Katherine Wimpenny


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    Vision Statement

    As Professor of Research in Global Education and Theme Lead for Global Learning: Education Without Boundaries, within the Research Centre of Global Learning, my inquiry with colleagues, locally and globally, is grounded in comprehensive internationalisation, with emphasis on theory, pedagogy, interdisciplinarity, social justice, decolonisation, and the role of the ethically engaged university.

    I have a proven and successful track record for researching, developing and supervising PhD students through a variety of routes including traditional, structured, Cotutelle/Dual Award programmes, cohort approaches, as well as supporting Alternative Thesis submissions.

    I am experienced in a range of approaches to inquiry including hybridised, interdisciplinary methods, Appreciative Inquiry and arts based creative approaches through Post Qualitative studies.

    My research interests consider plural ways of knowing and expressing in a diverse range 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 Full Professor of Research in Global Education and Theme Lead for Global Learning: Education Without Boundaries, in the Research Centre for Global Learning (GLEA) at Coventry University (CU). She is a Member of the ESRC Peer Reveiw College.

    Katherine worked as an Occupational Therapist for 10 years in the NHS/ health contexts, followed by 10 years as an academic on the BSc (Hons) and MSc / Post Graduate 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.

    From 2010 she has been making a full contribution to the research programmes at CU, initially as a Research Fellow in the 'Learning Innovation' Research Centre until 2014 and then in the 'Disruptive Media Learning Lab', CU, where she was Conferred as Reader in Arts Related Education Research and Pedagogy.

    In August 2017, Katherine started in GLEA having helped shape the business plan for the new Centre along with Professors Lynn Clouder, Christine Broughan and Mark Holton.

    Katherine was Conferred as Full Professor of Research in Global Education in 2018.

    She has a research leadership role in GLEA, pursuing and supporting colleagues in collaborative research of the highest quality, and was entered into the last 2 REF exercises.

    Katherine's research involves working with a diverse range of national and international partners. She has a track record and reputation in the design and coordination of interdisciplinary research and innovation projects. She presents on her work widely and is well published in media of repute. 

    Katherine is an experienced examiner of PhDs nationally and internationally. 

    12 PhD Completions

    Finalists of Outstanding Research Supervisory Team Award Coventry University 2023, (nominated 2022, 2021, 2020 and Winner 2019).

    Current PhD Students 

    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)” (Submitted awaiting Viva) DoS, Prof Wimpenny, with Dr Luca Morini & Dr Sian Alsop

    Amrita Narang “Curriculum Transformation – The impact of Investing In A Decolonial curriculum- What Does It Mean For Academics And Academic Developers?” (Submitted awaiting viva) Prof. Katherine Wimpenny (DoS) with Dr Arinola Adefila and Dr Ken Fero.

    Mark Dawson “What are the mechanisms that influence how stakeholders experience Collaborative Online International Learning: A Critical Realist appraisal”. (Submitting September 2024) Prof. K. Wimpenny (DoS), with Prof. Jos Beelen, Visiting Prof (THUAS), Dr Que Anh Dang.

    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

    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

    Lakshmi Jayakrishnan "Exploring South African academic developers’ identity development: A Narrative Inquiry." (P/T May 2021 - April 2025) Prof. Katherine Wimpenny with Dr Nompilo Tshuma, Stellenbosch University, Dr Noloyiso Nongalo, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa

    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

    Vanessa Nontsikelelo Majiza “Enhancing academic writing skills of STEM Master’s students in a South African faculty of natural sciences” (P/T May 2021 - April 2025) Prof Katherine Wimpenny (DoS) with Prof Liezel Frick, Stellenbosch University and Dr Yolisa Madolo, WSU, South Africa

    Ninutsa Nadirashvil “The role of transnational literatures in the decolonisation of understandings of gender within the European academe.” (F/T Sept 2023 – March 2027) Prof Katherine Wimpenny (Dos) with Dr Jaya Jocobo, Prof Sandra Ponzanesi, and Dr Birgit Kaiser (Utrecht University)

    Samena Rashid "UK Banglashi and Pakistani student experiences of engagement in STOM at a post 1992 university " (Part-Time (P/T) since Jan 2018 - Sept 2026 ) DoS, K. Wimpenny, with Dr Peter Wolstencroft, Dr Tina Bass and Dr Dimitar Angelov

    Current projects 

    I-HEDU, British Council GGP-UK-ID Disability Inclusion Partnerships Grant (2023). (Playful Co-Creation - Building The Indonesia Higher Education Disability Union) Arnab. S. (PI), Wimpenny, K. (Co-PI) with Mahon.D., Mudhibuddin, F., Purnomo, A. R.

