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Institute for Education Policy Research, Staffordshire University (IEPR)

 Contact details
Contact personDr Kim Slack
Senior Research Fellow 
StreetBrindley Building, Leek Road 
Address ST2 4DF - Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom) 
Phone01782 295731 
EmailShow Email
 Organisation details
Employees (in Depart.)250+ 
Organisation TypeSecondary or higher education establishment 
 Research Focus

 Fields of activities:
» Education (incl. training, pedagogy, didactics)

 Brief description of your activity focus
The IEPR has a broad range of experience in researching, advising and reporting on aspects of educational policy at national and international levels

 Details about Expertise / Competences / Technologies
IEPR researchers have diverse academic backgrounds in the social sciences and psychology and
substantial experience in different sectors of education. We seek to bring a variety of perspectives and
methods to bear in the analysis of educational issues, with some members experienced in statistical
analysis while others are more experienced in qualitative research. We work in small research teams with
a mixture of skills and backgrounds appropriate to each research project.
Recently consultancy work has been carried out for government departments and agencies (e.g.
Department of Education, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Training and
Development Agency for Schools), and educational charities (e.g. The Sutton Trust and the Joseph
Rowntree Foundation).

My main personal research interest is based around educational decision-making and the factors that
influence this. This includes individuals’ social and cultural influences such as family and school
experience. I have recently completed a doctoral thesis which has explored educational decision-making
in young people from a deprived, urban area. This has focused on the relationship between self-efficacy,
communities of practice and approach to learning and the impact of this upon decision making. My work
for the IAS/IEPR has included projects which have fallen within the general theme of widening
participation but have encompassed a range of issues within this. Main research studies have included:

- Student Services – Universities UK
- Partnerships to widen participation in HE - HEFCE
- The Learning Brokerage Project – funded by the Learning and Skills Development Agency (£80,000)
- Student withdrawal from HE – funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (£85,000)
- Evaluation of Aimhigher in Lincolnshire and Rutland (£29,000)
- Evaluation of Aimhigher in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (£60,000)
- Review of the barriers to widening participation – HEFCE
- Review of the implementation of the Schwartz Report – SPA
- Bursaries and HE decision-making – Sutton Trust
- Evaluation of 2-year (Fast Track) degrees – HEFCE
- Public information on HE - HEFCE
 Research Activities

 EU Framework Programme related activities:
» Changing role of knowledge throughout the economy
» Regional, territorial and social cohesion
» Societal trends and lifestyles
» Cultural interactions in an international perspective

 Project participation
Project #1
Project TypeNational
Project TitlePublic information on HE
Specific ThemeEducational decision-making relatingn to university choice
Project websitehttp://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/rdreports/2010/rd12_10/rd12_10b.pdf
Project #2
Project TypeNational
Project TitleKnowing where to study? Fees, bursaries and fair access
Specific ThemeEducational decision-making and choice of university
Project websitehttp://www.suttontrust.com/reports/StaffordshireReportFinal.pdf
Project #3
Project TypeNational
Project TitleFair admission to HE: a review of the implementation of the Schwartz Report principles three years on
Specific ThemeUniversity admissions policies
Project #4
Project TypeNational
Project TitleLearning brokerage: building bridges between learners and providers
Specific ThemeRole of agencies/individuals brokering learning to marginalised learners
Project #5
Project TypeNational
Project TitleEvaluation of Aimhigher in Lincolnshire and Rutland
Specific ThemeEvaluation of a government-initiated widening participation in learning programme
Project #6
Project TypeNational
Project TitleEvaluation of Aimhigher in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
Specific ThemeEvaluation of a government-initiated widening participation in learning programme

 International and national projects beyond EU Framework Programme
I attended Keele University as a mature student and graduated in 1998. After completing my degree I joined the newly formed Institute for Access Studies (IAS) at Staffordshire University. My work since then has focused on research around issues around widening participation and the learning experience of young people and adults, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. I am a full-time researcher working as a member of a multi-disciplinary team based in the IEPR. I also frequently work as part of a collaborative team, for example, with researchers from the HEA, University of York and Sheffield Hallam University.

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