Department of Education

James Robson

Co-Director of the Centre for Skills, Knowledge, and Organisational Performance (SKOPE)

College Affiliation: St Antony's College

James Robson is Co-Director of the Centre for Skills, Knowledge, and Organisational Performance (SKOPE)

He is also a Lecturer in Tertiary Education Systems, leads the MSc in Higher Education, and sits on the Research Management Committee of the Centre for Global Higher Education.

James’ research focuses on the political economy of Tertiary Education systems, bringing together key interests in the nexus of education and employment, the critical study of skills supply and demand, research eco-systems, access, social justice and sustainability. He has received major funding from the ESRC, the AHRC, the GCRF, the Edge Foundation, the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Office for Students and Research England.

Funded Research Projects:

  • Developing just selection structures and processes for post-graduate research degrees

  • 2022-2026

    Office for Students and Research England

  • Analysing the UK Tertiary Landscape

  • 2021-2022

    Edge Foundation

  • CGHE Transition Centre

    2020-2023

    ESRC

  • Green Skills and the Green Economy

  • 2021-2022

    The Edge Foundation

  • The Political Economies of Exclusion

    2019-2024

    ESRC

  • Narrative and Narrative Skills in Business

    2020-2021

    AHRC

  • Educational Research: Understanding the Research Landscape

  • 2020-2021

    British Academy and Royal Society

  • People Practice and Policy: Drivers of Tertiary Technical Excellence. A seven country comparative study

  • 2021

    WorldSkills UK

  • Climate Change Education Futures - Employability and the Green Economy in India

  • 2020-2021

    GCRF

  • Understanding the Value of Humanities Degrees: graduate employability, skills, and wider value

  • 2018-2020

    Oxford University Humanities Division

  • Employability Skills and the CREATE Framework

  • 2018

    Funded by The Edge Foundation

  • Innovation, impact and interdisciplinarity: analysis of impact in the Oxford Martin School

  • 2018

    The Oxford Martin School

  • Foundation Years and Widening Participation in Elite HE

  • 2017-2018

    Oxford University Seedcorn Fund and Irish Research Council

  • Mapping evidence of effective use of mobile technologies for the professional learning of community healthcare workers in LMICs

  • 2017-2018

    HEFCE and GCRF

  • Evaluation of Wiserd Education

  • 2017

    Funded by HEFCW

  • Harnessing Research on Education in the UK: Analysis of the Educational Research Landscape

  • 2016-17

    Funded by Royal Society and British Academy

Doctoral Applications

James welcomes doctoral applications from students interested in the following research areas:

  • Critical studies of the intersection between HE and the economy
  • Critical studies of skills supply demand
  • Tertiary education and sustainability
  • Tertiary education systems
  • Social mobility, widening participation and access (undergraduate and post graduate)

Publications:

  • Featured Publications

    • O'Sullivan, K, Robson, J, Winters, N (2019) “‘I feel like I have a disadvantage’: how socio-economically disadvantaged students make the decision to study at a prestigious university”, Studies in Higher Education. Taylor and Francis.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2018.1460591

    • O'Sullivan, K, Byrne, D, Robson, J, Winters, N (2019) “Who goes to college via access routes? A comparative study of widening participation admission in selective universities in Ireland and England”, SOCIAL INCLUSION.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.17645/si.v7i1.1647

    • ROBSON, JAMES, RANDHAWA, A, KEEP, E (2018) Employability Skills Development in Studio Schools: Investigating the use of the CREATE Framework. London: The Edge Foundation.

    • Robson, J, O'Sullivan, K, Winters, N (2017) Black students on going to Oxbridge: ‘it’s not even asked or pushed for, it’s just assumed no one is applying’. The Conversation.

  • Book chapters

    • PUTTICK, S, Chandrachud, P, Chopra, R, KHOSLA, R, ROBSON, J, Singh, S, Talks, I (2022) “Climate change education: following the information”, In: J McKendrick, M Biddulph, S Catling, L Hammond (eds.) Transforming Children’s Geographies: Rethinking Children’s (Geographical) Education. Abingdon: Routledge.

    • ROBSON, JAMES, WINTERS, N, O'Sullivan, K, Hannon, C (2018) “Migrating Innovations Across National Boundaries Starting Early Access Interventions in the United Kingdom”, In: W Chen, EP St John, X Li, C Hannon (eds.) Actionable Research for Educational Equity and Social Justice Higher Education Reform in China and Beyond. London: Routledge.

    • Robson, J (2017) “Participant Anonymity vs Participant Observations: situating the researcher within digital ethnography”, In: M Zimmer, K Kinder-Kurlanda (eds.) Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age: New Cases and Challenges. Oxford: Peter Lang.

    • Robson, J (2017) “Online Networking: the future of RE Teacher CPD?”, In: M Chater, M Castelli (eds.) We Need to Talk About RE. London: Jessica Kingsley.

  • Conference papers

    • ROBSON, JAMES, RANDHAWA, A (2018) Employability Skills in Vocational Education: investigating the use of the CREATE Framework.

    • ROBSON, JAMES (2018) ‘Changing Lenses: Examining new approaches to widening participation at Oxford University’ Oxbridge Exchange Keynote.

    • ROBSON, JAMES (2017) ‘Employability Skills and Widening Participation in Elite HE Institutions’.

