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Professor Jaswinder K Dhillon

Professor of Education

Institute of Education

Contact Details



Jaswinder joined the University as Professor of Education in January 2015, having previously worked in adult, further and higher education as a lecturer, teacher educator and researcher.  Jas is passionate about research-informed teaching and has extensive experience of teaching and supervising undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students both in the UK and in other countries, including China, India, Mauritius and the Solomon Islands.  She is currently supervising 5 research students (EdD) in the UK and 2 (PhD) students in India in collaboration with Panjabi University.  Jas is an experienced external examiner for MA and PhD students and has undertaken examining at the universities of Glamorgan, Cumbria, Huddersfield, Manchester Metropolitan, Stirling and Birmingham. 

Her research has focussed on investigating the perspectives of students, teachers and managers in educational organisations, particularly in relation to policies and initiatives that aim to improve existing practice.  For her PhD, she researched partnership working amongst education and training providers and uncovered the role of social capital in the form of social networks, trust and shared norms and values in sustaining inter-organisational partnerships. Since completing her PhD in 2006 Jas has developed and researched partnerships in other settings, including international partnerships with China and India.  Her other areas of interest include qualitative research methodologies, teacher education, teaching, learning and assessment, higher education and TESOL.  Jas is a bilingual speaker of English and Panjabi and has a professional and research interest in socio-cultural aspects of language use.

In the wider research community, Jas is actively engaged in national and international research associations and in editorial work for leading education journals.  She is associate editor for the journal Educational Management Administration & Leadership (EMAL), and a long standing member of the editorial board and editorial management committee of the Journal of Vocational Education and Training (JVET), and served as editor for four years. She maintains her practical knowledge of school and college leadership and governance through her voluntary work as a governor of three types of educational organisations; a well-established secondary school, a new secondary school and an outstanding (Ofsted judgment) further education college. 

Jas is currently working on three research projects; transnational education partnerships, leadership and governance of ‘outstanding’ (Ofsted) schools and colleges; and examining the connections between education, entrepreneurship and social mobility in Sikh families in Britain.

Academic qualifications

PhD, (University of Warwick, 2006) ‘Joining-up’: a study of partnership in post-16 learning
MSc Teaching English for Specific Purposes (University of Aston, 1986)
BA (Joint Hons) History and Philosophy, (University College Cardiff, 1976)

Professional qualifications

Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA), 2000
Dip RSA Training and Development, 1992
PGCE (Secondary) University College Cardiff, 1977

Teaching & Research

Teaching & Research

Teaching Interests

  • Qualitative research methodologies
  • Mixed methods research
  • Pedagogic research
  • Enquiry design
  • Teaching, learning and assessment
  • Second and foreign language teaching and learning

Research Interests

  • Partnerships and partnership working
  • Leadership and governance
  • Social capital
  • Transnational education
  • Patterns of achievement in education and social mobility, particularly of Sikh migrant families
  • Learning, teaching and assessment
  • Teaching in higher education
  • Qualitative and mixed methods research

Professional Bodies

Professional Bodies

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Member of the British Educational Research Association (BERA)

Member of the British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS)

Member of Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA)



