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Personal profile

Vision Statement

As Professor of Research in Global Education and Theme Lead for Intercultural Engagement and Global Education, Research Centre for Global Learning: Education and Attainment (GLEA), my research is focused on the internationalisation of higher education and the inclusive curriculum as an all-embracing approach, reflected in strategy, training, institutional values, culture and importantly curricular experiences. My focus on curriculum studies with students and staff, locally and internationally, are viewed in the context of a wide set of influences between curriculum theory, educational practice, and the relationships between higher education and the geo-socio-cultural-political contexts in which learning is located. Alongside student perspectives, and analysis into the ways in which coloniality in classrooms, curricula and campuses are experienced, taking into account matters of privilege and marginalisation, I am examining the central role of academics in supporting, and being supported, to engage in institutional internationalisation not least in considering the influence of discipline specific contexts. My research interests consider a diversity of learning spaces (digital  - in particular, Collaborative Online International Learning, face to face, blended, formal, informal and non-formal) which interweave to impact educational opportunities which can serve to connect international learning communities, as well as to connect the university to its locale. 



Katherine Wimpenny, PhD, MA, DipCOT, Cert Ed, is Professor of Research in Global Education and Theme Lead for Intercultural Engagement and Global Education, in the Research Centre for Global Learning: Education and Attainment (GLEA at Coventry University (CU). Katherine worked as an occupational therapist for 10 years in health followed by 10 years as an academic on the undergraduate and postgraduate occupational therapy programmes within HLS, CU. She was awarded her PhD in 2009 and has partnered with several NHS Trusts facilitating knowledge transfer through action research methodologies. Since 2010 she has held a full-time research role, initially as Research Fellow in Learning Innovation and then for the past four years in the Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL) CU, where she was Conferred as Reader in Education Research and Pedagogy. Katherine was Conferred as Professor of Research in Global Education in 2018 and is now leading research into intercultural engagement and internationalisation in GLEA where she works with a range of national and international partners and has a track record in the design and coordination of research and innovation projects, both nationally and internationally. She is widely published in the academic and professional literature. 

Professor Wimpenny has a proven and successful track record for supervising PhD students, and in PhD examining, nationally and internationally, and welcomes contact from prospective students who are interested in researching the aforementioned fields of study


8 PhD Completions


PhD Students 

Currently Director of Studies for five PhDs 

  1. Emmauel Johnson: Identity and Belonging: The Role of Faith in International Students’ Study” (Full-time, Sept 2018 – August 2021)
  2. Jackie Shanley: “Becoming a physiotherapist – insights from the experiences of international physiotherapy students" (Part-time, Sept 2018 – August 2023)
  3. Zaira Solomon: “Black Impoverished Female Student Stories of access, participation and educational mobility at a South African University: The Case of Social, Cultural and linguistic Capital” (Full-time, Jan 2019 – Dec 2022)
  4. Carole Still: “Understanding the interpretation of skills mapped into the ‘official’ curriculum and where universities should be focusing their attention (addressing disciplinary, study, professional and life skills)” (Part-time, May 2018 – April 2023)
  5. Samena Rashid "The impact of internationalisation on University students from a widening access background" (Part-Time Jan 2018 - Dec 2023)

Recent Projects

OpenMed  https://openmedproject.eu

Opening up education in South Mediterranean countries was an international cooperation project co-funded by the Erasmus + Capacity Building in Higher Education programme of the European Union during the period 15 October 2015 - 14 October 2018, involving five HEI partners from Europe and nine HEIs from South-Mediterranean (SM) countries (Morocco, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan). The project was focused on the adoption of Open Educational Practices within the context of higher education in the SM region. The project was structured in three main phases: review of open education initiatives, widening participation in Open Educational Practices (OER), and capacity building opportunities for lecturers and other HE professionals.The development of a capacity building Course “Open Education: fundamentals and approaches, represented a genuine experience of multicultural Open Education development (Wimpenny, Mayo Jariego, Affouneh et al., 2018). Alongside a number of already published papers, three further research papers, including a forthcoming book chapter will be available.

Current projects 

JOVITAL  https://jovital.eu

Jordan's Opportunity for Virtual Innovative Teaching and Learning is an Erasmus+ project, October 2017 - 2020, and is focused on supporting Jordanian HEIs in designing and implementing effective ICT-based internationalisation-at-home activities and integrating them in a global network for virtual mobility. 