    • Robson, J Teachers’ Peer-to-peer Online Engagement: a critical look at the structures embedded in online social space. (Oxford)

    • Robson, J Technology and Innovation in Education: a critique of the discourses that dominate the field. (Reading)

    • Robson, J Politics, Performance and Participation: a digital ethnography of Religious Education Teachers’ Engagement in Online Social Spaces. (University of Oxford)

  • Journal articles

    • Robson, J, Randhawa, A, Keep, E (2021) “Employability skills in mainstream education: Innovations in schooling and institutional isomorphism”, British Educational Research Journal.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3756

    • Tickell, A, Byng, R, Crane, C, Gradinger, F, Hayes, R, Robson, J, Cardy, J, Weaver, A, Morant, N, Kuyken, W (2020) “Recovery from recurrent depression with mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and antidepressants: A qualitative study with illustrative case studies”, BMJ open. 10(2) e033892-e033892.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-033892

    • O'Sullivan, K, Byrne, D, Robson, J, Winters, N (2019) “Who goes to college via access routes? A comparative study of widening participation admission in selective universities in Ireland and England”, SOCIAL INCLUSION. 7(1) 38-51.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.17645/si.v7i1.1647

    • O'Sullivan, K, Robson, J, Winters, N (2019) “‘I feel like I have a disadvantage’: how socio-economically disadvantaged students make the decision to study at a prestigious university”, Studies in Higher Education. 44(9) 1676-1690.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2018.1460591

    • O'Sullivan, K, Bird, N, Robson, J, Winters, N (2019) “Academic identity, confidence and belonging: the role of contextualised admissions and foundation years in higher education”, British Educational Research Journal.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3513

    • WINTERS, N, EYNON, R, GENIETS, A, ROBSON, J, KAHN, K (2019) “Can we avoid digital structural violence in future learning systems?”, Learning, Media and Technology.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2020.1708099

    • Winters, N, Langer, L, Nduku, P, Robson, J, O'Donovan, J, Maulik, P, Paton, C, Geniets, A, Peiris, D, Nagraj, S (2019) “Using mobile technologies to support the training of community health workers in low-income and middle-income countries: mapping the evidence”, BMJ Global Health. 4(4) e001421-e001421.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2019-001421

    • Wilde, S, Sonley, A, Crane, CH, Ford, T, Raja, A, Robson, J, Taylor, L, Kuyken, W (2018) “Mindfulness training in UK secondary schools: a multiple case study approach to identification of cornerstones of implementation”, Mindfulness.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0982-4

    • Robson, J (2017) “Performance, structure and ideal identity: reconceptualising teachers' engagement in online social spaces”, British Journal of Educational Technology.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12551

    • Robson, J (2017) “A Strategic Approach to Research in RE.”, RE Today: Professional Reflection.

    • Robson, J (2016) “Engagement in structured social space: an investigation of teachers' online peer-to-peer interaction”, LEARNING MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY. 41(1) 119-139.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2015.1102743

    • Moulin, D, Robson, J (2012) “Doing God in a liberal democracy”, OXFORD REVIEW OF EDUCATION. 38(5) 539-550.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2012.722863

    • OANCEA, A, FANCOURT, N, ROBSON, J, THOMPSON, I, CHILDS, A, Nuseibeh, N “Research capacity-building in teacher education”, Oxford Review of Education.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2020.1842184

  • Internet publication

    • Robson, J (2017) Reconceptualising the place of non-religious worldviews in RE: moving beyond dichotomous thinking. RE Matters.

    • Robson, J, O'Sullivan, K, Winters, N (2017) Black students on going to Oxbridge: ‘it’s not even asked or pushed for, it’s just assumed no one is applying’. The Conversation.

    • Robson, J (2016) Research in Religious Education: What is it, who should do it, and how should it be shared?. RE Matters.

    • Robson, J (2016) What are the big ideas in Religious Education?. RE Matters.

    • Robson, J (2015) Epistemic Change in RE: how we got here and where we’re going. RE:Online.

    • Robson, J (2012) Fear and the Internet. Oxford Ed Tech.

  • Reports

    • ROBSON, J, Holgate, B, RANDHAWA, A (2021) Storycraft: the importance of narrative and narrative skills in business. Swindon: AHRC.

    • ROBSON, JAMES, RANDHAWA, A, KEEP, E (2018) Employability Skills Development in Studio Schools: Investigating the use of the CREATE Framework. London: The Edge Foundation.

    • Robson, J Being a Teacher in the Digital Age: a report on teachers’ professional engagement in online social spaces, Briefing paper for the DfE.

    • Robson, J Oancea, A., Fancourt, N., Robson, J., Thompson, I., Childs, A., (2017) Evaluation of WISERDEducation: Report for HEFCW. Cardiff: HEFCW.

    • Robson, J Mills, D., Oancea, A. and Robson, J. (2017) Harnessing Research on Education in the UK. Report to the Royal Society and British Academy Joint Enquiry on Educational Research. London: Royal Society / British Academy.

    • ROBSON, JAMES, OANCEA, A Approaches to Impact in Research Funded by the Oxford Martin School. Oxford: Oxford Martin School.

  • Other

    • OANCEA, A, XU, XIN, ROBSON, J, McDermott, T, SCUTT, C (2021) “Educational research in the United Kingdom, 2010–2020”, Research Intelligence. 149 26-27.

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