Journal articles 
Dhillon, J.K. (2013) Senior managers’ perspectives of leading and managing effective, sustainable and successful partnerships, Educational Management, Leadership and Administration Vol 41(6)pp. 736-750.(Nominated for best paper prize 2013).
Dhillon, J.K. and Wanjiru, J. (2013) Challenges and strategies for teachers and learners of English as a second language: the case of an urban primary school in Kenya, International Journal of English Linguistics, Vol 3, No. 2, pp.14-24. 
Chen, L and Dhillon, J.K. (2012) Deep approaches to learning in improving reading skills: a case study from Yunnan Agricultural University. Theory and Practice in Language Studies Vol 2 (8).
Dhillon, J.K. (2009) The role of social capital in sustaining partnership, British Educational Research Journal, Vol 35, no.5, pp. 687-704.
Dhillon, J.K. McGowan, M. and Wong, H. (2008) How effective are institutional and departmental systems of student support? Insights from an investigation into the support available to students at one English university, Research in Post-compulsory Education 13, no. 3, pp.281–293.
Dhillon, J.K. (2007) Trust, shared goals and participation in partnerships: reflections of post-16 education and training providers in England, Journal of Vocational Education and Training, Vol 53, no. 4, pp. 503–515.
Dhillon, J. K. (2005) The rhetoric and reality of partnership working, Journal of Further and Higher Education, Vol. 29, No.3, pp.211-219.
Dhillon, J. K. (2004) An exploration of adult learners’ perspectives of using Learndirect centres as sites for learning, Research in Post-Compulsory Education, Vol. 9, No.1, pp.147-158.
Dhillon, J. K. (2001) Challenges and strategies for improving the quality of information in a university setting: a case study Total Quality Management Vol.12, No.2, pp.167-177.  
Dhillon, J. (2000) Improving Information and its communication in Higher Education, Research in Post Compulsory Education, Vol. 5, No.1, pp.77-89.
Moreland, N. Mughal, A. J and Dhillon, J. (2000) Quality improvement in the TESOL curriculum: a generic benchmarking approach, Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 8, No.2, pp57-62.
Dhillon, J. and Moreland, N. (1996) Participants’ experience of a competence based professional development programme: a case study, Journal of Vocational Education and Training, Vol. 48, No. 4, pp 367-384

Project reports 
Hadfield M, Dhillon J, Jopling M and Goffe R (2012) Teaching That Matters. Project commissioned by Million+ University thinktank.
Oldham, S. and Dhillon, J. (2012) Student voices: perceptions of learning, assignments and achievement, DISA Briefing Paper 12, Disparities in Student Attainment project funded by HEA.
Dhillon, J.K. (2007) Evaluation of Aimhigher Summer Schools for Education Partnerships Wolverhampton.
Dhillon, J.K. (2005) Evaluation of the provision of student support systems for Centre for Learning and Teaching.

Book chapters

Dhillon, J.K. (2015) Applying social capital as a theoretical construct to research inter-organisational partnerships to be published in Handbook of Research Methods and Applications on Social Capital edited by Yaojun Li , Edward Elgar.
Dhillon, J.K. (2012) Widening access to higher education through partnership working, in: Basit, T.N and Tomlinson, S. (Eds) Social Inclusion and Higher Education, Policy Press. ISBN: 9781847427977, pp.273-294.
Dhillon, J.K. McGowan, M. and Wong, H. (2006) What do we mean by student support? Staff and students’ perspectives of the provision and effectiveness of support for students, University of Wolverhampton.
Dhillon, J.K. (2006) Trust and shared values: the basis of a sustained educational partnership? , in: Giannakaki, M.S, Papanikos, G.T. Pozios, Y. & Richards, J.K. (Eds) Research on Education, Athens: AITNER, ISBN: 960-6672-09-3, pp. 581-592.
Dhillon, J. K. (2001) Bottom up and top down: a partnership approach to planning for local needs in post 16 education and training in England, in: Bevan, F. Kanes, C. & Roebuck, D. (Eds) Knowledge Demands for the New Economy Vol 1, Brisbane: Australian Academic Press, ISBN 1-875378-41-3, pp.181-186.