    This 12-month initiative is poised to make a significant impact on the landscape of higher education in Indonesia, particularly for disabled students, as we embark on the establishment of the “Indonesia HE Disability Union” (I-HEDU).

    The project builds upon the success of previous collaborations between Coventry University, Universitas Negeri Malang, and Universitas Muhamadiyah Ponorogo Indonesia. The primary objective of I-HEDU is to address the diverse needs of disabled students in Indonesian universities by co-creating pathways to higher education and disseminating best practices. Our approach is experiential and participatory, guided by playful principles, fostering meaningful dialogues, co-creation, inclusivity, and lasting impact, engaging with disabled students and staff, their communities, prospective students, university personnel, parents, and NGOs.

    EUTERPE: European Literatures and Gender in Transnational Perspective (2022-2025) Horizon Europe MARIE Skłodowska-CURIE ACTIONS Doctoral Network  (HORIZON-TMA-MSCA-DN – 101073012)

    EUTERPE offers an innovative approach to rethinking European cultural production in the light of complex social and political negotiations that are shaping European spaces and identities at present. Through an international partnership of 15 HEIs and partner organisations across six European countries, providing fully funded training for 11 Early Stage Doctoral Researchers through our cross-European Doctoral Network, EUTERPE brings together gender and transnational perspectives within an interdisciplinary approach to literary and cultural studies. 

    iKUDU Transforming Curricula through internationalisation and virtual exchange (Nov 2019 – June 2025) 

    iKUDU is a 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 are being embedded in the delivery of an internationalised and transformed, decolonised and Africanised curriculum.

    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, the ‘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. 

    Recent Projects

    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 – FBL.

    ACES investigated and established 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 brought 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 engaged teachers and local community groups in the co-creation and ownership of the educational process, fostering an empowering and agentic practice with marginalised contexts to motivate, ground and, most importantly, localise the ACES intervention. A

    UK-Southeast Asia Partnerships and Exchnages Baseline Research (UK-SEA PeeR), a two-year project (Sept 2021 - Mar 2023)funded by the British Council (start date. Coventry is lead, Dr Que Anh Dang (PI) with Prof. K.Wimpenny & Prof. L. Clouder (Co-PIs) https://peer.coventry.ac.uk/partners/  

    The PEER project was an international research study led by Coventry University (UK) and funded by the British Council. PEER bringing together 10-UK based and 10 Asia-based researchers in three work packages to examine bilateral, multilateral and regional partnerships in Higher Education (HE), Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), and Research and Innovation, between the UK and 15 East Asian countries and territories in the past decade. Combining British and Asian perspectives, the study aimed to enhance understanding of policies, practices, emerging post-covid priorities, and concepts of internationalisation at regional, national and institutional levels in the UK and East Asia.

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

    EEEP (start date June 2018 - Dec 2022) was in collaboration with the Walter Sisulu University and the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. The project was focused on enhancing staff capacity building for knowledge exchange in engineering education and postgraduate supervision. The project was researched in terms of staff and curriculum 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. 

    OpenMed - Opening up education in South Mediterranean countries

    OpenMed 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, involved 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. 

    EduHack  - A new approach for Higher Education teachers’ capacity building in the digital world

    EduHack 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

    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. 

     JOVITAL - Jordan's Opportunity for Virtual Innovative Teaching and Learning

    JOVITAL October 2017 - 2020, was an Erasmus+ funded project 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, offered 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 focused 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.

    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.

    In summary,

    Each project has been facilitating intensive interdisciplinary research between the collaborating institutions in considering pedagogical strategies 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.         


    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Education/Academic qualification

    knowledge translation , Doctorate, Participatory change: an integrated approach toward occupational therapy practice development , Coventry University

    Award Date: 10 Aug 2009

    Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Postgraduate Certificate, Post Grad Certificate in Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, Coventry University

    Award Date: 7 Jul 2000

    Interdisciplinary practice, MA, MA in Community Mental Health, University of Birmingham

    Award Date: 7 Jul 2000

    Occupational Therapy, Degree, Diploma College of Occupational Therapists

    Award Date: 9 Jul 1990

    External positions

    Member, International Doctoral Education Research Network

    1 Jul 2023 → …

    Member, Academic Network on Global Education and Learning

    1 Dec 2021 → …

    Member, British Education Research Association

    1 Nov 2016 → …


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