Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1996 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Lyn carries out research within the broad area of community education and lifelong learning and in particular investigates the factors that can lead to the exclusion of adults from post-compulsory education and the action that might be taken to promote social inclusion.  She has a particular interest in the adult literacies sector and has been involved in many projects in this area.  She is currently investigating how experienced practitioners are responding to reductions in funding for their work.  She has also just completed a project with colleagues from the University of Edinburgh that have followed some mature, non-traditional students over a ten-year period from their first entrance to the university.  This research has identified the importance of supportive relationships between students, staff and peers in encouraging retention.

Initially she worked as an adult education development officer for Argyll and Bute Council's community education service and then became deputy director of the Scottish Community Education Council.  Her first academic post was at the Moray House Institute of Education where she was the Director of Community Education. Her next appointment was as Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Higher and Community Education, at the University of Edinburgh. She was awarded a personal chair in Community Education and Lifelong Learning there in 2002 and became Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, Moray House School of Education in 2008. She is currently an Emeritus Professor at the University of Edinburgh. She joined the University of Huddersfield in 2012 on a part-time basis as Professor of Community Education.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Adult literacy and numeracy:
  • The impact of international, national and local policies on pedagogy and practice 
  • Effective teaching, learning and assessment strategies 
  • The overall impact of programmes on the participants’ identities
  • Access and retention in higher education:
  • The role of staff and peer relationships 
  • The impact of different policy conceptualisations of social justice
  • The impact of class, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality on outcomes

Research Degree Supervision

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Teaching
  • Pedagogy and Education
  • Learning
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Higher Education
  • Pedagogics
  • Education Research
  • Communities of Practice


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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