Dr Aliandra Barlete

Teaching Fellow


PhD in Sociology of Education, Faculty of Education, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge (UK)

MPhil in Higher Education, University of Oslo (Norway), University of Tampere (Finland) and University of Aveiro (Portugal) - Erasmus Mundus Joint Degree 

BA in Social Communication, Federal University of Santa Maria (Brazil) 

Responsibilities & affiliations

- IASH Affiliate 2023-24

- British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE), Member

- British Educational Research Association (BERA), Member

- Comparative and International Education Studies (CIES), Member

- Early Career Higher Education Researchers Network (ECHER), Member


Postgraduate teaching

I teach on the MSc in Comparative Education and International Development as well as on the MSc Education.

- Education Policy and the Politics of Education

- The Philosophy of Education

- Comparative Education and International Development 

- Comparative Analysis in Education

- Conceptualising Research: Foundations, Assumptions and Praxis

- Dissertation: Capstone Approach (MSc CEID)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

I have been increasingly interested in the analysis and teaching of social theory in education, in its many forms. Since 2021 I run a project on ‘Southern Social theory and education’, as a way to inspire students to question the way they approach their thesis topics, i.e. by considering plural, local, or even decolonial, perspectives into their dissertation topics.

My interest in social theory goes in hand with an empirical curiosity in the dynamics of change in education, particularly through education policy-making. My interest in policy led me to focus for almost two decades on the study if the international dimension of higher education. My main interest has been the dynamics of regional and inter-regional higher education frameworks in the developing world, especially in Latin America.

Current research interests

- The practice and the teaching of social theory - Southern Social Theory approaches to analyse educational phenomena - Multiple theoretical and methodological approaches to education policy and policy analysis - Comparative analysis of education in the developing world

Past research interests

- The international dimension of higher education

Knowledge exchange

I act as a reviewer for the journals: 

- Education Policy Analysis Archives

- Educação e realidade

- Globalisation, Societies and Education

- Journal of Studies in International Education

- Migration and Society

Affiliated research centres

Project activity

Southern Social theory and education: This project has the objective to critically discover, recognise and include ‘Southern’ theoretical perspectives in educational analysis. It aims to inspire students to develop critical analyses of education practice and policy using theoretical knowledge originating from the Global South, or postcolonial theories that critique hegemonic social science knowledge (from January 2022).

- Social Theory Walks: The City of Edinburgh as a teaching space for social theory applied to Education: The project aims to offer guided walks around Edinburgh with a specific concept in mind in order reflect upon how social theory becomes practice in the city’s past and present.

- The discourse and practices of quality and value in higher education:  This project is interested in the theoretical and empirical comparative analysis of the understanding of day-to-day quality enhancement practices in higher education. It departs from the concept of quality work, defined as the multiple practices that address the quality for educational provision (Elken & Stensaker, 2019; Elken et al, 2020) to explore the daily efforts for quality enhancement of higher education systems across the world (from July 2022).

Current project grants

‘Social Theory Walks: The City of Edinburgh as a teaching space for social theory applied to Education’ (PTAS Award, 2023-2024).