Anne Desiderio

Anne is a doctoral student whose research focuses on comparative and international education and exchange programs, as well as the effects of globalisation and convergent organisations on tertiary education in the Middle East.

Her previous research has used video technology to teach ESL pragmatics to L1 Arabic speakers in the United Arab Emirates.  She has also worked with non-profit educational organisations to improve access to higher and post-secondary education for rural, low-SES students in the United States.

Prior to arriving to the University of Oxford, Anne earned M.A. degrees in the fields of Modern Middle Eastern and North African Studies (University of Michigan), Higher Education (University of Michigan), and TESOL (Michigan State University). She earned her B.A. degrees in Anthropology and Spanish (Michigan State University), graduating both times with honours.

Anne is a Rotary Global Grant Scholar conducting service work on improving access to quality higher and post-secondary education for low-SES students in the UK. Anne was a Boren Fellow to Qatar and a recipient of a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) for study in Morocco.

Anne has recently worked with educational exchange programs in the country of Georgia. For several years she also worked in international programs for engineers at the University of Michigan. Prior to this, she was an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at Michigan State University.


Thesis title
Building a knowledge-based economy: the effects of globalization on postsecondary education in Qatar

Dr. Maia Chankseliani and Dr. Hubert Ertl

Research interests

  • Comparative and international education (Regional interests: the Arabian Peninsula and the Caucasus)
  • International Branch Campuses (IBCs) and the growth of Knowledge-Based Economies (KBEs)
  • Access to quality higher and postsecondary education for rural and low Socio-Economic Status (SES) students
  • Second Language Acquisition (SLA): pedagogy and pragmatics


(Selected) Conference presentations:

  • Desiderio, A. (2016). The effects of globalization on higher education in Qatar. Paper presentation for the 2016 International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement Conference, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.
  • Desiderio, A. (2015). Globalization and the effects of convergent organizations on Saudi and Emirati tertiary education. Paper presentation for the annual Graduate Student Research Conference, University of Michigan, United States.
  • Desiderio, A. (2015). Saudi and Chilean modern massification processes: A comparative analysis. Paper presentation for the MENA Development Conference, American University of Cairo, Egypt.
  • Desiderio, A. (2011). The implications of pragmatic video clips and pragmatic related episodes in second language pedagogy for L1 Arabic speakers. Paper presentation for the annual American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference, Chicago (Illinois), United States.


  • Research student

College affiliation

  • St Antony's College

Research groups

  • Comparative and International Education
  • Higher Education