Dr Dawn England PhD, MBA, SFHEA

Dr Dawn England

Dubai Campus
Associate Professor
Programme Director for MA Educational Leadership and Dubai Subject Head for the Education Department

Contact details

University of Birmingham Dubai
Dubai International Academic City
PO Box 341799
Dubai, UAE

Dawn England is the Head of the Dubai Education Department at Birmingham University Dubai and serves as Dubai programme director on the MA Education (Leadership) programme and as Senior Lecturer for Educational Leadership.  

Dawn’s scholarship has been guided by the notion that where a child is born should not dictate their educational opportunities afforded to them, and her work has pursued how to understand barriers to education globally with a key focus on gender, parental beliefs, and peer experiences. She has been involved in research projects in 17 countries across 4 continents and was awarded the US National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for her international work studying the influences of gender development on education internationally.


  • SFHEA, Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy 2020

  • MBA, Hult International Business School, 2016

  • PhD in Family and Human Development, specialization in Measurement and Statistical Analysis, Arizona State University, 2016MSc in Family and Human Development, Arizona State University, 2012PhD in Special Education, University of Virginia, 2020

  • MSc in Family and Human Development, Arizona State University, 2012


Dawn graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut, USA, publishing her undergraduate thesis on “Gender Role Portrayals and the Disney Princesses” which remains her most cited work to date. She went on to study an MSc and PhD in the same field at Arizona State University, USA, under the supervision of Dr. Carol Martin, studying the influence of gender development on the lives of children in school. Her PhD thesis examined the effects of gender on the primary school graduation rates in a rural community in Guatemala that received significant educational intervention support, aiming to understand the efficacy of such interventions. This led her to pursue an MBA at Hult International Business School in London to further understand how to manage and evaluate large scale international interventions, with a focus on those involving sustainability and corporate social responsibility. From there, she served as the Academic Lead on the Student Attainment Project at the University of West London, an OfS funded intervention to improve BAME attainment across UK higher education. She then moved to Dubai to study the influence of gender on education and to establish high quality educational leadership training programmes in the region.

 Dawn maintains professional memberships with local organizations including the Gulf Comparative Education Society as well as international bodies including the Comparative and International Education Society, the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development, and the Society for Research in Child Development.


  • Leadership for School Improvement
  • Understanding School Improvement
  • Education Policy and Improving Schools

 Previous courses taught include: Educational Leadership and Management, Teaching and Learning Pedagogy and Practice, Comparative Education, Research Methods, Reflective Professional Practice in Education, Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility


Current research initiatives are guided by evaluating educational intervention efficacy internationally and understanding the impacts of the school system on children, teachers, and school leaders from a comparative education lens.

Three articles currently under review include:

  • The Educational Impact of the UAE's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Student Approaches to Studying and Perceptions of the Distance Learning Environment
  • Evaluating a culturally sensitive mentor training programme for mentors of Emirati female Newly Qualified Teachers
  • Developmental insights on intersecting gender and ethnic-racial identities.

Other activities

Dawn maintains an active international education outreach and service profile, with a few examples including serving as:  

  •  Co-chair of the Communications Committee for the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development, 2021 ongoing
  • Advisory committee for the UAE Ministry of Education and the National Qualification Association to review the new National Professional Standards for Early Childhood Educators, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, 2020
Seminar Chair for the Symposium on Equity and Justice and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at the Society for Research in Child Development conference in 2017.