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Professor Kalwant Bhopal BA (Hons), MSc (Econ), PGCE (FE), PhD

Professor of Education and Social Justice , Director of Postgraduate Research Degrees, Editor-in-Chief, Women's Studies International Forum

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Kalwant Bhopal is Professor of Education and Social Justice and Director of Postgraduate Research Degrees. Her academic qualifications include BA (Hons) Sociology, MSc (Econ) Sociology, PGCE (FE) and PhD (University of Bristol). Her areas of interest and expertise are centred around the achievements and experiences of minority ethnic groups in education. She has a great deal of research experience in examining the lives of Black minority ethnic groups as well as Gypsies and Travellers. Her research specifically explores how processes of racism, exclusion and marginalisation operate in predominantly White spaces with a focus on social justice and inclusion. She is Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has recently been appointed Visiting Professor at Kings College London (Department of Education and Professional Studies). She has been Visiting Professor at Queens University, Belfast and Visiting Scholar at the UCL Institute of Education, London.






Research interests

Core research interests: race, racism, gender, class, inequalities, social justice and inclusion, experiences of BME and White marginalised groups.

Research methods: innovative qualitative methods, mixed methods research, case study, ethnographic research.

Professor Bhopal has been involved in various funded research projects specifically focussing on inequalities in education. Her most recent projects include:

Understanding academic flight from UK higher education
This project is funded by the Equality Challenge Unit. The aims of the research are to:
• Understand to what extent UK academics consider moving to work in higher education overseas and to determine if there is a difference by ethnicity
• Understand the reasons (both push and pull factors) which contribute to potential migration to overseas higher education institutions(HEIs)and whether these factors vary by ethnicity
• Establish what UK HEIs can do to retain minority ethnic academics, and attract back those who have left.

BME Leaders: support networks and strategies for success in higher education

This project is funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and explores the sources of support and success strategies BME leaders use to achieve their academic success; it examines participants leadership roles and achievements in the White space of the academy and explores how higher education institutions can provide better support for the career progression of BME academics to senior leadership roles.

Research group(s)

School Improvement and Effectiveness

Research project(s)

BME leaders: support networks and strategies for success in higher education

Integrating diversity in leadership in the learning and skills sector - Dormant

'Race', diversity and educational inclusion (Bhopal) - Dormant

Investigating reasons for elective home education for gypsy and traveller parents in Hampshire (Bhopal) - Dormant

Investigating barriers to educational inclusion for gypsy and traveller children in West Sussex (Bhopal) - Dormant

Gypsy traveller pupils in schools in the London Borough of Greenwich: a report on good practice (Bhopal) - Dormant

Working towards inclusive education: aspects of good practice for gypsy traveller pupils (Bhopal) - Dormant

Understanding academic flight from UK higher education

External Activities

Visiting Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Kings College, London. Previously Visiting Professor Queens University (Belfast) and Visiting Scholar, Institute of Education (University of London).

Editor-in-Chief Women’s Studies International Forum (peer reviewed journal)

Editorial Board member of Sociology, British Educational Research Journal, International Studies in Sociology of Education, International Journal of Inclusive Education, Gender and Education, British Journal of Sociology of Education, Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studies, Race, Ethnicity and Education

External Examiner: University of Birmingham (BA Childhood, Culture and Education); Goldsmiths College (University of London) (MA Education, Language and Identity) and Keele University (BA Education Studies).

Member of ESRC Peer Review College

Elected member of the British Educational Research Association Executive Council (2009-pressent)

Convenor for BERA Race, Ethnicity and Education Special Interest Group, convenor for British Sociological Association, Social Divisions/Social Relationships

Chair and Convenor - Curriculum from an International Perspective Committee American Educational Research Association (AERA Division B Curriculum Studies).

Chair of Conference Committee (International Chapter) – National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME)

Equality Challenge Unit, panellist for Gender Equality Charter Mark Trial, May 2014.

Equality Challenge Unit, Invited panel chair for Race Equality Charter Mark Trial, June 2015.


2006 – West Sussex County Council, Ethnic Minority Achievement Service and Traveller Education Support Service (‘Race’ awareness and Gypsy and Traveller groups)

2003 – London Borough of Greenwich, Ethnic Minority Achievement and Traveller Education Service (social exclusion of Gypsy and Traveller groups in schools)

2000 – Surrey County Council (Raising literacy standards for minority ethnic groups)

1999- Cambridgeshire Traveller Education Service (Gypsy Travellers and attendance in schools)

1996 - Tower Hamlets Education Authority (‘Race’ and social inclusion)


Associations British Educational Research Association (BERA), American Educational Research Association (AERA) Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE), British Sociological Association (BSA), Women’s Studies Network, Women in Higher Education Network, Social Research Association, CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) Education Network, Gypsy Lore Society, the Romani Studies Group and Trav-ed (Traveller Education Forum).



Book Section(s)



PhD Students

Doreen Challen: A pedagogical exploration of guided reading in three classrooms

Rosa Drown: Improving access to education for Roma children in Romania

Michelle Harricharan: Ashes col’ darg lay dong: Trinidadian students’ response to the UK

Livinus Ikewuke: How can exam malpractice be prevented in Nigeria?

Matthew Sambrook: Is it possible to define inclusion and can we use it to implement change?

Professor Kalwant Bhopal
Southampton Education School University of Southampton Building 32 Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 32/2045

Telephone: (023) 8059 3474

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