WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THE CENTRE FOR RESEARCH IN DIGITAL EDUCATION?
I am a lecturer in Data and Education. I am a Sociologist with a broad interest in social stratification and its relationship with education. Specifically, I use large datasets to examine the effect of higher education policies in South America and the United Kingdom on education and social inequalities.
I have previously investigated the impact of affirmative action policies in Brazilian higher education on the field of study choice using large secondary data from the Brazilian government. I found that, despite the increase in the number of students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, they tended to pursue undergraduate courses with lower labour market outcomes. During my PhD in Education, I examined the impact of international mobility programmes in higher education on educational inequalities in Brazil. Recently, I have been looking at inequalities in access to postgraduate degrees and doctoral graduate outcomes in the United Kingdom and the effect of international student mobility on labour market outcomes.
Because of my research interest, I specialised in quantitative methods and have been deeply motivated to show Education students the role of data in evaluating educational policies and how useful and advantageous knowing statistical methods can be.
HOW DO YOU SEE DIGITAL EDUCATION AND WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT?
Because of my experience in teaching quantitative methods, I see digital education and digital technologies as important tools to teach statistics to social science students. With the increasing availability of data and the shift to data-driven policies, digital data literacy is fundamental for educational researchers. I have been teaching students how to search, manage, process and analyse digital education data. I also believe that digital educational technologies can be an important tool for promoting open science. Therefore, we should be making more use of freely available online tools, such as Jupyter Notebooks and Github, to be more transparent about the scientific research process and to help increase reproducibility.
WHAT PIECE OF WORK ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF (TO DATE)?
I am proud of my paper "International mobility and education inequality among Brazilian undergraduate students" published in Higher Education in 2020. In this paper, I examined the impact of international mobility programmes in higher education on educational inequalities in Brazil. Constructing the datasets for the research required negotiating and merging administrative data from three different Brazilian institutions. This was the first time that a researcher has acquired these datasets, representing a unique opportunity to investigate the relationship between organized international student mobility programmes and educational inequality. I found that there were inequalities in access, and within the international mobility programmes for undergraduate students. However, I am equally proud of the report "Inequality in Early Career Research in the UK Life Sciences" commissioned by the UKRI-BBSRC that I wrote together with Prof. Paul Wakeling. Analysing HESA data, we have found race inequalities in access to doctoral funding and the persistence of institutional inequalities from the undergraduate to postgraduate level.
IF YOU HAD A TIME MACHINE FOR A DAY WHEN WOULD YOU VISIT AND WHY?
That is a hard question! Because it is only one day, I would probably have a peek at how we will be living 100 years from now.