Conference papers
J. Dhillon (2014) ‘Engagement’, ethics and insider/outsider perspectives: researching the success stories of Sikh families in Britain’. Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA) Conference 22-25 Nov 2014, Hamilton, New Zealand.
Dhillon, J. (2014) ‘Education, entrepreneurship and social mobility in the narratives of migrant Sikh families’. Migrant Cross-Cultural Encounters Conference 26th Nov 2014, Dunedin ,New Zealand.
Dhillon, J. (2013) ‘What's in it for us? Institutional expectations and university lecturers' personal investment in courses delivered through transnational education partnerships’. BERA conference 3-5 Sept 2013, University of Sussex.
Dhillon, J. (2013 ) ‘Policy, professionalism and pedagogy in vocationally focused UK universities’.  JVET conference 5-7 July 2013, University of Oxford.
Dhillon, J. (2012) ‘Working with international partners in teacher education: people, structures and cultures’.  ICERI 2012 (5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation), Madrid, Spain.
Dhillon J. (2011) 'Using learner diaries to research the learning of English by primary school pupils in Kenya'. School of Education research conference, University of Wolverhampton.
Dhillon, J. (2010) ‘Leading, managing and sustaining education partnerships: an analysis derived from the perspectives of senior managers of education and training organisations’ BERA conference, University of Warwick, 1-4 September 2010.
Dhillon, J. (2007) 'Using qualitative enquiry to improve professional practice in education: a case from researching partnership working in England' Association for Qualitative Research Biennial Conference, 13-14 November 2007, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
Dhillon, J. (2007) ‘e-learning: innovative teaching and learning or strategic compliance?’ AISHE conference, Maynooth, Ireland 29-31 August 2007.
Dhillon, J. (2007) ‘Getting to the heart of partnership: the research journey’, JVET conference, Oxford 6-8 July 2007.

Dhillon, J. (2007) ‘Blended learning: a more flexible and enhanced learning experience?’ Escalate conference, Nottingham, 24-25 May 2007.
Dhillon, J. (2006) ‘The role of social capital in sustaining partnership’, BERA conference, University of Warwick, 6-9 September 2006.
Dhillon, J. (2006) ‘Trust and shared values: the basis of a sustained educational partnership?’ 8th International Conference on Education, Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER) Athens, Greece, 25-28 May, 2006.
Dhillon, J. (2005) ‘Ethical and methodological issues in HE practitioner research’, Symposium with Lesley Cartwright, Neil Duncan, Brendan Bartram, School of Education Research conference, University of Wolverhampton, Telford, April 2005.
Dhillon, J. (2003) ‘The Rhetoric and Reality of Partnership Working’, School of Education Research conference, University of Wolverhampton, April 2003.
Dhillon, J. (2002) 'An exploration of learners' experiences and perceptions of learning using Learndirect centres',  SCUTREA 2002 conference, University of Stirling, July 2002.
Dhillon, J. (2002) 'Partnerships for post 16 education: learning how they work in England', INCED Day Conference, University of Warwick, May 2002.
Dhillon, J. (2001) 'Bottom up and Top Down': a partnership approach to planning for local needs in post 16 education and training in England', 9th Annual International Conference on Post-compulsory Education and Training, Queensland, Australia, 3-5 December 2001.
Dhillon, J. (2001) 'Joined up thinking: People and Partnerships for Learning' BERA Conference, Leeds, 13-15 September 2001.
Dhillon, J. (1999) ‘Improving the quality of student information in a modular university: voices from the Student Information Project’. 14-16 July 1999, 3rd International Conference: Researching Vocational Education and Training GMB National College, Manchester.
Dhillon, J. (1996) ‘An International Perspective on TESOL' 20th September 1996 Hogeschool, Holland, English in International Education Conference
Dhillon, J. (1995) ‘Students’ Experience of a Competence Based Professional Development Programme'.  19th-21st July 1995, University of Greenwich at Conference: Research and Change in Further and Vocational Education

External Responsibilities

External Responsibilities

Associate editor, Journal of Educational Management Administration & Leadership (EMAL)

Member of International Editorial Board Committee of Journal of Vocational Education and training (JVET)

Member of the Editorial Management Committee of Journal of Vocational Education and training (JVET)

Reviewer for JVET and EMAL

Peer reviewer for HEA research and development projects

Reviewer for HEA national teaching awards (NTFS)

Reviewer for British Educational Research Journal (BERJ)

Governor of Queen Mary’s Grammar School, Walsall

Governor of Walsall College

Governor of The British Sikh School (opening in Wolverhampton in Sept 2015)

Visiting Professor at Panjabi University Patiala (PUP), India