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


Davis, C, Matthews, A, Mihut, G, Mottershaw, S, Hawkins, J, Rivlin, P & Matthews, B 2024, 'Co-producing composite storytelling comics: (counter) narratives by academics of working-class heritage', Qualitative Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/14687941241245954

Jopling, M, Stewart, GT, Orchard, S, Suoranta, J, Tolbert, S, Cheilan, L, Yan, F, Price, C, Hayes, S, Scott, H, Latham, A, Bhatt, I, Dodonov, V, Matthews, A, Muhtaseb, R, Mackenzie, A, Owaineh, M, Earle, S, Simmons, B, Clarke, Z, La velle, L, Green, BJ, Brown, C, Watermeyer, R & Jandrić, P 2024, 'Postdigital Citizen Science and Humanities: A Theoretical Kaleidoscope', Postdigital Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-024-00481-5

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


Matthews, A 2023, The Mode 3 Network University and Design: A New Materialist Perspective. in NB Dohn, J Jaldemark, L-M Öberg, MH Lindqvist, T Ryberg & M de Laat (eds), Sustainable Networked Learning: Individual, Sociological and Design Perspectives. 1 edn, Research in Networked Learning, Springer, pp. 189–209. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-42718-3_11


Matthews, A & Jackson, T 2024, 'Tuning Tensions: Interdisciplinary Learning in an Asynchronous Distance Learning Environment', Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching Conference, Manchester, United Kingdom, 21/03/24.

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 & McVitty, D 2023, Narratives of higher education and the university in UK general election manifestos: 1945 to 2019. in SRHE Annual Research Conference Paper Archive. Society for Research into Higher Education, 2023 SRHE International Research Conference, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 6/12/23. <https://srhe.ac.uk/arc/23/0171.pdf>

Matthews, A & Cui, V 2023, Narratives of research impact and knowledge exchange: a regional perspective. in SRHE Annual Research Conference Paper Archive. Society for Research into Higher Education, 2023 SRHE International Research Conference, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 6/12/23. <https://srhe.ac.uk/arc/23/0184.pdf>

Davis, C, Rivlin, P, Mottershaw, S, Mihut, G, Matthews, A & Matthews, B 2022, Creating SoTL communities through critical storytelling: reflections on a participatory study with Russell Group academics of working-class heritage. in EuroSoTL 2022 Proceedings. Manchester Metropolitan University, pp. 37-41, EuroSoTL 2022, Manchester, United Kingdom, 16/06/22.

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>


Matthews, A 2022, 'Living through liminal spaces: Composite stories with and by Russell Group academics of working-class heritage', 2022 SRHE International Research Conference, 5/12/22 - 9/12/22.

View all publications in research portal


Higher education; technology; media; democracy; equity; AI