Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

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    Personal profile

    Vision Statement

    As Professor of Research in Global Education and Theme Lead for Global Learning: Education Without Boundaries, within the Research Institute of Global Learning, my research with colleagues, locally and globally, is focused on comprehensive internationalisation (referring not only to teaching and learning, but also research, community engagement, ethos, and more (Beelen & Jones, 2015)). With emphasis on participatory and collaborative inquiry, I am engaged in researching internationalisation at home (IaH) practices whilst acknowledging the overlap of IaH and wider internationalisation of the curriculum strategies, at the interface of decolonisation of the curriculum. As part of IaH, I am researching Third Space learning and culture building in virtual spaces, (predominantly using Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) approaches) in which local/national/international culturally diverse communities can come together, drawing on their knowledge, experiences, and creativity, to strengthen, and to form respectful, engaging, hybrid learning spaces. My research includes focus on (virtual) pedagogies for curriculum and perspective transformation, including for example, learner-led, inquiry-led, constructionist, connectivist and relational pedagogies. 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 (trans)disciplinary contexts. My research interests consider a diversity of learning spaces (digital, 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 Global Learning: Education Without Boundaries, in the Research Centre for Global Learning: Education and Attainment (GLEA), Research Institute of Global Learning, 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 partnered with several NHS Trusts facilitating knowledge transfer through participatory action research methodologies. Since 2010 she has held a full-time research role, initially as Research Fellow in Learning Innovation and then for four years in the Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL) CU, where she was Conferred as Reader in Education Research and Pedagogy. In August 2017, Katherine started in GLEA having helped shape the business plan along with Professors Lynn Clouder and Christine Broughan. Katherine was Conferred as Professor of Research in Global Education in 2018. She works with a diverse 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, and is widely published in the academic literature. She is Visiting Professor at An-Najah National University Palestine. 

    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. 

    8 PhD Completions

    11 Current PhD Students 

    1.     Emmanuel Johnson “Identity and Belonging: The Role of Faith in International Students’ Study” (Full-time, Sept 2018 – August 2021) Director of Studies (DoS) K. Wimpenny, with Dr Fred Mudhai, Dr Alun DeWinter and Dr Ken Fero

    2.     Samena Rashid "The impact of internationalisation on University students from a widening access background" (Part-Time Jan 2018 - Dec 2023) DoS, K. Wimpenny, with Dr Peter Wolstencroft and Dr Tina Bass

    3.     Jackie Shanley “Becoming a physiotherapist – insights from the experiences of international physiotherapy students” (Part-time, Sept 2018 – August 2023) DoS, K. Wimpenny, with Professor Lynn Clouder and Dr Martin Selby

    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) DoS, K. Wimpenny, with Dr Luca Morini, Dr Sian Alsop and Professor Lynn Clouder

    5.     Sam Grant “The Impact of Neurodivergence as it Pertains to Healthcare and Educational Outcomes” (F/T Sept 2019 - August 2022) Prof. Lynn Clouder (DoS) with, Dr Ken Fero, Prof. K. Wimpenny,

    6.     Mark Dawson “How Can Collaborative Online International Learning Enable Education-Industry-Community Partnerships To Enhance Global Citizenship And Sustainable Development Education Required In A Post-Covid World?” (F/T Sept 2020 - August 2023) Prof. K. Wimpenny (DoS), with Prof. Jos Beelen, Visiting Prof (THUAS), Dr Que Anh Dang.

    7.     Amrita Narang “Curriculum Transformation – The impact of Investing In A Decolonial curriculum- What Does It Mean For Academics And Academic Developers?” (P/T January 2020 - Dec 2025) Dr Arinola Adefila (DoS) with Prof. Katherine Wimpenny.

