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Institute of Education

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Q&A with Professor Ann Hodgson

1  What is your role and what does it involve? 
I am a Professor of Post-Compulsory Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Post-14 Education and Work, actively contributing to the Centre’s Network events programme as a keynote speaker and chair. I direct a range of research and consultancy projects, largely in the area of further education, work-based learning and 14-19 education and training. I supervise 11 doctoral students, supervise students’ dissertations on the MA Lifelong Learning and provide lectures on a range of other courses. I am currently Head of the Lifelong Learning Group within the Department of Education, Practice and Society.

Over the years I have published a large number of books, book chapters, research reports, press articles, and academic and professional journal articles in the area of post-compulsory education and education policy. I strongly believe in public engagement so I act as the Co-Chair for the 14-19 Alliance (a group of key education policy-makers, awarding bodies, professional associations and unions) and regularly accept invitations to speak at public conferences, to provide policy advice and to act as a witness to Parliamentary Committees.

2  How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I joined the Institute of Education full-time in 1997 and have undertaken a wide range of roles within the organisation over that time. Previously I worked as a local authority advisor in East London for seven years.

3  What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your students about the subject you teach?
The resilience of practitioners in the face of constantly changing policy initiatives and their willingness to learn and develop themselves despite punishing workloads.

4  What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
Building up a centre of expertise in post-compulsory education in an institution that was known almost exclusively for its work with schools.

5  Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list.
I am the Programme Director for the East London Vocational Education and Training: Innovation Through Partnership Programme. This two-year programme, which began in September 2016, is funded by the JP Morgan Foundation, supported by the Association of Colleges (London Region) and involves four large East London further education colleges and their employer partners. It is designed to stimulate collaborative working between employers and colleges to develop innovative vocational, technical and professional education that will improve training and employment opportunities for young people and adults in East London.

6  What would it surprise people to know about you?
Perhaps that I go swimming at 6.30am every day in the London Fields lido regardless of the weather (it is heated by the way!).

7  What other piece of research outside of your own subject area interests you?
I am always interested in research that relates to the development of young children because of its relevance to me as a grandparent.