Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Oakleigh Welply, PhD

Assistant Professor in the School of Education

Contact Oakleigh Welply, PhD


Oakleigh is a Lecturer in the School of Education, where she lectures on the MA in Intercultural and International Education, and convenes the new MA module 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 from a sociology and politics degree at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in France, and completed an M.Phil at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences in Cambridge on the sociology and politics of European society, and a 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.

Details of the project can be found here: http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/ealead/

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. Her research is based on a theoretical framework which explores complementarities between the work of Paul Ricoeur and Pierre Bourdieu to investigate the intersection between structure and subjectivities of young immigrants’ school experiences in European countries.


Completed Supervisions

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, language and religion; English as an additional language in schools; globalisation and citizenship; social theory; intercultural and international education.


Research Interests

* Comparative and cross-national studies
* 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
* Social theory
* Bourdieu and Ricoeur


Research Groups

Research Projects


Journal Article

Chapter in book

  • Welply, O. (2017). An exploration of immigrant-background children's identities and their ideas of place in relation to their global imaginaries and languages. In Students, Places, and Identities in English and the Arts: Creative spaces in education. Stevens D., & Lockney, D London: Routledge.


  • Arnot, M, Schneider, C, Evans, M, Liu, Y, Welply, O & Davies-Tutt, T (2014). School approaches to the education of EAL students: Language development, social integration and achievement. Cambridge: Bell Foundation.