Balwant Kaur

School of Education
Assistant Professor of Race, Social Justice and Education

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Balwant Kaur is Assistant Professor for Race, Social Justice and Education in the Department of Education and Social Justice.


PhD in Education, Birmingham City University 2021

MA Education, University of Huddersfield 2011

MA English: 20th Century Literature – Leeds Metropolitan University, 2001

PGCE (PCET), University of Huddersfield, 2001

BA (Hons) English, University of Central England, 1999


Initially, Balwant taught largely in the further education sector in the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester regions including sixth form and further education colleges before moving into initial teacher education. Her Birmingham based PhD research was titled ‘Educational encounters, hybrid identities and spectral traces: Contesting the myths of Aston through the accounts of South Asian Muslim women’ and won the BERA Doctoral Thesis Award in 2023. Since then, Balwant has continued to teach and research with a focus on the hauntological impact of migratory settlement and its relationship to education and identity.


  • MA Education
  • BA Education

Postgraduate supervision

  • Decolonial feminism
  • Intersectionality
  • Race, culture and migration
  • Diasporic communities
  • Creative research methodologies

Other activities

Conferences and seminars

Cultural Hauntology: The Gaps Between Hybrid Identities and Assimilation. Seminar at the Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality, Leeds Beckett University, February 2024 

The PhD and Beyond for the BERA Post Compulsory Education SIG Forum, June 2023 

Little acts of decolonisation: finding the cracks in the whiteness of academic writing. Symposium, online, June 2023 

Educated by the city. Knowledge Exchange Trip to the Freire Charter Schools in Philadelphia, US May 2023 

Educational encounters, hybrid identities and spectral traces: collisions, contradictions and cultural hauntology at the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, University of Liverpool, September 2022 

The Hauntings of Participation at the British Sociological Association’s ECR Forum for Creative and Participatory Approaches at the University of Lincoln, April 2022 

Panel discussant for Post Covid Educational Recovery at the Society for Education and Training Annual Conference, online, November 2021 

The Educational Imprint of Empire at the Global Research Challenges Conference at the University of Derby, May 2021  

Re-turning the narrative and shifting the ghosts: the haunted spatial. Presentation at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference at the University of Manchester, September 2019 

Returning to the neighbourhood and re-turning the narrative. The impact of geographical location and space on the educational trajectories of British Muslim women. Presentation at the Gender and Education Association International Annual Conference at the University of Portsmouth, May 2019 

Research Journeys that embrace creativity through dissemination – an installation. A joint keynote with colleagues at the IPDA International Conference, ‘Border Crossings: Professional Learning in the 21st Century’ at the University of Aston, Birmingham. November 2018  

Initial encounters of how education is framed in a Birmingham neighbourhood. Presentation at the Postgraduate Research in Education Conference at the University of Warwick, May 2017 


Kaur, B (2023) Rememory, resistance and the geographical: adult and community education as spaces of possibility, Studies in the Education of Adults, 55:2, 321-334 

Kaur, B (2022) Connecting the racial to the spatial; migration, identity and educational settings as a third space, Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 75:1, 6-23 

Kaur, B (2022), "Creating diversification through hybrid identities and educational encounters: the power of a third space", Qualitative Research Journal, 22:4 489-501