My academic discipline is sociology, and I have specialised in post compulsory education and lifelong learning. I established the Centre fro Research in Lifelong Learning (CRLL), a joint centre between Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and the University of Stirling, and was Co-director 1999-2008. In addition to being an emeritus professor in GCU I am also an honorary professor in the University of Stirling and the University of the Highlands and Islands, and a Distinguished Visiting Professor in Capital Normal University in Beijing.
Much of my work has been policy oriented and i have been an adviser to the Scottish Parliament for its Inquiry into Lifelong Learning, and member of the Board of the Scottish Funding Council for Further and Higher Education, and a member of the Board of the City of Glasgow College. I have managed and completed 20 research projects funded by a wide range of funders including Scottish Executive, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), EU, SQA. Most recent work has been published in the Journal of Education and Work (JEW) and recent books include New Languages and Landscapes of Higher Education co-edited with Peter Scott and Gareth Parry (OUP 2017) and New Frontiers for College Education: International Perspectives, co-edited with Fiona Reeve (Routledge 2019).
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
My main areas of research have been on widening access to further and higher education, links between colleges and universities, the changing roles of colleges, and vocational education and training.