    8.     Maryke Geldenhuys " The role of a South African university in developing resilience in undergraduate medical students" (P/T May 2021 - April 2025) Prof. Katherine Wimpenny with Prof Liezel Frick, Stellenbosch University, Dr Belinda Musodza, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa

    9.     Clarissa Graham "Navigating the Research Ethics Structures of Higher Education Institutions: A Cross-National and Multi-Institutional Discourse Analysis" (P/T May 2021 - April 2025) Prof. Katherine Wimpenny with Prof Liezel Frick, Stellenbosch University, Dr Mapangwana, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa

    10.   Lakshmi Jayakrishnan "Lived experiences: Investigating the impact of the shift to emergency remote teaching during COVID-19 on the stress and wellbeing of academic developers" (P/T May 2021 - April 2025) Prof. Katherine Wimpenny, Dr Nompilo Tshuma, Stellenbosch University, Dr Noloyiso Nongalo, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa

    11.   Tammy Daldorf "Fostering creative and critical thinking through creative writing for South African second language first-year students: An action research study" (P/T May 2021 - April 2025) Prof. Katherine Wimpenny with Prof Liezel Frick, Stellenbosch University, Dr Yolisa Madolo, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa

    Recent Projects


    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. was an ERASMUS + Capacity Building programme in Higher Education, (October 2017 – September 2020) the focus of which was to develop an intensive online course for capacity building in eLearning, OER and MOOC creation. Three EduHackathons were hosted around Europe, one here at Coventry University, and a European open resource database and network was 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 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 involved doctoral and early career researchers, to explore 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. The project examined 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. 

    Current projects 


    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. 

    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.

    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. 

    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 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, decolonised and Africanised curriculum.

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

    This British Council funded capacity-building project between Universidade Federal Do Espírito Santo (UFES), Brazil and Coventry University, addresses UFES’s institutional and regional needs to enhance its internationalisation 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.

    Transforming Staff Doctoral Research: University Capacity Development Programme (UCDP) collaborative project proposal for phase 2 of the university staff doctoral programme  

    (Feb 2020 - August 2025) Funded through UCDP - University Capacity Development Programme - South Africa, Transforming Staff Doctoral Research is a collaboration with the Walter Sisulu University and the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. The purpose of the project is to contribute to the increase in the number of permanent academic and professional staff members at South African higher education institutions (SAHEIs) who are qualified at doctoral level. In addition, the project seeks to make progress towards two of Walter Sisulu University (WSU) stated strategic objectives, which is to increase the percentage of academic staff with doctorate qualifications and to increase the research capacity and output of its academic staff members (WSU, 2014). We will address the above issues through a transnational, structured doctoral programme in the field of higher education studies which has embedded mechanisms for training, development and practice-sharing with a wider cohort of supervisors, potential doctoral candidates and research support services at WSU. The international cohort of doctoral candidates enrolled for this programme will comprise staff at WSU who meet the funders’ profiling and equity targets, and institutionally-funded staff from CU and SU. This cohort represents the principles of equity and reciprocity in learning that are central to this consortium. The programme will be structured as an SU-CU cotutelle which draws taught components and online resources from all three institutions. It will exemplify, test and provide a platform for international research education; build supervisory capacity and capabilities; and enrich the research environment of all three institutions. 

    ACES - A Community-Centred Educational Model for developing Social Resilience, is a three year project funded through ESRC under the UKRI-GCRF Education as a Driver of Development Research Grant (Start date 01.02.20). Coventry is lead partner with Arnab – CPDC - PI, with CO-PIs Wimpenny – GLEA,  and Tomlins – ICTE.

    ACES is investigating and establishing a transformative educational model for bridging formal and informal educational contexts via playful and participatory methodologies towards a more inclusive, safe and resilient society that will empower young people to flourish despite their social localities. The project partnership brings together education researchers, teaching staff, students and community partners across Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. ACES focuses on building resilient communities of young people in rural areas or deprived sections of urban communities through education across Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. ACES is engaging teachers and local community groups in the co-creation and ownership of the educational process, fostering an empowering and agentic practice when it comes to marginalised contexts - to motivate, ground and, most importantly, localise the ACES intervention. 

    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.         


    Education/Academic qualification

    knowledge translation , Doctorate, Coventry University

    Award Date: 10 Aug 2009

    Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Postgraduate Certificate, Coventry University

    Award Date: 7 Jul 2000

    Interdisciplinary practice, MA, University of Birmingham

    Award Date: 7 Jul 2000

    Occupational Therapy, Degree

    Award Date: 9 Jul 1990

    External positions

    Visiting Professor, An-Najah National University

    10 Jan 201910 Jan 2022


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