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Staff Profile

  • Dr Emel Thomas is a Senior Lecturer in Education, Children and Young People at the University of Northampton. She obtained her Doctorate in Education at the University of Cambridge in 2013. She has written and presented papers for various international conferences on education and migration. Emel received her MSc in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford. Prior to this, she taught in a variety of schools in England and has also conducted research for charities that support disengaged young people. Her main teaching and research interests include migration, identity, race, families and communities, intercultural teaching and learning, and education in small states. Other interests include the marketisation of higher education in a global context. Her edited book Education in the Commonwealth Caribbean and Netherlands Antilles was published in 2014. Emel is passionate about research and practice within the discipline of comparative education.

  • Undergraduate

    • BA (Hons) Education Studies
    • BA (Hons) Learning and Teaching (BALT)
    • Foundation Degree in Learning and Teaching


    • MA Education

    PhD Supervision: 7 students

  • Dr Emel Thomas is a member of the Business and Enterprise Research Degree Board and an experienced PhD supervisor. She regularly reviews for organisations such as the Journal of International and Comparative Education, Gender and Education, and the University of the West Indies Press. Emel is often an internal examiner or viva Chair for PhD and DBA examinations.

    She currently supervises seven PhD candidates:

    • Chimeuma Darlington Beke –  Student mobility for higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa: The case of Nigeria.
    • Michelle Bye-Gannon – Exploring the role of gender and identity in the experiences of male secondary school students.
    • Qiuling Bi – Critical thinking instruction through project-based learning in Chinese EFL classes: A case study in higher education.
    • Hilary Gbedemah – Examining the application of international human rights’ standards in Ghana for girls in secondary education.
    • Bhuvana Ramakrishnan – An investigation into inclusive practices in Dubai special school settings.
    • Ranjani Padmanabhan – A case study investigation of a main stream school that supports inclusion in Bangalore, South India.
    • Xianrong Wang – Exploring the perceptions of teachers about the implementation of the SPELL framework for children with autism.

    Emel would be pleased to hear from potential students with interests in: migration, race, identity, gender, citizenship, comparative and international education, human rights and higher education policy and practice.

  • For publications, projects, datasets, research interests and activities, view Emel Thomas’s research profile on Pure, the University of Northampton’s Research Explorer.