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Personal profile


I am Professor of Work and Learning and Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) at the University of Huddersfield where I have worked since 2006. Prior to joining the University I taught in Further Education (FE) colleges for sixteen years, mainly on ESOL and teacher education provision. I still maintain a keen interest in FE and I am currently leading a three-year national research project on initial teacher education for science, engineering and technology teachers working in colleges. This major project is funded by the Gatsby Foundation.

My first degree was in History and French from the University of Manchester and I later went on to study for a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education and the Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults. I completed an MA by research at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2005, which examined the impact of policy on FE teaching practice. In November 2009 I was awarded a PhD for my thesis entitled College Cultures and Pre-Service Trainee Teachers: a study in the creation and transmission of ideas about teaching. In 2015 I completed an MSc in Social Research Methods and Statistics at the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research at the University of Manchester.

In 2014 the Higher Education Academy awarded me with a National Teaching Fellowship for my work around vocational education.

I am currently visiting professor at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Vocational education and training
  • Teacher education and professional development in the Further Education sector
  • Vocational pedagogy
  • College-based higher education
  • The work-based learning of architects
  • Quantitative research methods in educational research


  • Vocational Education
  • Vocational Training
  • Teacher Education
  • Professional Development
  • Further Education
  • Vocational Pedagogy
  • College-Based HE
  • Work Based Learning
  • Quantitative Research Methods

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 34 Similar Profiles
further education Social Sciences
trainee Social Sciences
teacher Social Sciences
learning Social Sciences
education Social Sciences
vocational education Social Sciences
Vocational Education Social Sciences
class justice Social Sciences

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Research Output 2010 2018

Further Education Colleges in the United Kingdom: Providing Education for Other People's Children

Orr, K. 14 Aug 2018 Handbook of Comparative Studies on Community Colleges and Global Counterparts. Latiner Raby, R. & Valeau, E. J. (eds.). Springer Verlag, (Springer International Handbooks of Education)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

further education
government agency

FE Utopia: Towards a new republic

Orr, K. 4 Sep 2017 The Principal: Power and professionalism in FE. Daley, M., Orr, K. & Petrie, J. (eds.). London: IOE Press, p. 149-152 4 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Race and vocational education and training in England

Avis, J., Orr, K. & Warmington, P. 5 Jun 2017 In : Journal of Vocational Education and Training. 69, 3, p. 292-310 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

vocational education
Vocational Education
national minority

Concluding Reflections: Exploring and Mapping the Knowledge and Practice Terrain

Orr, K., Nutley, S., Bain, R., Hacking, B., Moran, C. & Russell, S. 22 Mar 2016 Knowledge and Practice in Business and Organisations. Taylor and Francis Inc., p. 234-244 11 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Citations

HE in FE: vocationalism, class and social justice

Avis, J. & Orr, K. 3 Mar 2016 In : Research in Post-Compulsory Education. 21, 1-2, p. 49-65 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
class justice
further education
social justice
funding policy

Activities 2011 2017

  • 14 Oral presentation
  • 1 Invited talk

Race, Vocational Education and Training, Learner Experience

Avis, R. (Speaker), Orr, K. (Speaker), Serena Johnson (Speaker), Paul Warmington (Speaker)
5 Sep 2017

Activity: Oral presentation

Race, Vocational Education and Training, Learner Experience

Avis, R. (Speaker), Orr, K. (Speaker), Serena Johnson (Speaker), Paul Warmington (Speaker)
21 Aug 2017

Activity: Oral presentation

Enhancing Pedagogy in the Teaching of Vocational Science, Engineering and Technology

Orr, K. (Speaker), Thompson, R. (Speaker), Hanley, P. (Speaker), Hepworth, J. (Speaker)
25 Aug 2017

Activity: Oral presentation

Race, 'Warehousing' and Vocational Education and Training and the Training Market

Avis, R. (Speaker), Orr, K. (Speaker), John Preston (Speaker), Kalwant Bhopal (Speaker)
5 Jul 2017

Activity: Invited talk