Who we are

Core Academic Staff   

Professor Kalwant Bhopal

Professor of Education and Social Justice, Director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education (CRRE) and BAME Academic Lead

Kalwant’s research focuses on the achievements and experiences of minority ethnic groups in education. She has conducted research on exploring discourses of identity and intersectionality examining the lives of Black minority ethnic groups as well as examining the marginal position of Gypsies and Travellers. Her research specifically explores how processes of racism, exclusion and marginalisation operate in predominantly White spaces with a focus on social justice and inclusion. 

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Email k.bhopal@bham.ac.uk


Professor David Gillborn

Emeritus Professor of Critical Race Studies, editor-in-chief of the journal Race Ethnicity and Education

David is Professor of Critical Race Studies, editor-in-chief of the journal Race Ethnicity and Education

David’s research focuses on race inequalities in education, especially the role of racism as a changing and complex characteristic of the system. 

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Email d.gillborn@bham.ac.uk

Dr Sarah Gillborn

Lecturer in Psychology

As a critical psychologist, Sarah Gillborn uses predominantly qualitative methodologies to research racism and marginalisation. Drawing on feminist and anti-racist theory, Sarah’s research focuses on analyses of discourse and voice, particularly in relation to public policy, in order to understand how social issues are officially constructed and re/negotiated by those implicated by them. In addition, Sarah’s work takes a critical look at the role of psychology as a discipline in reproducing and challenging racism through research, knowledge, and practice.

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Email s.gillborn@bham.ac.uk

Dr Saba Hussain

Assistant Professor in Education Studies

Saba is a feminist Sociologist of Education with a particular interest in theorizations of social justice, citizenship, power and resistance in postcolonial contexts. Shaped by her own location as a transnational scholar, she has an inter-disciplinary research portfolio working across the global North and South.


Dr Asli Kandemir

Research Fellow

Asli is a Research Fellow at the Leverhulme Trust-funded project, “‘Free’ expression at School? The Making of Youth Engagements with Race and Faith” (2022-25). 

Asli’s research focuses on challenging multiple inequalities in communities, education, and young people’s lives. She has a number of internationally peer-reviewed publications and opinion pieces on symbolic border(-making), ‘race’ and racism in (education) policy-making, and qualitative research methods as well as mentoring.

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Email a.kandemir@bham.ac.uk

Professor Karl Kitching

Professor of Public Education

Karl Kitching's research focuses on children's and young people's experiences of racism and religious exclusion, and how these interplay with issues of gender, sexuality and class inequality. He examines how these issues are linked to policy and historical processes, through the use of post-structural, new materialist, critical race and postcolonial frameworks. His book Childhood, Religion and School Injustice (2020) introduces a critical postsecular lens to explain how secular-religious discourses in schools and in education policy can reproduce or counter multiple inequalities.

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Email k.kitching@bham.ac.uk

Professor Dina Kiwan

Professor in Comparative Education

Her research programme focuses on citizenship and inclusion, and is interdisciplinary and comparative in scope. Her interests centre around sociological and politico-philosophical examinations of inclusive citizenship through the lens of education policy, naturalization policy and migration policy, in particular in the context of pluralist / multicultural societies, and also societies in conflict. She is currently PI for a GCRF Global Challenges Network Plus Programme Disability Under Siege with partners in Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. She is also a member of the government's Migration Advisory Committee 

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Email d.j.kiwan@bham.ac.uk

Dr Valentina Migliarini

Assistant Professor in Education Studies 

Valentina Migliarini’s research focuses on increasing access to equitable education for students from multiply-marginalised communities, specifically disabled students from migrant and forced migrant backgrounds, in secondary education.

Valentina is at the forefront of researchers using the Disability Critical Race Theory in Education (DisCrit) framework as an intersectional lens to examine inclusive policies and practices in education systems in Europe and in the United States. Through her research agenda, she troubles mainstream conceptualisations of inclusion, highlighting how these reproduce micro-exclusions for students living at the intersections of multiple forms of oppression.

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Email v.migliarini@bham.ac.uk

Dr Md Shajedur Rahman

Research Fellow

Dr Rahman is studying how race and faith-based expression is ‘made’, enabled and limited through a multiplicity of factors and conditions across the secondary school and public contexts in England. His research interests include, but not limited to, sociology of education, Teachers Professional Development (TPD) in the Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and other resource-restricted contexts, International and Comparative Education, Ethnography (especially researchers’ positionality during ethnographic fieldwork), Critical Realism, and decolonising educational research.

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Email m.s.rahman.2@bham.ac.uk