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Department of Education

James Robson

Associate Professor of Tertiary Education Systems and Director of SKOPE

College Affiliation: Green Templeton College

James Robson is Director of the Centre for Skills, Knowledge, and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) and Associate Professor of Tertiary Education Systems.

He also leads the MSc in Higher Education, and sits on the Research Management Committee and is CI 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



  • Green Skills and the Green Economy

  • 2021-2022

    The Edge Foundation

  • The Political Economies of Exclusion



  • Narrative and Narrative Skills in Business



  • 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


  • 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)


  • Book chapters

    • ROBSON, J. (2023). Graduate employment and employability. In S. Marginson, B. Cantwell, D. Platonova, & A. Smolentseva (Eds.), Assessing the contributions of higher education. Edward Elgar.

    • O’Sullivan, K., Robson, J., Hannon, C., & Winters, N. (2018). Migrating Innovations Across National Boundaries Starting Early Access Interventions in the United Kingdom. In ACTIONABLE RESEARCH FOR EDUCATIONAL EQUITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: HIGHER EDUCATION REFORM IN CHINA AND BEYOND (pp. 88-108).

    • 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. 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. Jessica Kingsley.

    • Puttick, S., Chandrachud, P., Chopra, R., Khosla, R., Robson, J., Singh, S., & Talks, I. (n.d.). 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. Routledge.

  • Journal articles

  • Internet publication

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

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

    • Robson, J. (2016). Research in Religious Education: What is it, who should do it, and how should it be shared?. 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., E, M., Nuseibeh, N., Tawell, A., Hart, B., Stewart, J., Keep, E., & Marginson, S. (2023). The value of the humanities: understanding the career destinations of Oxford humanities graduates. Oxford University, Humanities Department.

    • Robson, J., Holgate, B., & Randhawa, A. (2021). Storycraft: the importance of narrative and narrative skills in business. AHRC.

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

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

    • Robson, J. (n.d.). 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, J., & OANCEA, A. (n.d.). Approaches to Impact in Research Funded by the Oxford Martin School. Oxford Martin School.

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

  • Other

    • OANCEA, A., XU, X., ROBSON, J., McDermott, T., & SCUTT, C. (2021). Educational research in the United Kingdom, 2010–2020. In Research Intelligence (Vols. 149, pp. 26-27).

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