Dr Tom Parkinson

Centre for the Study of Higher Education - Reader and Programme Director of the MA and PGDip in Higher Education
+44 (0)1227 826526
Dr Tom Parkinson


Tom is a Reader and Programme Director of the MA and PGDip in Higher Education. With a background in the humanities and social sciences, his research focuses on global disparities in access to opportunity and resources in higher education and the relationship between higher education, society, the individual and the state. Tom previously worked as a musician and music teacher and continues to conduct research in the field of music. As PI, Tom has led research projects funded by the British Academy, the AHRC, the GCRF and Arts Council England.

Tom is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has served as an external examiner or expert validator at University College London (UCL), Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), Bath Spa University, The University of Chichester and KM Conservatory, Chennai. He chairs the Academic Development steering group for the Council for At Risk Academics’ (Cara) Syria Programme, which supports Syrian academics in continuing their academic work in exile.

Tom is always interested in exploring interdisciplinary synergies and keen to collaborate with like-minded colleagues from across the disciplinary spectrum.

Research interests

Tom’s research interests are higher education in conflict, post-conflict and refugee contexts, internationalisation of higher education and music education. He is currently nearing completion of a historical study of Turkish music education funded by the British Academy.


Tom is convenor for:


  • Subculture and counterculture in higher education
  • Music education
  • Values in higher education
  • Qualitative research methodology
  • International higher education
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