A first phase of the project, which Wimpenny has led via GLEA, is a needs analysis report, focused on examining concepts of virtual innovative teaching and learning from the extant literature, this has included presentation of key recommendations for policy and practice to inform the next stages of the project.

JOVITAL, building on the learning from OpenMed, is offering Jordanian HEIs opportunity to explore, implement, and disseminate OEP, with a particular focus on removing barriers for female learners and refugees, and in providing opportunities to upskill the existing workforce.  Mobile Virtual Innovative Learning Labs will focus on a multipliable flexible instrument to ensure nationwide outreach and effective inclusion of marginalised areas and learner groups, especially in rural areas and refugee camps.

EduHack.eu   https://eduhack.eu  

EduHack.eu is an ERASMUS + Capacity Building programme in Higher Education, the focus of which is to develop an intensive online course for capacity building in eLearning, OER and MOOC creation. Three EduHackathons will be hosted around Europe, one here at Coventry University, and a European open resource database and network will be set up to promote the reproduction of these events by other institutions. This project is being delivered from GLEA (Wimpenny, K. and Morini, L.) in partnership with DMLL, in particular Dr Villar-Onrubia.

Enhancing Engineering Education Programme (EEEP), UCDP - University Capacity Development Programme - South Africa

EEEP (start date June 2018) is in collaboration with the Walter Sisulu University and the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. The project is focused on enhancing staff capacity building for knowledge exchange in engineering education and postgraduate supervision. The project is being researched in terms of staff and currciulum development, staff capacity development towards teaching for the 'world of work', application of ALL/PBL as a teaching and learning strategy, development of staff capacity to undertake postgraduate supervision, and research on curriculum mapping as a tool for curriculum analysis. 

Enhancing Transnational Education Programmes: Improving Student Retention, Satisfaction and Attainment by Addressing the Motivation, Expectation and Experience Factors in the Anglo-Sino Pedagogies 

This international study, actively involving doctoral and early career researchers, is exploring Chinese students’ motivation, expectation and experiences of studying on a TNE programme provided by Coventry University (CU) at two major Chinese partner universities: Southwest University of Political Science & Law  and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. It is examine students’ preferred learning approaches in relation to Anglo-Sino pedagogies including how issues such as social background, gender, and prior educational experiences intersect and impact learning experiences. 


Most recent projects awarded 

iKUDU Transforming Curricula through internationalisation and virtual exchange (Nov 2019 – August 2022) 

This KA2 Erasmus+ Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices (Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education project), involves 5 historically disadvantaged South African universities and five European Universities. iKUDU is focused on the development of Collaborative Online International learning (COIL) virtual exchanges, which will be embedded in the delivery of an internationalised and transformed curriculum. Presently, very few students, particularly at the undergraduate level, have the opportunity to participate in internationalisation activities. Those who participate frequently hail from advantaged backgrounds. The project will democratise internationalisation in that the COIL virtual exchanges which the project plans to develop and implement are open to participation by students irrespective of financial means available. Thus, democratisation of the internationalisation process and the democratisation of the process of internationalisation will be achieved.  


Shaping global urban environments for today and tomorrow: Internationalisation of researcher development and doctoral provision in strategic research areas through a Brazil/UK collaboration (November 2019 - October 2020)

Partners: Universidade Federal Do Espírito Santo (UFES), Brazil and Coventry University

This British Council funded capacity-building project addresses UFES’s institutional and regional needs to enhance its internationalization capabilities within priority Social Sciences research areas as per its Internationalisation Plan. The project follows Joseph’s transformative approach to internationalisation as a collaborative undertaking which engages with cultural difference, challenges, ambiguity and risk (2011: 242). It is based on Appreciative Inquiry tenets (Cooperrider and Srivastva 1987; Cooperrider et al 2008) as it entails "a group process that enquires into, identifies and further develops the best of “what is” in organizations in order to create better futures”’ (Preskill and Catsambas 2006: 2) with a particular focus on doctoral study education.

Reviewing the reforms associated with decolonisation: the curricula, institutional structures and processes (November 2019 – July 2020)

This comparative project between Deakin University Geelong, Australia and Coventry University, aims to investigate the practices of decolonisation at two international Universities with a view to understanding the paradoxes, tensions and opportunities emerging from conventional practices taking place in classrooms/curricula and broader institutional spaces. Institutional initiatives to support decolonisation have recently begun in both Universities characterised by a global focus, heightened diversity and similar socio-economic contexts: Coventry University in the United Kingdom and Deakin University Geelong in Australia. The project will focus on exploring the breadth and depth of practices taking place across both institutions, as well as identify the actors leading the changes. The intended outcome is to establish and validate a set of flexible and context-sensitive activities providing a practice model for the HE sector as to how to engage in open, democratic conversations around this complex issue

In summary,

Each project is facilitating intensive know-how transfer between the collaborating institutions in considering pedagogical strategies and decolonisation in the context of curriculum transformation, offering multiple strategies to (re)examine educational approaches to teaching and learning, contextually situated, via research and development with people and communities of diverse intercultural backgrounds.


