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Prof. Andrea Abbas
University of Bath, UK





Andrea Abbas is Professor of the Sociology of Higher Education in the Department of Education at the University of Bath, where she is also Head of Department. She is Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Education in China and East Asia. She is Link Convenor of the Gender and Education Network of the European Educational Research Association. She is on the Editorial Board of CRiSTaL (Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning). ( Previously she has worked at the University of Lincoln and the University of Teesside after completing her PhD at Keele University (all UK). Her work has been published widely and has a attracted funding from research councils, charities and policy making bodies.


Andrea is a sociologist of higher education. Her work is concerned with how critical theories, that give insights into how inequalities and injustices are ( re)produced, can also be harnessed to lead change in diverse and complex contexts. Her current empirical work focuses on: 1) the role of pedagogy, curriculum and knowledge in the transformation of individual students and universities and how this affects what they can contribute to wider society (drawing upon critical theories of knowledge and the work of Basil Bernstein); 2) a longitudinal study of fourteen early career academics, who have been interviewed three times over a period of ten years and will be re-interviewed in order to study the impacts of COVID (engaging with Margaret Archers critical realism and drawing upon theories of embodiment, emotion and time and space); a project focussing on how socially just and intellectually and credible knowledge around inclusive education for China can be co-created by countries and researchers that embody historical inequalities (drawing upon critical theories of knowledge and critical realism). All this work engages with intersecting inequalities such as, gender, (dis)ability, class, ethnicity and nationality. It is based upon understanding the difficulty of re-shaping deeply embedded historical processes in contemporary contexts.



Featured Presentation (2020) | The Importance of the Long View: The Impact of COVID on Research into Academic Careers and Internationally Collaborative Research


November 14, 2020 (Saturday) | 17:30 - 18:30



In this paper I argue for the importance of developing and theorising the historically long processes that generated inequalities, and which preceded COVID and will permeate how higher education research might influence its future, with and after COVID. The perspective presented incorporates a discussion of the value of a materialist concept of aufhebung and insights gained from Smith and Yang’s (2014) collection of papers presenting understandings of how indigenous studies of education can be viewed given a longer historical view. I develop the argument that critical approaches to higher education, that foreground key questions about historical injustices, are necessary if we are to emerge from these times with these priorities in-tact and with theories and methods in the process of being appropriately transformed into theories and actions significant to a future more beneficial to the planet and its inhabitants. The importance of the value of such critical approaches are illustrated through examples from two studies using critical realist lenses, whose extension through COVID-times raises new questions to be pursued: a longitudinal biographical study of early career academics careers extending over 11 years; and, a project focusing on how to generate more socially just knowledge in a research collaboration between the UK and China to develop a context appropriate inclusive educational practises in South West China.




Abstract submission and Registration for CHER - Hong Kong 2020


For presenter

Researchers, faculty members and postgraduate students are welcome to participate in this conference. If you wish to be a presenter in CHER-Hong Kong 2020, please submit your abstract in MS WORDS (no more than 300 words) at the online submission system by 12 October 2020 (Hong Kong time). Abstracts submitted will undergo a double-blind review process before inclusion in the programme and accepting for oral presentation. Acceptance decision will be informed by the Conference Secretariat via e-mail.


Abstracts will be arranged for presentation and publication ONLY if at least one of the authors registers for the Conference by the registration deadline, 25 October 2020 (Hong Kong time).


An individual author may not appear on more than two manuscripts.



For audience

The registration system for audience is now open. Please click here to register.



Fee for online presentation and participation

Free of charge*

(*The conference fee this year will be waived but registration must be completed in order to have online access to the sessions. Participants in Hong Kong will be invited to attend the Opening Session on campus of Lingnan University on the first day of the conference if health-conditions permit.)



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