Katherine Wimpenny


Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile

Vision Statement

As Theme Lead for Intercultural Engagement and Global Education, in the Research Centre for Global Learning: Education and Attainment (GLEA), my research examines how higher education (HE) institutions are integrating an intercultural and global dimension into the purpose, functions, design and delivery of learning experiences, and the impact that this has on students, staff, strategic partnerships and institutional practices. This includes research into the adoption of strategies and channels that embrace the principles of openness within the context of HE practices with knowledge sharing that goes beyond the walls of the institution, to benefit disadvantaged groups and wider society

My perspectives are informed by participatory approaches and practices with students and external partners, whereby learning with co-participants is reciprocal, where participants are not kept at a distance and where perspectives and viewpoints can be explored through the research process to address, question and promote issues about forms of engagement and transformative practices.



Katherine Wimpenny, PhD, MA, DipCOT, Cert Ed, is 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 as Reader in Education Research and Pedagogy. Katherine 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. 

Current Projects


Opening up education in South Mediterranean (SM) countries is 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 (S-M) countries (Morocco, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan). The project is focused on the adoption of Open Educational Practices within the context of higher education in the South-Mediterranean region. The project is 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.

As lead for WP1, the research task, with the aim of informing the following work packages, was to bring together a compendium of good practice, paying particular attention to the themes and key recommendations emerging from a series of case studies on Open Education initaitves and the views and advice gathered from various experts in the field. By reviewing relevant examples and identifying key trends, the compendium provides a reliable and evidence-based body of knowledge on OEP specifically generated to facilitate and encourage adoption of OEP in S-M universities.

Arts Gymnasium

Funded by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, I am lead researcher of this project (March 2016 - September 2018) in which we are examining the value of arts and drama workshops for the health and wellbeing of people aged 50+ in Coventry. It is a collaboration between the Belgrade Theatre, Age UK Coventry and Coventry University. Students from Coventry University have been recruited to support the research process, producing high quality media capturing participants' experiences. From September to December 2017 final year occupational therapy students are at the Belgrade, working on Arts Gymnasium project, as their contemporary practice placement - the first for both the Belgrade and the occupational therapy programme.

Through narrative dialogues, drawing on theory and hybridized methods, one aspect of the research process has been to explore our ontological development as researchers, in order to share the complexity of ‘evaluating the experiences of others’. This includes our access to, and use of, ‘data’ from project participants’ personal experiences and interactions. We have been questionning meaning-making processes to uncover unexplored meanings and values which are not always easy to articulate, but which impact ourselves, our relationships with research participants and the outputs of our research. 


JOVITAL is an Erasmus+ project, which started October 2017, 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'. 

As WP1 lead my focus is on examining concepts of virtual innovative teaching and learning from the extant literature, a review of online international learning practices for virtual mobility - with a particular focus on the Jordan case, including presentation of key recommendations for policy and practice to inform the next stages of the project.


EduHack.eu is another successful 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 hackathons will then 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.

UCDP - University capacity development programme - South Africa

This most recent project (start date February 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 PBL as a teaching and learning stratagy, development of staff capacity to undertake postgraduate supervision and research on curriculum mapping as a tool for curriculum analysis. 


Education / Academic qualification

Occupational Therapy, Degree

knowledge translation , Doctorate, Coventry University

Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Postgraduate Certificate, Coventry University

Interdisciplinary practice, MA, University of Birmingham

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Research Output 2004 2018

A new approach to digital competence building for university educators in Europe

Nascimbeni, F., Villar-Onrubia, D., Wimpenny, K. & Burgos, D. 28 Feb 2018 (Submitted)

Research output: Research - peer-reviewPaper

knowledge transfer
intellectual property

Collaborative Poetics Network: A Pilot Study Exploring the Potential of Collaborative, Arts-based Research

Helen, J. & Wimpenny, K. 9 Feb 2018 (Accepted/In press)

Research output: Research - peer-reviewPaper

business education
interactive media

Curriculum Development in Higher Education using Open Education Practices Across the Mediterranean: OpenMed

Wimpenny, K., Jariego, I., Nascimbeni, F., Affouneh, S., Alkamari, A., Villar-Onrubia, D. & Eldieb, A. 28 May 2018 (Submitted) In : Journal of Curriculum Studies. (in press), p. (in press) 32 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

curriculum development
North Africa
East Africa
Middle East

Exploring Intercultural Learning Through Open Education Practices Across the Mediterranean: OpenMed

Wimpenny, K., Jariego, I. M., Nascimbeni, F., Affouneh, S., Almakari, A., Villar-Onrubia, D. & Eldeib, A. 15 Apr 2018 (Submitted) In : International Journal of Educational Development. (In-Press), p. (In-Press) 16 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

intercultural learning
top-down approach
Mediterranean region

Exploring multicultural e-learning through a blended course across the Mediterranean

Nascimbeni, F., Burgos, D., Aceto, S., Wimpenny, K., Maya, I., Stefanelli, C. & Eldieb, A. 23 Feb 2018 (Accepted/In press)

Research output: Research - peer-reviewPaper

electronic learning
intercultural learning

Activities 2002 2018

Lessons learnt from the collaborative creation and piloting of a course in Open Education for the South Mediterranean region

Wimpenny, K. (Speaker), Daniel Burgos (Speaker), Khalid Berrada (Speaker), Ahmed Alkamari (Speaker), Cristina Stefanelli (Speaker)
Mar 2018

Activity: Oral presentation

Models of Online International Learning used at CU

Wimpenny, K. (Speaker)
9 May 20182 May 2019

Activity: Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Jos Beelen

Wimpenny, K. (Host)
5 Feb 20186 Feb 2018

Activity: Hosting an academic visitor

Collaborative Poetics Network: A Pilot Study Exploring the Potential of Collaborative Arts Based Research

Johnson Helen (Speaker), Wimpenny, K. (Speaker)
13 Mar 201815 Mar 2018

Activity: Oral presentation

PhD Examining

Wimpenny, K. (Examiner)
10 Sep 2018

Activity: Examination


Co-Lead Research

Katherine Wimpenny (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Election to learned society