Heather Cockayne

Heather Cockayne

Dr, Dr

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Personal profile


I am a Lecturer in Education at the Manchester Institute of Education and my work draws on a range of social science theories to study, for example, the formation of student experience and the (re)conceptualisation of space/place in an increasingly digital environment. I am particularly interested in the experiences of international students and how internationalisation shapes pedagogy and curricula.

My doctoral research focused on experiences of international students in the UK. It focused on the representation of the student voice and examined how international students navigate learning environments. Other research has focused on Sino-British partnerships, which explored the activities and practices of those involved in TNE and also the policy implications for such partnerships. Future directions for research include online and blended learning as well international higher education partnerships from multiple perspectives: teaching, learning, quality, curriculum, leadership and policy. 

I teach on the MA International Education, the MA Digital Technologies, Communications and Education and the BSc in Education. 


Research interests

We supervise a large number of PhD researchers through HERE@Manchester (our Higher Education Research Group), where our expertise centres on critical analysis of policy and practice in international higher education and with international students. PhD applications should be submitted by the SEED scholarship deadline for consideration by our research group. Information about applications to MIE can be found here.

Before this deadline, you are welcome to contact one member of our research group to informally discuss your research proposal. This includes myself, alongside [Jenna, Josef, Sylvie, Miguel, Rui]. You should review the profile pages of each HERE@Manchester researcher to contact the individual with an expertise that most closely matches your chosen topic. We have also designed a critical reading list and list of potential theoretical frameworks for developing your proposal ideas.

I currently supervise the following PhD colleagues:

  • Zhuo Sun: "Exploring the role of reputation management in HE"

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

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, An exploration of how Chinese postgraduate students reconcile their UKHE learning experiences through a cycle of action and self-reflection, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 4 May 2020

Areas of expertise

  • L Education (General)
  • Higher Education
  • International education
  • International pedagogies
  • Transnational Education
  • Technology supported learning


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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