National Teaching Fellow 2009
Professor Glynis Cousin is the Director of the Institute for Learning Enhancement at the University of Wolverhampton. She began her professional career in the early nineteen eighties as a school teacher of social studies in the last ‘caning’ school in London. As soon as she had completed her probationary year, she ran away from this Dickensian throwback to work in adult and community education.
Glynis worked in East London with the Bangladeshi community, developing and teaching on access to higher education courses. At the time, Inner London Education Authority was anxious to increase its numbers of teachers drawn from ethnic minority communities and Glynis’ work contributed to this aim. In this period she also completed a Masters in urban education at Kings College London and lectured part-time in the sociology of education at Homerton College Cambridge.
When she moved to the Midlands, Glynis first worked for Northamptonshire Adult Education Service, again establishing access provision, this time for unemployed workers in the towns and villages of the County. In the early nineties, Glynis taught ‘HE in FE’ in the areas of education and sociology; she also gained her PhD (Theorising Equality of Opportunity) from Warwick University. After a year in Florence, she returned to the UK and took up a higher education research post at Coventry University. From Coventry she moved to Warwick, thence to the Higher Education Academy as a senior adviser and finally to her present post as Director of the Institute for Learning Enhancement at the University of Wolverhampton.
Throughout her work as a higher education researcher and developer Glynis has published in the areas of diversity, internationalisation, evaluation and pedagogic research. She is also strongly associated with the field of curriculum inquiry that is centred on threshold concept theory. The SEDA series editor for her recent book Researching Learning in Higher Education: an introduction to contemporary methods and approaches has written in the forward:
'This is a book we have needed for some time, and I am delighted that Glynis Cousin has written it. She has brought to it a deep respect for the quality of human relationships, and has elevated pedagogic research into a noble practice which engages the heart as well as the head.'