Who I am
My work focuses on education, skills, job quality, and the graduate labour market.
I work in the Department for Education, Practice and Society. I am a member of the LLAKES Research Centre, and am associated with the Centre for Global Higher Education. I also collaborate regularly with colleagues in the IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, and in other universities.
I am a co-founder of the think-tank Private Education Policy Forum.
My Own Education
I was educated from age 12 to 17 at a private boarding school on the south coast of England. As an undergraduate I studied Physics at Balliol College, Oxford University. I then took a Masters degree in Economics with Distinction at the London School of Economics. After I began lecturing, I wrote my PhD at Birkbeck College.
My Previous Jobs
When I left the LSE I was faced one day with a choice. Lucky me, I was offered two interviews at the same day and time: one to be a social worker, the other a lecturer. Neither prospective employer would allow me to change the interview time. I think that teaching must have been my vocation, because I chose lecturing. I have always found it deeply satisfying to find something out and try to explain it for others. At the age of twenty two, the world of social work was maybe not for me, nor I for it.
Before joining the Institute of Education in 2011 I worked throughout my career in Economics departments: first at Kingston Polytechnic (now Kingston University), then for a year at the University of Massachusetts in the United States. After that I joined the University of Leicester, and then after seven great years there took up my first professorial appointment at the University of Leeds. More recently I worked happily for twelve years at the University of Kent.
My previous editorial work includes: Editor, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 2002-6 incl.; Editor, Special Issues of the British Journal of Industrial Relations, 2008 and 2009; Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Training and Development, 1996-2017; Editor, Review of Radical Political Economics; 1985-1988.
I have also undertaken, from time to time, additional work for UK government departments, the OECD and the European Union. I was elected as a member of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2007.
I am married to Alison Culverwell, a retired NHS clinical psychologist. We have three adult sons and three grand-daughters.