Umit Yildiz

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile


I am an immigrant academic from a working class background. Before coming to England I studied Philosophy and trained as a teacher. Following my arrival in England, I worked as a cleaner, kitchen porter, youth worker and postal worker. While working I did a second degree in Modern European History and Politics at Bradford University then a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at the University of Leeds. My previous teaching experience includes prison education and the FE sector where I taught for fourteen years and specialised in Citizenship education and training educators in Active Citizenship teaching.  

My first day of teaching in England was on 11 September 2001, when the terror attack took place in the USA. I was delivering an AS Level Government and Politics class at a very large, multicultural Further Education college in West Yorkshire. The events which took place on that day and their impact on Muslim and other non-white communities in the following years have heavily influenced my research interests. My PhD focus was the meaning of Fundamental British Values and the rise of anti-Muslim racism.

I am a great believer of grassroots organising and activism against racism and all forms of oppression both within institutions and wider society. My research combines grassroots anti-racist activism with academic research. This is underpinned by the ethos of a transformative radical pedagogy and anti-racist teaching. 

Currently I lead the Race, Racism and Ethnicity in Education unit on the BSc Education degree and I contribute to units on the MA in International Education.


Areas of expertise

  • L Education (General)
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Fundamental British Values
  • Anti-racist Pedagogy


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