Zoe Baker

Email: zsbaker1@sheffield.ac.uk
Supervisor: Dr Vassiliki Papatsiba, School of Education

Programme: PhD

Working Title of Topic: Perceptions, choice and decision-making processes of socio-economically underrepresented students in the changing English higher education landscape

Details of research:

This ESRC/DTC funded doctoral study is framed in the field of widening participation and access to Higher Education (HE) for socio-economically underrepresented students in the context of increasing tuition fees in England and heightened policy emphasis on ‘student choice’. It aims to understand how Further Education (FE) students’ decision-making, choices and perceptions regarding their futures develop over their post-16 education. The research utilises Archer’s (2003;2007;2012) reflexive typologies to establish how such future plans are formed during a time of cultural and structural morphogenesis. The research uses narrative inquiry and a qualitative longitudinal research design to gain insights into the perceptions, influences and events which affect decision-making towards HE progression. This is based on written and audio diary data, focus groups and interviews in different FE college sites.


2013: MA Educational Research (Distinction), University of Sheffield

2012: BA Education Studies with Sociology (First Class), Sheffield Hallam University


Baker, Z. (fc 2016) [Review of the book Students, Markets and Social Justice: Higher education fee and student support policies in Western Europe and beyond, by Ertl, H. & Dupuy, C.]. Power and Education.

Baker, Z. (2014) Autoethnographic writing in student engagement practices: A personal and critical reflection, In: C. Bryson, Understanding and developing student engagement. Oxon, Routledge.

Baker, Z. (2012), 'Student and Staff Perceptions of Decision-making in the changing Higher Education Context', Reinvention: a Journal of Undergraduate Research, British Conference of Undergraduate Research 2012 Special Issue.


‘‘Making Their Way through the World': Socioeconomically Underrepresented Youth Perceptions of Future Education and Employment Trajectories’- paper distributed at the International Sociological Association’s 3rd Annual Research Conference (fc July 2016) held at The University of Austria.

‘Young people engaging in event-based diaries: Methodological advantages and challenges’- Spoken presentation at the Sociolinguistics Symposium (fc June 2016) held at The University of Murcia.

‘Reflexive Modes in Landscapes of Choice: Higher Education decision-making amongst socioeconomically underrepresented Further Education students’- Spoken presentation at the Centre for Global Higher Education annual conference, held at Kenwood Hall, Sheffield.

‘Reflexive modes in landscapes of choice’- Spoken presentation at the SRHE’s Newer Researcher’s Conference (2015) held at Celtic Manor, Wales.

‘The future of higher education: Student and staff perspectives’- Spoken presentation at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (2012) held at the University of Warwick.

Teaching and other activities

I have previously worked as a tutor on EDU104 - Education, Power and Society: An Introduction to the Sociology of Education on the BA Education, Culture and Childhood degree in the School of Education, University of Sheffield.

I supervise students on the MA in Education in the School of Education, University of Sheffield.

I am an Associate Lecturer on the BA Education Studies degree at Sheffield Hallam University.

Other activities

Over the past two years, I have been involved in various widening participation activities at the University of Sheffield. I frequently assist in data collection for the University’s Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Unit (WPREU). I also regularly deliver taster sessions and seminars to school pupils and post-16 students in outreach programmes for the Faculty of Social Science.

Previously, I have assisted with research in the Centre for Education and Inclusion Research (CEIR) at Sheffield Hallam University.

Member of the Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE)

Member of the British Sociological Association (BSA)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Links to other web profiles

Academia.edu https://usheffield.academia.edu/ZoeBaker
Twitter https://twitter.com/zs_baker
Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/zoe-baker-326668122?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile