwood (London Metropolitan University), and her internal examiner was Dr Barbara Crossouard.

Emily Danvers1  Emily Danvers2 

7. Congratulations to CHEER doctoral researcher, Tom Lunt, for being recommended for the degree of Doctor of Education!  Tom's thesis was a highly reflexive, deconstructive analysis of student engagement with their peers and their tutors in a blended learning environment in which he was himself involved in a lecturer capacity. His in-depth analysis provided incisive commentary on the instrumentalisation of student engagement within contemporary UK HE contexts, as well as  pointing to the importance of dissensus and politics in a reconceptualisation of a 'democratic learning community' based in the perspectives of Jacques Ranciere.  
Tom's external examiner was Dr Carol Taylor, Reader in Education from Sheffield Hallam University, and his internal was Senior Lecturer in Education, Dr Linda Morrice.  Tom's supervisors were Senior Lecturer in Education, Dr Barbara Crossouard, and Head of the School of Education and Social Work, Professor Brian Hudson.
Well done Tom!

March 2016

CHEER was delighted to welcome 17 doctoral scholars and eight staff from the Postgraduate School of Educational Sciences, School of Education, Umeå University, Sweden for a four-day seminar alongside 17 doctoral scholars from social science subjects across the University of Sussex. The seminar, Neoliberalism, Education and Changing Values: Theories and Methods in Educational Research comprised lectures and research methodology workshops by academic colleagues from CHEER, the wider Sussex university, and Umeå. The scholars also worked together in small groups to present and discuss their doctoral research.

The conference provided excellent opportunities for all doctoral scholars to internationalise their work and expand their theoretical and methodological understandings of the political economy of neoliberalism and how it has influenced educational policies and practices in Sweden and the UK.

February 2016

1. Jessica Gagnon was awarded an unconditional pass for her PhD in Education for her research: ‘Born to Fight: The university experience of the daughters of single mothers who are first generation students in the United Kingdom’ following her viva voce examination on 18th February. Jessica's supervisors were CHEER's Dr Tamsin Hinton-Smith, and Professor Penny Jane Burke from the University of Roehampton and Newcastle University, Australia. Jessica's PhD examiners were Dr Barbara Read of the University of Glasgow (external) and Dr Linda Morrice (internal). CHEER extends its heartfelt congratulations to Jessica. 

2. Professor Louise Morley made the keynote presentation Gender, Neoliberalism and Research in the Global Knowledge Economy [PPTX 1.61MB] at the Women's Career Day 2016 conferenceat the University of Hamburg, Germany. The conference was attended by doctoral and post-doctoral scholars, researchers, equal opportunities officers and lecturers in Science and Technology.

Professor Louise Morley makes the keynote presentation at Hamburg conference  Hamburg conference participants 




3. On Monday 8 February, CHEER hosted the seminar event 'Troubling Widening Participation in Higher Education Internationally' which comprised two presentations interrogating some of the complexities of widening participation polices in higher education in Chile and Sweden. 

  1. Trajectory of Widening Participation in Chilean Higher Education: Trends, Policy, Discourse and Subjectivities by Daniel Leyton, Doctoral Researcher, CHEER
    Access to higher education in Chile can be explored in relation to the imposition of market principles, such as privatisation, competition, commercialisation and corporatization, and, on the other hand, by the rising of social movement for public education and de-commodification of higher education. Against this backdrop, Daniel presented a historic trajectory of widening participation in higher education in Chile in relation to principal policy technologies, modes of participation, aspirations, and classed students’ experiences. Daniel also developed some ruminations on the conditions making possible a policy attachment to a neoliberal regime of truth underpinning the trajectory of widening participation policy.
  2. Widening Participation in Sweden from a Gender Perspective by Dr Caroline Berggren, Associate Professor, Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Also Visiting Academic, CHEER
    Overall, Sweden has been very successful in decreasing social class differences regarding access to higher education among women. Despite this, the financial benefits of having a degree are low for women who study traditional female professional education. For men, the labour market seems to offer more alternatives - with or without a higher education credential. In her presentation, Caroline discussed how gender regimes, the organisation of the educational system, and labour market structures influence the composition of the student body in higher education. She also questioned how, if higher education is the tip of the educational iceberg, to what extent can policies about widening participation make a difference.

The event was attended by researchers, scholars, NGOs and professionals working in the widening participation field.

Widening Participation in International HE: 8 Feb 2016

December 2015

Professor Louise Morley was one of the keynote speakers at the high-level conference: Women in Public Life: From Policies to Impact in Bahrain. The Conference, organised by the OECD and Bahrain's Supreme Council of Women was under the patronage of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s First Lady Princess Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Kahalifa, and was attended by Ministers, professionals from the public and private sectors and civil society, and international organisations from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and beyond, ie. the European Parliament, the United Nations, the USA State Dept. Louise was taken to meet King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain, the first lady Princess Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Kahalifa, and the Prime Minister, H.R.H. Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa. 

Louise presented Sister-Matic: Gender mainstreaming in higher education [PPTX 1.25MB] in the session Building Accountability for Gender Responsive Policies: From Strategy to Impact.

The event received extensive media coverage:

Photo Gallery

November 2015

1. Professors Louise Morley and Maithree Wickramasinghe (Visiting Professor, CHEER) were keynote speakers for a session on Gender Equity/Equality Challenges in Higher Education: Identifying Actions for Change at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta. 
Louise presented Women in Higher Education Leadership in South Asia: Rejection, refusal, reluctance, re-visioning [PPTX 1.18MB]
Maithree presented Identifying Gender Inequalities/Inequities in Higher Education.

The session was attended by delegates from around the Commonwealth working in policy, government, civil society and academia. To accelerate impact, delegates were asked to work in small groups to consider questions including about what key messages they would take away and how they would apply the research to their work. Recommendations from the session were relayed to the Heads of Government. These included:

  • To collect gender disaggregated data in education at all levels such as primary, secondary, higher etc., on students and staff, on governance and leadership, and on employment practices and student wellbeing. The data need to be made widely accessible.
  • To use the information to inform gender mainstreaming with regard to policy, financial and other resource allocation, service delivery, institutional facilities and other organizational practices.
  • To invest in research on gender equality and equity and integrate gender considerations into all research proposals.
  • To work towards modern gender equal, equitable organizational and social cultures in which people are not impeded, excluded and subjected to violence as a consequence of their gender their identities.

Photo Gallery

2. CHEER Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant and PhD researcher, Tanja Jovanovic, was asked to present at the University of Brighton's 'Challenging Romaphobia' symposium on 3 November. Tanja was the only non-faculty member on the panel. She presented 'The Roma in Serbian Higher Education: Enablers and Barriers'.

Romaphobia Conference, University of Brighton: Nov 2015  Romaphobia Conference, University of Brighton: Nov 2015

3. Professor Louise Morley was delighted to participate in the University of Umea's Research Days at the 'Olofsfors Seminar' for Umea's doctoral candidates in Education. The residential event consisted of workshops, seminar discussions and an 'unconference' session in which people raised issues of interest to them.

CHEER is looking forward to hosting this group when they visit the University of Sussex 14-17 March 2016 to work with Sussex social science doctoral candidates for the 4-day seminar 'Neoliberalism, Education and Changing Values: Theories and Methods in Educational Research'.

Photo Gallery

October 2015

1. Professor Louise Morley made the keynote presentation at the International Gender Studies Conference: Neoliberal Challenges, Feminist Responses, Programa Universitario de Estudios de Género (PUEG), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City. Her presentation, Lost Leaders: Women in the global academy [PPTX 2.59MB]was attended by gender studies scholars, doctoral researchers and international organisations, including the British Council, from across Latin America.

Photo Gallery

2. Professor Louise Morley made the keynote presentation to the Higher Education Seminar Series (Seminario de Educación Superiorat the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City.
Her lecture, Troubling Intra-Actions: Gender, Neo-liberalism and Research in the Global Academy [PPTX 1.68MB] took place in UNAM and was also relayed to 14 research sites across Latin America so that higher education scholars, postgraduate students and researchers across the nation could listen and pose questions.  

Photo Gallery

September 2015

1. CHEER Director, Professor Louise Morley and colleagues presented the symposium 'Troubling Mobilities in Higher Education' at ECER (European Conference on Educational Research) 2015. The event, entitled 'Education and Transition: Contributions from Educational Research', took place at Corvinus University, Budapest from the 8th-11th September, 2015.
The following are some of the presentations that made up the CHEER-hosted symposium:

ECER 2015

2. Professor Louise Morley made the keynote presentation: Troubling Intra-Actions: Gender, Neo-liberalism and Research in the Global Academy [PPTX 1.66MB] at the conference Genderforschung und die neue Governance der Wissenschaft (Gender Research and the New Governance of Science), Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany.The event was attended by members of the regional and national ministries, equality offices and gender scholars from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

Professor Louise Morley presents her keynote address  Conference participants