Brittney Nathaniel

"to become a scholar-practitioner"

My research takes a mixed-method approach to understanding widening access and participation for adult learners; my thesis entitled ‘Non-Traditional Entry Routes to Higher Education: A Comparative Study of Inclusion in Access for Adults in New York State and Scotland’. My supervisors are Prof. Catherine Lido, Prof. Ellen Boeren and Prof. Michael Osborne.

Up until my masters, I had never considered research as a potential career path. However, having worked in higher education administration for nearly 10 years prior, continuing on to my PhD better enabled me to examine and interrogate the field at a macro level, as well as develop a systematic, research-based approach to investigate specific gaps in our knowledge.

Among the many things the PhD process has taught me thus far, I can confidently say that I will come away from it having achieved the ultimate skill level in project management! More seriously—and perhaps a bit of a cliché—One major impact the PhD has had on my life is an understanding of the adverse effect perfectionism has on making progress, both within and outwith the academic context.

Post-graduation, I plan to use the knowledge and research skills gained from my studies to become a ‘scholar-practitioner’, one who conjoins theory and research with on-ground, practical application. I hope to do this within the widening access and participation arena in the FE or HE sector, my goal being to develop research-based strategies that would inform institutional (and hopefully governmental) policy.

I have had many wonderful experiences in Glasgow. Flashback to pre-pandemic: going to a live performing arts event called ‘Sonnet Youth’ on a classically rainy Friday night. Being packed into a room full of brilliant creatives, among an eclectic crowd, and chilling out to funky ‘80’s tunes was a highlight of my first few months in Glasgow.