Dr Adam Matthews

Adam Matthews

School of Education
Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Adam is a Senior Research Fellow in education systems and policy. Adam’s work looks at universities as part of tertiary education systems and the role that they play as key sites of knowledge production and dissemination in wider society. This includes how technologies and media have and are shaping, knowledge production and access.


  • PhD, University of Birmingham
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, University of Birmingham
  • PGCert in Advanced Research Methods, University of Birmingham
  • BSc (Hons) Combined Social Sciences (Psychology), Open University
  • HNC Computing, Solihull College


Adam has progressed into an academic career following part-time and distance study with the Open University and the University of Birmingham.

Adam has worked in the field of education and media since 2006 as both a practitioner and academic. As a designer and writer in learning environments, he has worked in a diverse range of sectors including travel, retail, sports coaching, policing, media communications, banking and higher education. This included both design and leadership roles. His role now focuses predominantly on research but still has a keen interest in media for learning environments from both research and practice perspectives.

Adam’s academic research interests include the intersection of education, technology and society. His work has focused on higher education and the concept of the university in society across both time (historically) and space (across and between institutions, online and offline).

Adam’s research analyses discourses and policy objects surrounding the idea and purpose of universities and higher education in the past, present and future. This includes drawing upon policy studies, sociology and philosophies of education and technology as well as the broad and diverse field of New Materialism.

Adam is a social scientist by academic background and training and has an interest in interdisciplinary collaborations with other academic disciplines and industry as well as adopting creative research methods.


  • Programme Lead – Design for Learning Environments

Doctoral research


Recent publications


Matthews, A & Kotzee, B 2022, 'Bundled or unbundled? A multi‐text corpus‐assisted discourse analysis of the relationship between teaching and research in UK universities', British Educational Research Journal, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 578-597. https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3783

Matthews, A 2022, 'Rummidge 2050 (And Beyond!)', Postdigital Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-022-00369-2

Matthews, A 2022, 'The Idea and Becoming of a University Across Time and Space: Ivory Tower, Factory and Network', Postdigital Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-022-00341-0

Matthews, A 2021, 'Death of the lecture(r): —rhetoric or the end?', Postdigital Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-021-00239-3

Networked Learning Editorial Collective (NLEC) & Matthews, A 2021, 'Networked learning in 2021: a community definition', Postdigital Science and Education, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 326–369. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-021-00222-y

Jandrić, P, Jaldemark, J, Hurley, Z, Bartram, B, Matthews, A, Jopling, M, Mañero, J, Mackenzie, A, Irwin, J, Rothmüller, N, Green, B, Ralston, SJ, Pyyhtinen, O, Hayes, S, Wright, J, Peters, MA & Tesar, M 2021, 'Philosophy of education in a new key: who remembers Greta Thunberg? Education and environment after the coronavirus', Educational Philosophy and Theory, vol. 53, no. 14, pp. 1421-1441. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131857.2020.1811678

McLinden, M, Greenway, C & Matthews, A 2021, 'Rising to the pedagogical challenges of the Fourth Industrial Age in the university of the future: an integrated model of scholarship', Higher Education Pedagogies, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/23752696.2020.1866440

Matthews, A 2021, 'Sociotechnical imaginaries in the present and future university: a corpus-assisted discourse analysis of UK higher education texts', Learning, Media and Technology, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 204-217. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2021.1864398

Matthews, A & Kotzee, B 2021, 'The rhetoric of the UK higher education Teaching Excellence Framework: a corpus-assisted discourse analysis of TEF2 provider statements', Educational Review, vol. 73, no. 5, pp. 523-543. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2019.1666796

Matthews, A 2020, 'Review of Andrew Feenberg (2017). Technosystem: The Social Life of Reason: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 235 pp. ISBN 9780674971783 (Hardcover)', Postdigital Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-020-00125-4

Book/Film/Article review

Matthews, A 2022, 'Review of Mark Andrejevic (2020). Automated Media: Abingdon and New York: Routledge. 180 pp. ISBN 9780367196592 (Hardcover)', Postdigital Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-022-00289-1

Conference contribution

Matthews, A 2022, The mode 3 networked university: a new materialist perspective. in Networked Learning Conference 2022., 17, Aalborg University. <https://www.networkedlearning.aau.dk/digitalAssets/1159/1159027_nlc2022_contribution_17.pdf>

Doctoral Thesis

Matthews, A 2021, 'Humans, higher education and technology – a corpus-assisted discourse and genealogical analysis of the idea of a university', ???thesis.qualification.phd???. <https://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/11764/>

Review article

Matthews, A 2021, 'Blurring boundaries between humans and technology: postdigital, postphenomenology and actor-network theory in qualitative research', Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 26-40. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2020.1836508

Matthews, A 2020, 'Review of Mark Honigsbaum (2020). The Pandemic Century—A History of Global Contagion from the Spanish Flu to Covid-19: Cambridge, MA: Penguin. 321 pp. ISBN 9780753558287', Postdigital Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-020-00170-z

View all publications in research portal