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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Dr Oakleigh Welply

Associate Professor in the School of Education
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 48357
Room number: ED306

Contact Dr Oakleigh Welply (email at


Oakleigh is an Associate Professor in the School of Education. She is Programme Director for the MA Education International in Geneva, convenes the Masters courses Intercultural and International Education and International Development and Education and lectures on the course Critical Perspectives in Education. Before joining Durham in September 2014, Oakleigh was a Lecturer in Sociology of Education at the University of Cambridge, where she lectured and supervised on the Undergraduate course and on the Politics Development and Democratic Education Masters and the Research in Second Language Education Masters programme. 

Oakleigh graduated with a sociology and politics degree from Sciences Po Paris in France, holds an M.Phil from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences in Cambridge on the sociology and politics of European society, and completed her Ph.D in Sociology of Education within the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Her doctoral project adopted a cross-national perspective to investigate the experiences and identities of immigrant-background children in primary schools in France and England. It explored the interplay between global, national and local dimensions in shaping the experience of immigrant-background children in schools. 

Oakleigh was actively involved in the first two stages of the Bell Foundation funded project on Educational Achievement, Language Education and Disadvantage (EALead) at the University of Cambridge.

Oakleigh’s areas of research focus on the relationship of education to issues of language, religion, immigration, integration, globalisation, identity, gender and citizenship. She is interested in developing cross-national research and methodologies to conduct research with diverse communities in European countries. Theoretically, her work is mainly inspired by the works of Paul Ricoeur, Hannah Arendt and Pierre Bourdieu to investigate the intersection between wider structures and the subjectivities of young immigrants’ identities and experiences.

Another key area of Oakleigh’s work is Global Citizenship Education, which she has approached through a variety of perspectives, ranging from theoretically-based discussions to large scale survey data analysis. She was an invited speaker on the topic of Global Citizenship at Sciences Po Paris and the Palais de Tokyo, as part of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE). 

Further details can be found here:

Interested in the theory and the practice of Global Citizenship Education, she has also been actively involved in Ustinov College’s Global Citizenship programme and in the development of the Global Citizenship component of the Durham Award. 

Her recent interdisciplinary research project, funded by the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), evaluates the impact of elements of Global Citizenship Education on young people’s attitudes towards diversity, tolerance, and political participation. This project brought together perspectives from sociology of education and economics to analyse data from the 2016 International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS). Using logit and multinomial logit type models, this research project analysed data across 23 countries, which included 2,500 observations for each country

Completed Supervisions

Intercultural communication: the perceptions of university students learning Chinese as a foreign language in China.

A Case Study of the Conception of Curriculum Internationalisation in a Secondary School in Kazakhstan

Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

Oakleigh would be pleased to hear from potential students with research interests in the field of comparative and cross-national studies; immigration, diversity and integration; identity, gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship, language and religion; English as an additional language in schools; global citizenship social theory; intercultural and international education.


Research Interests

 * Immigration, diversity, multiculturalism, political and social integration * Globalisation and citizenship 

* Identity, gender, race, ethnicity, language, religion 

* Intercultural and international education 

* Language, migration and social integration 

* English as an additional language in school 

* Comparative and cross-national studies 

* Social theory 

* Paul Ricoeur

* Hannah Arendt

* Pierre Bourdieu

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2019: : Invited speaker at Sciences Po Paris and the Palais de Tokyo for the regional World Innovation Summit in Education (WISE) conference in Paris, France.
  • 2017: : Invited speaker at York University
  • 2017: : Invited visiting scholar at Sciences Po Paris, France.
  • 2016: : Invited speaker at the University of East Anglia
  • 2016: : Keynote speaker at the Ustinov College conference on Global Citizenship.
  • 2015: : Invited keynote speaker at the annual English as an Additional Language teacher training conference for Manchester Local Authority (One Education).
  • : Reviewer for ESRC, Race, Ethnicity and Education, Compare, Gender and Education.


Research Groups

Research Projects


Journal Article

Authored book

Edited book

Chapter in book