PhD study areas available:

How can institutional educational leadership best interact efforts to decolonise the curriculum (within and across the disciplines) and enable inclusion and diversity? How is it supportive and what is viewed as oppositional/obstructive? How do policies play a role?

What does decolonising education mean for students and staff and pedagogy? How are expectations framed, choices made/offered, understandings and behaviours experienced?

How are course programmes actively encouraging students to contribute to pedagogy against the background of their own experience and their search for solutions to issues arising from their own realities? Perspectives from within and across the disciplines

Making the hidden and null curriculum visible: approaches to questioning paradigms and being critical of potential pedagogical assumptions

Exploration of interculturality and collaborative online international learning (COIL) in global educational contexts: Internationalisation-of-the-Curriculum and Internationalisation-at-Home strategies

What are the comparative learning gains between study abroad and collaborative online international learning (COIL): student and graduate stories

Unpacking academic practices for learner success: examining change in teaching and learning roles (within COIL) due to the impact of internationalisation



Education/Academic qualification

knowledge translation , Doctorate, Coventry University

Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Postgraduate Certificate, Coventry University

Interdisciplinary practice, MA, University of Birmingham

Occupational Therapy, Degree

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education Social Sciences
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occupational therapy Social Sciences
curriculum development Social Sciences
intercultural learning Social Sciences

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Projects 2003 2022

Research Output 2004 2020

#3CityLink: Disrupting Learning Through a Translocal Art Pedagogy Exchange Project

Wimpenny, K., Knowles, R. V., Ramsey, C. & Speculand, J., May 2019, In : The International Journal of Art & Design Education. 38, 2, p. 328-343 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

art production
qualitative research
social justice

Capacity Building for Virtual Innovative Teaching and Learning in Jordan – Experiences of the JOVITAL project

Wimpenny, K., DeWinter, A., Adefila, A., Tawileh, W., Trunk, N. & Jaser, E., 18 Jun 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Open Access
open access
educational practice

Innovation in Collaborative Online International Learning: A Holistic Blend

Wimpenny, K. & Orsini-Jones, M., 11 Nov 2019, (Accepted/In press) Radical Solutions & eLearning. Practical Innovations and online Educational Technology: Radical Solutions in Higher Education. Burgos, D. (ed.). Springer, (Radical Solutions in Higher Education; vol. Trilogy 124).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Activities 2002 2019

PhD Examination

Katherine Wimpenny (Examiner)
15 Jan 2019

Activity: Examination

From internationalisation to an inclusive and decolonized curriculum: trajectories from Holland and England

Jos Beelen (Speaker), Katherine Wimpenny (Speaker)
26 Nov 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

The international conference on new trends in computing sciences

Katherine Wimpenny (Speaker), Alun DeWinter (Speaker), Arinola Adefila (Speaker)
10 Oct 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Models of Online International Learning used at CU

Katherine Wimpenny (Speaker)
9 May 20182 May 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Jos Beelen

Katherine Wimpenny (Host)
5 Feb 20186 Feb 2018

Activity: Hosting a visitorHosting an academic visitor


A Web-based Interactive Remote Laboratory for Distance Teaching and Leaning

Yuri Vershinin (Recipient) & Katherine Wimpenny (Recipient), 31 May 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Co-Lead Research

Katherine Wimpenny (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Election to learned society


Enhancing staff capacity towards knowledge exchange: in engineering education and in practice”

Katherine Wimpenny (Recipient), Farzana Aslam (Recipient), Luca Morini (Recipient) & Hannelie Du Plessis-Walker (Recipient), 31 May 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

research project

Outstanding Supervisory Team of the Year 2019

Katherine Wimpenny (Recipient), 1 May 2019

Prize: Other distinction

Child Development


A Phenomenological Study Exploring the Professional Identity Development of the First Cohort of Occupational Therapists Trained in Ghana

Author: Ndaa, P. O., 26 Mar 2019

Supervisor: Khanna, R. (Supervisor), Goodman, S. (Supervisor) & Wimpenny, K. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy