Dr Katy Vigurs

Position: Associate Professor

College: College of Arts, Humanities and Education

Research Centre: International Centre for Guidance Studies

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About

I am Associate Professor of Careers and Higher Education in the International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) and I also lead the University’s research cluster for Changing Higher Education Research (CHER). I have published on a wide range of educational and methodological issues and have undertaken research across a number of education sectors, including primary and secondary education, community and adult education, and further and higher education. I am a sociologist of education and have a particular interest in researching policy and practice relating to inequalities in higher education, including the related area of student finance reform and its impact on the stratification of higher education. I am on the editorial board of one international journal and am a peer reviewer for numerous other journals. I was previously Associate Professor of Higher and Professional Education at Staffordshire University.

I am currently working on several externally funded educational research projects. These include: an Office for Fair Access project to develop understanding on how universities evaluate their pre-16 widening participation outreach activities; a four year project funded by the Gatsby Foundation on good quality careers education in schools and colleges; a Department for Education project on the role of work placements in technical education; a HEFCE Catalyst funded project on evaluating a student attainment intervention across three HEIs; a National Collaborative Outreach Programme funded project across two counties; a Careers and Enterprise Company project on the role of careers websites.

I am interested in supervising doctoral research projects that investigate educational inequalities, particularly in the field of higher education. I am particularly keen to develop collaborative studentships with non-academic external partners.

Teaching responsibilities

I am an experienced postgraduate supervisor and have supervised many Masters and PhD students on a wide range of educational research topics. I have also worked and published in the area of doctoral education since 2010.

I welcome PhD and EdD applications in the following areas:

  • Higher education policy
  • Transitions into and out of higher educations
  • Participation in higher education and further education
  • Graduate employability and employment
  • Labour market transitions
  • Inequalities in education
  • Researcher education and doctoral education
  • Qualitative research methods (including participatory and visual methods)

I have examined ten doctoral theses at the following universities:

  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • University of Derby
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • University of East London
  • University of Leicester
  • Staffordshire University
  • Middlesex University

I am currently supervising the following doctoral researchers:

  • Tom Staunton – The Role of Social Media in the Career Education of Graduates
  • Dan Owen – The Leadership of School Federations
  • James Capper – An Investigation into the Process and Outcomes of Relationships between Universities and Schools

I have a number of doctoral completions to date:

  • Julia Everitt (2017) ‘External Agents in Schools: Roles and Responsibilities for Children and Young People’s Learning and Wellbeing’
  • Duncan Hindmarch (2017) ‘Examining the Implementation of Graduate Attributes in One University and its Further Education Partners’
  • Hope Gangata (2017) ‘An Analysis of the Pedagogical Concepts used by Anatomy Teachers to Facilitate the Teaching and Learning of Anatomy to Physiotherapy Undergraduates in the UK’
  • Rachel Kidd-Smithers (2016) ‘Investigating how teachers is secondary schools identify and respond to ‘problematic’ learner behaviour in the classroom’
  • Gerard Ryan (2016) ‘Developing Events Management Education (EME): Investigating the needs of employers’ 
  • Cheryl Bolton (2013) ‘Investigating the Professionalisation of the English Further Education Teacher Workforce’
  • Jane Rowley (2013) ‘Addiction Recovery and Adult Education: The Role of Formal and Informal Learning’

Professional interests

  • Creative forms of public engagement
  • Research-informed comics and graphic novels
  • Social media for research purposes
  • Applied social and educational research
  • Higher education policy
  • Transitions into and out of higher educations
  • Participation in higher education and further education
  • Graduate employability and employment
  • Inequalities in education
  • Researcher education and doctoral education
  • Qualitative research methods (including participatory and visual methods)

Recent publications

Vigurs, K., Jones, S., Everitt, J. and Harris, D. (forthcoming) Higher Fees, Higher Debts: Unequal Graduate Transitions in England? in S. Riddell et al. (Eds) Higher Education, Funding and Access, Bingley: Emerald.

Vigurs, K., Jones, S., Everitt, J. and Harris, D. (forthcoming) Re-imagining the Gap Year in a Climate of Higher University Fees and Student Debt, in C. Burke and F. Christie (Eds) Graduate Careers in Context: Research, Policy and Practice, Abingdon: Routledge.

Vigurs, K. (forthcoming) Ethnographies in Limbo: When it’s uncomfortable to revisit the data, in R. Smith and S. Delamont (Eds) Lost Ethnographies: Lessons from Research that Never Happened, Bingley: Emerald.

Vigurs, K. (forthcoming) Changing institution, changing role, changing academic identity? in N. Lemon and S. McDonough (Eds) Mindfulness in the Academy, Boston: Sense Publishers.

Boyask, R. and Vigurs, K. (forthcoming) Developing a methodology for public engagement with critical research in pursuit of social justice for children and young people, Policy Futures in Education.

Vigurs, K. and Kara, H. (2016), Participants’ productive disruption of a community education photo-elicitation project: Improvised methodologies in practice, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, pp.1-27. (DOI): 10.1080/13645579.2016.1221259.

Vigurs, K. (2016) Using Twitter to tackle peripherality? Facilitating networked scholarship for part-time doctoral students within and beyond the university, Fusion, Special Issue: Professional education in the e-learning world: Scholarship, practice and digital technologies, Issue 8, pp.1-27.

Vigurs, K., Jones, S. and Harris, D. (2016) Greater Expectations of Graduate Futures? A Comparative Analysis of the Views of the Last Generation of Lower-Fees Undergraduates and the First Generation of Higher-Fees Undergraduates at Two English Universities, Research report for SRHE (Society for Research in Higher Education), pp.1-39.

Vigurs, K., Jones, S. and Harris, D. (2016) Higher Fees, Higher Debts: Greater Expectations of Graduate Futures? – A Research-Informed Comic, Stoke-on-Trent: Staffordshire University.

Boyask, R., Vigurs, K., Lander, V., Alldred, P. (2015) (Eds) Fair and Equal Education: An evidence-based policy manifesto that respects children and young people, London: BERA (British Educational Research Association).

Groppel-Wegener, A., Vigurs, K., Bowstead, H., Walton, G., Raven, L. (2015) Exploring ‘academic depth’ in Higher Education: A collaborative evaluation of a visual methods for facilitating information discernment for HE students from varied disciplines, Innovative Practice in Higher Education, 2 (2), pp.1-20.

Slack, K. and Vigurs, K. (2013) ‘Variation in local career trajectories of young people sharing a similar low socio-economic background in one geographic community’, National Institute for Careers Education and Counselling, October 2013, Issue 31, pp.15-22.

Davies, P., Noble, J., Slack, K. and Vigurs, K. (2010) Fee remissions and bursaries in independent schools. Research report for Sutton Trust.

Recent conferences

Vigurs, K. (2017) Invited paper ‘Pathways to Research Impact: Some Possibilities’, workshop delivered at the Irish Research Council, Dublin, September 2017.

Vigurs, K. (2017) Invited paper ‘Writing and Disseminating Widening Participation Practice: Sharing Practitioner Research with External Audiences’, paper presented at Office for Fair Access event, Sheffield Hallam University, September 2017.

Vigurs, K. (2017) Invited paper ‘Higher Fees, Higher Debts: Unequal Graduate Transitions in England?’, paper presented at CREID seminar at the University of Edinburgh, 30th August 2017.

Vigurs, K. (2017) Invited paper ‘Visual Storytelling of Graduate Transitions: Research Translation for Wider Public Engagement’, paper presented at the annual AGCAS Research Conference, University of Manchester, 3rd July 2017.

Vigurs, K. (2017) Invited paper ‘Pathways to public engagement and impact’, workshop delivered to University of Derby academics at the annual writing retreat at Scalford Hall, 7th June 2017.

Vigurs, K. (2017) Invited paper ‘Visual Storytelling: A Tale of Research Translation for Wider Engagement’, paper presented at British Educational Research Association SIG seminar, ‘Digging into Data’, University of Huddersfield.

Vigurs, K. (2017) Invited paper ‘Visual Storytelling: A Tale of Research Translation for Wider Engagement’, paper presented at The Sociological Review workshop, ‘Graphic Novels for Social Scientists’, MadLab, Manchester.

Vigurs, K. (2017) ‘The re-appropriation of the gap year in a climate of higher fees and debt’, paper presented at the British Sociological Association Annual Conference, University of Manchester 4-6 April 2017.

Vigurs, K. and McCaig, C. (2017) Student Debt Implications for Graduates from Non-Traditional Backgrounds, paper presented at SRHE symposium ‘Investigating inequalities in graduate outcomes’, London, 9th March 2017.

Vigurs, K., Jones, S. and Harris, D. (2016) Higher Fees, Higher Debts: Greater Expectations of Graduate Futures? SRHE Annual Conference, Newport, December 2016.

Vigurs, K. (2016) Invited paper, Visual Storytelling: A Tale of Research Translation for Wider Engagement, British Sociological Association Visual Methods Conference, November 2016.

Vigurs, K. (2016) Invited keynote, Networked Scholarship for Doctoral Researchers, University of Hertfordshire Postgraduate Research Conference, November 2016.

Vigurs, K. (2016) The usual suspects? Which groups of students are more disadvantaged under the new student finance system? BERA Annual Conference, September 2016, University of Leeds.

Vigurs, K. (2016) Invited keynote, Developing your research and scholarship profile, University of Warwick Teacher Education Department, April 2016.

Vigurs, K. (2016) Invited paper, Generating feelings of community: investigating factors that impact upon the student experience of part-time doctoral researchers, Exploring Doctoral Pedagogy in Professional Doctorate in Education Programmes, 18 March 2016, SRHE office, London.

Vigurs, K., Beck. A. and Boyask, R. (2015) Invited paper, How to engage a range of education stakeholders in the pursuit of social justice for children and young people? Research-informed blogging and the production of an alterative policy manifesto, Education as if the Whole Earth Mattered, Scottish Educational Research Association Conference, 18-20 November 2015, University of Aberdeen.

Vigurs, K., Jones, S. and Harris, D. (2015) Invited paper, Higher Fees, Higher Debts: Greater Expectations of Post-Graduation Futures? School of Education Research Seminar Series, Edge Hill University, 12 November 2015.

Vigurs, K. (2015) Invited paper, Examining institutional support for the professional development of research degree supervisors, Supporting Good Supervisory Practice, UK Council for Graduate Education Day Conference, 11 November 2015, Bournemouth University.

Boyask, R. and Vigurs, K. (2015) ‘How can education policy respect children and young people? Social justice researchers seeking new ways to inform public debate.’ Symposium paper. Convenor: Prof Tony Gallagher. BERA Annual Conference, Queen’s University Belfast, 15-17 September 2015.

Boyask, R. and Vigurs, K. (2015) ‘Engaging Educational Researchers in the Pursuit of Social Justice for Children and Young People’. Symposium paper: ‘Does education policy respect children and young people? British researchers invite public debate on social justice’, Convenor: Prof Michael Apple. American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, Chicago, 16-20 April 2015.

Vigurs, K. (2015) Invited Keynote, Relationships Matter: The Role of Bridging Social Capital in Education Partnerships, Danish School Leadership Conference, 14-16 May 2015, Silkeborg, Denmark.

Vigurs, K. (2014) Invited Keynote, ‘Enhancing Teaching Quality to Deliver Innovation in Postgraduate Education’, The Future of Postgraduate Education, Inside Government, London, 12 June 2014.

Groppel-Wegener, A. and Vigurs, K. (2014) Busting the ghosts of hidden academic practice, HEA Heroes and Monsters Conference: Extra-ordinary tales of learning and teaching, Salford, 2-4 June 2014.

Vigurs, K. (2014) Becoming a researching professional: the role of virtual academic webs within and beyond the professional doctorate classroom, European Conference for Educational Research (ECER), Porto, Portugal, 1-5 September 2014.

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