Professor Chris Atkin
Professor of Higher Education
School of Teacher Development

Professor of Higher Education

Professor Chris Atkin’s education qualifications include Certificate in Education (Further Education), Bachelor of Education (Hons.), Master of Arts in Learning and Teaching, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Chris’ main research expertise lies in the policy and practice of post-school education and training; with a particular focus on rural communities. He has completed a range of research projects funded by the UK funding councils (ESRC, EPSRC, NERC), the Higher Education Academy (HEA), the British Academy, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the National Research and Development Centre for adult literacy and numeracy (NRDC), Local Authorities and the Learning and Skills Council. His research has included both national and international comparative studies including ‘practitioner based’ enquiry with a range of educational stakeholders. He currently teaches on masters and doctoral programmes. Chris has held academic posts at De Montfort University (1994-99), the University of Nottingham (1999-2010) and Liverpool Hope University (2010-12). Chris joined Bishop Grosseteste University in September 2012.

Professional Memberships

Fellow of The Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce (FRSA)
Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute (FRAI)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Research interests

His recent research has concentrated on the role of education in supporting the development of civil society (India and England) and rural communities (China and England). In parallel with these international comparative studies he has been working with a range of practitioners to support a series of first time researchers as part of a community engagement strategy.

Areas of supervision expertise

Professor Atkin has supervised to successful completion a number of doctoral students (PhD and EdD).

Areas of supervision expertise include:

  • Policy and practice in post-school education and training
  • Rural education systems and structures
  • Adult literacy and numeracy
  • Comparative education
  • Sociology and education
  • Community Engagement

Recent successful Doctoral students include:

Year 2013

  • (PhD) John Patterson: Service learning and values-based curricula: a qualitative voice-led inquiry
  • (PhD) Joe Gazdula: Volunteering, citizenship and enterprise education

Year 2011

  • (EdD) Sally Melling: Transition: an exploration of student nurse experience in their first practice placement

Year 2010

  • (EdD) Yau Tai Tung: Harnessing cognitive ability of children through the cultural meaning of architectural artefacts

Year 2009

  • (EdD) Beverly Morris: Mentor training in the Voluntary and Community Sector
  • (PhD) Chau Diem Lam: Academic staff development in private higher education institutions in Vietnam
  • (EdD) Kwok Ka Yin: Information and guidance for adults returning to higher education in Hong Kong: a case study
  • (PhD) Victoria Crane: The experiences of 14-16 year olds in England on the Increased Flexibility Programme: an ethnographic case study

Year 2008

  • (EdD) Joseph Ayodele: Exploring the theory-practice gap: how adequately does the current training received by learning disability nurses prepare them for their role in the community. A qualitative case study.
  • (PhD) Anne O’Grady: Choosing to Learn or Chosen to Learn: A qualitative case study of Skills for Life Learners
  • (EdD) Cherri Ho: Intergenerational Learning in Hong Kong: a narrative inquiry

Year 2007

  • (PhD) Anthea Rose: How can we characterise family literacy programmes in England, Ireland and Malta: a comparative case study
  • (PhD) Maureen Coady: Enabling volunteer capacity in community health planning: A rural Canadian case study
  • (PhD) Suaad Alshebou: A comparative study of University Continuing Education policy and practice. Case studies from Kuwait and England

If you are considering doctoral study at Bishop Grosseteste University please discuss your ideas with Professor Atkin before making your application.

Recent Publications:

Atkin, C., Rose, A., Sharp, J., Hill, Y., Adams, K. and Sayers, R. (2015) Internationalising the curriculum: a developmental resource for initiating transformational change. York: The Higher Education Academy (HEA). (Click here to view the article)

Atkin, C., Rose, A., Cheffins, N. and Clarke, M (2015) Public understanding of, and attitudes to, local hybrid energy systems. Lincoln: Bishop Grossesteste University, pp 89 ISBN 9, 781871, 346206

Thushari, W. and Atkin, C. (2014) Student co-inquirers: the challenges and benefits of inclusive research, International Journal of Research & Method in Education, Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 390-406, DOI: 10.1080/1743727X.2014.9094

Atkin, C. (2013) ‘Changes to the provision of adult literacy and numeracy courses in England: Functional Skills’, Weiterbildung 4/2013 pp. 14-17.

Sjögersten, S., Atkin, C., Clarke, M., Mooney, S., Wu, B. and West, H. (2013) ‘Responses to climate change and farming policies by rural communities in northern China: A report on field observation and farmers’ perception in dryland north Shaanxi and Ningzia’. Land Use Policy. Vol. 32, Pp. 125-133.

