IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES) doctoral seminar

27 May 2020, 12:00 pm–2:00 pm

Women sitting using laptop. Image: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

This webinar offers an opportunity for PhD and EdD students in the field of Higher Education Studies to present their research.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES)

Contact us to register and for more information.  

In this CHES doctoral seminar, four doctoral students from the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) will outline their research. 

This event is open to all and will be of particular interest to doctoral students, research associates and faculty members within the Department of Education, Practice and Society (EPS).


Amanda Walker 

Leader resignations: An examination of public communication patterns of American university presidents during high-profile crises

American university presidents risk losing their jobs, which, by some accounts, have become more perilous as presidents may be suddenly terminated or forced to resign. To make matters worse, presidents sometimes lose their jobs during crises, unexpected disruptive episodes that threaten people, property, and reputation. A sudden departure abruptly abbreviates a president’s tenure. The convergence of a president’s abbreviated tenure and a crisis can produce negative consequences for universities that may persist for months or even years.

Amanda’s research investigates sudden presidential departure during crisis in the modern era of digital communication and explores the question: when presidents resign during high-profile crises, what patterns can be found in pre-resignation communications?

By combining case study methods with discourse analysis, patterns are identified in public communications, including media coverage, presidential statements, and social media responses, published or posted prior to presidential resignation. 

Supervisor: Dr Karen Edge

Ayse Gur Geden

Language Training and the Making of Brokers: Sub-Saharan African Students in Turkey

Internationalisation of higher education (IoHE) has shaped trends and strategies within higher education institutions. This is the case for Turkey where strategies are aimed to harness so-called 'soft power', a developmental political economy that encourages public and private universities to draw more students from developing and underdeveloped countries. 

It also operates an attractive funding scheme that targets students in the regions it recognizes as its hinterland based on historical ties dating back to the Ottoman Empire. Among these regions, the Sub-Saharan Africa holds enormous potential for business and trade. Great attention has been paid to various aspects and impacts of Turkey’s IoHE strategies.

There is need to further investigate the ways in which these processes are enabled by the discursive production and enactment of changing forms of personhood via Turkish and English language training programmes. By detailing the intersection of these processes, practices and formation of selves, this presentation draws on ethnographic fieldwork conducted at a public university in Turkey. 

Supervisor: Dr Miguel Perez Milans

Kaiyun Feng

The Relationship between Institutional Strategy and Undergraduate Teaching in World-class Universities

The concept of World-class University (WCU) has become prosperous under the context of globalisation and the ‘knowledge economy’ (Salmi, 2009). Meanwhile, the global rankings become the major reference to define WCUs (Altbach, 2004; Salmi and Liu, 2011; Hazelkorn, 2015).

However, overemphasis on the global rankings can be problematic because it is not methodologically accurate, and because rankings are mostly research-favoured, which may lead to an imbalanced development of teaching and research in higher education.

Kaiyun's research aims to investigate how the WCU react to the changes and the practice from strategic perspective. To relate institutional strategy and teaching she has analysed the institutional strategy from the perspective of both ‘strategy as plan’ and ‘strategy as pattern’ (Mintzberg, 1987), and has conceptualised institutional strategy into the input-resource model (Cheong and Ming, 1997), which categorising all the strategic decisions into aspects of resource, generally including human resource, physical resource, financial resource and other resources.

Supervisors: Dr Tatiana Fumasoli, Dr Vincent Carpentier

Alison Wheaton 

A study of English university governing body roles

Studies of university governance mostly overlook governing bodies. Yet, sector-wide governance issues such as senior pay and staff strikes as well as occasional institutional-level governance failures heighten stakeholder interest in governing bodies. 

English university governing bodies are now responsible for all institutional matters, including academic quality, academic freedom, freedom of speech and student engagement. Governance practices outside of higher education are also having a bearing.  Research conducted outside the university sector yields potentially relevant indicators of governing body roles related to various underlying governance theories. 

Alice's research project has three aims. The first is to identify how the roles of English university governing bodies are characterised and indicated. The second is to understand how university governing body members perceive their roles and to explore what influences these perceptions. The final aim is to identify any discernible patterns across different institutions and/or types of members.

Supervisors: Dr Tatiana Fumasoli, Dr Giulio Marini


Image: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels