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Curriculum vitae

Higher Education Researcher and PhD candidate
Last updated: September 2022

Summary #

I am an independent researcher looking at how universities can help solve challenges facing society.

I am also finishing up my PhD at UCL Institute of Education, looking at the roles of universities in cities in Africa.

Freelance experience #

Since 2020 #

  • Wrote a series of six briefing papers for the British Academy, the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences, on universities and place (forthcoming).
  • Head of Research at the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE). Recent projects include research lead for a Foreign Office-funded project on enterprise in Tunisian universities, and annual surveys of higher education staff.
  • Analysis of the future impact of universities and lead author for a major report for Universities UK, attracting national press coverage.
  • Associate at Yorkshire Universities, an organisation representing 12 regional universities. Recent work includes published reports on inward investment and health, and policy work preparing for future funding streams.
  • Provided insight and analysis on international innovation and research clusters for a report published by the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of sciences (the most downloaded Royal Society report of 2020).
  • Research and policy support for the Imperial College London senior leadership team.
  • Editorial support for a report on climate change for the Global University Leaders Council Hamburg.
  • Analysis of projected social and economic impact for Greater Manchester Universities.

2018-2019 #

  • Led eight-country research project for the British Council on universities and ‘smart cities’ with extensive press coverage.
  • Produced impact case studies of small and specialist institutions for GuildHE, a higher education membership organisation.
  • Analytical work for Rwanda Action, a charity, including writing and designing two annual impact reports.
  • Reading committee member for the UK Government’s Chevening Scholarships programme.

2016-2017 #

  • Report and academic article for the British Council on internationalisation, based on interviews with leaders in four cities. Presented at several major European conferences.
  • Research reports for KPMG in the UK, including fieldwork in Toronto and Glasgow.
  • Essay and blog on universities and cities commissioned by the UK Government Office for Science.
  • Chaired two day workship for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (now Research England).
  • Associate at Work and Learning Opportunities, a Sussex-based social enterprise: policy advice.
  • Advisory Associate at the Class Foundation, a Dutch NGO focused on urban campuses: wrote articles, chaired conference sessions.

Other employment #

  • Policy Researcher, Universities UK (UUK), London — 2013 to 2018. I led UUK’s work on local growth, working with universities, government and other organisations to shape policy.
  • Programme Assistant, UNESCO, Vietnam — 2012. Provided technical support for a DFID-funded research project, together with other UN organisations and the Ministry of Education and Training.
  • Programme Officer, Association of Commonwealth Universities, London — 2008 to 2011. Evaluation of education programmes in the health sector, and provided briefings and analysis for the Commonwealth Education Ministers meeting.
  • Intern, Overseas Development Institute, London — 2007. Internship within the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) team.

Education #

UCL Institute of Education — PhD #

Higher Education and International Development (part-time; expected submission: December 2022)

Exploring how universities in African city regions work with local government to address development challenges. I am part of the Centre for Education and International Development (CEID) and the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), and I was a Research Affiliate at the University of Rwanda. Received funding from the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust (2019-2021).

Lund University, Sweden — MSc #

International Development & Management (2013)

My thesis examined how Big Data insights can be replicated by civil society. I presented my work at Columbia University, New York in September 2013.

London School of Economics — Postgraduate Unit #

Development Economics (2010)

Overview of the structural features of low-income countries and the economic models and key indicators from which development policies are derived.

University College London — BA #

History (2008)

Focus on diplomatic, political and economic history. My dissertation was nominated for the History of Parliament Trust prize and was later published.

Publications #

There is a full list of publications on this site, and you can filter by type (journal articles, reports etc.).

Contact #

Email: j.ransom@hey.com

Based near London, UK.

I’m also on LinkedIn. Please email me if you need a conventional PDF version of my CV.

‘An expressive oil painting of a wildebeest reading a book about universities’ via DALL-E
‘An expressive oil painting of a wildebeest reading a book about universities’ generated by DALL-E