Atkin, C. (Editor) (2012) Education and Minorities. London: Continuum Press pp. 200

Chung, J., Atkin, C. and Moore, J. (2012) ‘The rise and fall of the MTL: an example of European policy borrowing’. European Journal of Teacher Education. Vol. 35 No. 3 pp.259-274

Rose, A. and Atkin, C. (2011) ‘Family literacy programmes: a comparative study of gender roles in England, Ireland and Malta’. Journal of Early Child Development and Care. Vol. 181 No. 6 pp. 775-790

Atkin, C. (2010) ‘A Decade of Rural Research: what have we learnt about adult language, literacy and numeracy?’ International Education Studies. Vol. 3 No. 4 pp. 2 – 14

Atkin, C. (2009) ‘Literacies of power: A renaissance for adult education in an evolving world’. Indian Journal of Adult Education. Vol. 70 No. 1, pp. 3 – 14.

Cooker, L., Pemberton, R. and Atkin, C. (2009) Engaging migrant communities through Museums: Development and evaluation of ESOL learning materials at The Collection, Lincoln

Atkin, C. and Morgan, J. (2009) Continuing Education in England: Policy, Provision and Trends. Weiterbildung: Zeitschrift fur Grundlagen, Praxis and Trends, 4, pp. 10-12.

O’Grady, A. and Atkin, C. (2009) ‘Skills for Life and Issues of Choice: A Study of Rural England’. RaPAL Journal: Research and Practice in Adult Literacy, 68-69 (Summer 2009), pp. 40-48

Morgan, W. J. and Atkin, C. (2008) ‘Overcoming Social Exclusion’. Modern University Education, 2, pp. 58-63.

Atkin, C. (2008) Directions from School: Trajectories from School in Rural Lincolnshire. Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag pp. 217

Atkin, C. and O’Grady, A. (2008) ‘Skills for Life: has the need to support social cohesion been displaced by the drive for economic success?’ In: SHAH, S. Y. (Ed) International Perspectives on Adult and Lifelong Education. New Delhi: International Institute of Adult and Lifelong Education, pp. 57-74

Atkin, C and Convery, A. (Eds) (2008) Adult learning in Lincolnshire and Rutland: voices from practice: Practitioner-led research projects. Vol. 2. Nottingham: UNESCO Centre for Comparative Education Research, University of Nottingham

Rose, A. and Atkin, C. (2007) ‘Strengthening home-school links through family literacy programmes: a comparative European case study’. International Journal about Parents in Education, 1, pp. 340 – 349

Atkin, C., Rose, A. and O’Grady, A. (2007) Evaluation of DfES materials for embedded learning. London: NRDC

Rose, A. and Atkin, C. (2007) ‘Family literacy in Europe: separate agendas?’ Compare: a journal of comparative education, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 601-615

Atkin, C., O’Grady, A. (Eds) (2007) Adult Learning in Lincolnshire and Rutland: voices from practice. UNESCO Centre for Comparative Education Research, School of Education, The University of Nottingham

Rose, A. and Atkin, C. (2007) ‘Strengthening home-school links through family literacy programmes: a European caste study’. In: Phtiaka, H. and Symeonidou, S. (Eds). Schools and families in partnership: looking into the future. Cyprus: University of Cyprus Press, pp. 340-350

Rose, A. and Atkin, C. (2007) ‘Family Literacy Programmes in Europe: Do the children need to be there?’ RaPAL Research and Practice in Adult Literacy, 63, pp. 28 – 34

Current Funded Research Projects

2014/17 – Atkin, C. (Co-investigator) Inspire R-4: Strategic Partnership Award Application International Strategic Partnerships in Research and Education [Dr Helen West, Principle Investigator, University of Nottingham] ‘Renewable energy from animal wastes: benefits for agriculture and society’ with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Bangladesh. Funded by the British Council (£40,000)

2011/16 – Professor C. Atkin, Principal Investigator, Work Package 2: Community Engagement (Professor Michele Clarke. Project Principal Investigator, The University of Nottingham) ‘Rural Hybrid Energy Enterprise Systems’ Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Funded under the Bridging Urban Rural Divide call with the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) (£3,217,331)

Recent Research Grant Income

2015 – Professor C. Atkin, Dr Antha Rose and Professor John Sharp. An internationalisation of the ciriculum assessment tool. Funded by the Higher Education Academy (£8, 400)

2011 – Professor C. Atkin, Dr N. Almond, Dr J. Moore, Dr C. Mazuro and Dr N. Rao. ‘The effect of small school closure in rural Wales.’ Funded by Hyrwyddo Ysgolion Bach (hyb) Promoting Small Schools (£3,000)

2010/11 – Professor C. Atkin, Co-researcher (Dr Brian Read, Principal Investigator) ‘Ecosystem services for poverty alleviation under multiple stresses in mountainous western China’ Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and, The Department for International Development (£50,000)

2009/10 – Professor W. J. Morgan and Dr C. Atkin: ‘How do Chinese civil society organizations contribute to community reconstruction and government innovation in disaster areas hit by the 12 May 2008 earthquake? A self-evaluation of Chinese CSO practitioners and Chinese and European Social scientists.’ British Academy (£60,260)

2008/09 – Dr C. Atkin, Co-researcher (Dr Bin Wu, Principal Investigator) ‘Farmer Innovation Systems (FIS) in the loess plateau of China: an international research and training network’ Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), The Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), and, The Department for International Development (DfID) under the Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme (£120,000)

2008/09 – Dr’s C. Atkin and R. Pemberton, Principal Investigators, ‘ESOL learners and cultural heritage: the role of museums in language pedagogy’ Lincolnshire County Council (£14,000)

2008/09 – Dr C. Atkin, Principal Investigator, ‘Adult education and the development of civil society in Britain and India’ British Academy/Association of Commonwealth Universities (£5,000) [In partnership with Prof Shah from the Department of Adult Education, Jawaharlal Nehru University.]

2007/08 – Dr C. Atkin, Principal Investigator, ‘The adult learning offer’ Practitioners research grant scheme.’ Lincolnshire and Rutland Learning and Skills Council (£10,000)

2006/07 – Dr C. Atkin, Principal Investigator, ‘The adult learning offer’ Practitioners research grant scheme.’ Lincolnshire and Rutland Learning and Skills Council (£14,000)

2006/07 – Dr C. Atkin, Principal Investigator, ‘Evaluation of the phase two materials for embedded learning’. National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (£32,000)

Recent Invitations to address International Conferences

2016 Atkin, C. and Thomson, C. ‘Internationalising Higher Education’. Higher Education Academy; 2014-15 cohort dissemination event

2015, Clarke, M., Atkin, C. and West H. Issues and prospects of nutrient recovery from bioenergy systems for rual community. UKIREI Workshop, Tezpur University

2012 Welikala, T. and Atkin, C. ‘Student experience across context:a post-culture condition’ Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference.

2012 Moore, J. and Atkin, C. ‘An application (app) for Learning – the Student Interface with Tablet Technology in Graduate Studies’ International Conference on e-Learning Chinese University of Hong Kong

2011 Atkin, C. and Moore, J. ‘Learning to live with each other: literacy and adult education’ International Cooperation and Networking in Literacy and Adult Education. Duisburg-Essen University

2009 Clarke, M., West, H., Atkin, C., Mooney, S. and Sjogersten, S. ‘Environmental policy and water resource sustainability in the dry lands of North China’ at the conference of the International Forum for Contemporary Chinese Studies

2009 Atkin, C. and Wheeldon, J. ‘Schooling alone: the role of school and community in primary education’ International Primary School Conference Institute of Education, Hong Kong

2009 Atkin, C. ‘Putting the micro back into the macro: the role of local in rural policy’ UNESCO Research Seminar (Paris) Education and Food Security

2008 Atkin, C. The Professor James Draper Memorial Lecture ‘Literacies of power: A renaissance for adult education in an evolving world’ International Institute of Adult and Lifelong Education, Indian International Centre, New Delhi

2008 Atkin, C. ‘Lifelong Education – Challenges and Opportunities: A renaissance for adult education’ Paper presented to an invited audience in Kerala, India

2008 Atkin, C and Convery, A. ‘Big problems, local solutions: the role of practitioner research’ The Social Capital Foundation, Annual Conference, Malta

2007 Atkin, C., O’Grady, A. and Rose, A. ‘Do you think they’ll notice? An evaluation of the materials for embedded learning’ PASCAL International Conference: Lifelong Learning in the City – Region, University of Pécs, Hungary.

2007 Rose, A and Atkin, C. ‘Strengthening home-school links through family literacy programmes: a European caste study. Schools and families in partnership: looking into the future. Nicosia, Cyprus: University of Cyprus/Cyprus Association of Inclusive Education.