Robin Shields



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Personal profile

Research interests

My research focuses on the globalization of education, using a sociological approach to study global trends in policy and practice. My recent research has investigated flows of international students in higher education, social media networks between universities, the relationship between education and inequality, and education in conflict-affected and fragile states. I am particularly interested in the application of new methodologies to these topics, with recent papers using social network analysis and multilevel modelling.

I hold a PhD in Education from UCLA, and my research has been funded by the Higher Education Academy, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, the European Commission, and the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs. I am also a co-editor of the Comparative Education Review and received the George Bereday Award for the most outstanding article in the journal in 2013. I am a member of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

At the University of Bath, I am Director of Studies for the DBA in Higher Education Management. This is an interdisciplinary professional doctorate for managers and administrators in higher education institutions. It has an extremely international composition with candidates in senior positions in many universities worldwide. I also teach on the University's Professional Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice and supervise theses on the Education Doctorate (EdD) programme.

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education Social Sciences
network analysis Social Sciences
university Social Sciences
social media Social Sciences
qualification Social Sciences
globalization Social Sciences
student Social Sciences
social network Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2014 2020

Social Media Networks and Communications Leadership in HE.

Shields, R.


Project: Central government, health and local authorities

Research Output 2008 2018

7 Citations

Following the leader? Network models of “world-class” universities on Twitter

Shields, R., 1 Feb 2016, In : Higher Education. 71, 2, p. 253-268

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

social media
18 Citations

Globalization and international student mobility: a network analysis

Shields, R., 2013, In : Comparative Education Review. 57, 4, p. 609-636 28 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

network analysis
systems analysis
7 Citations

'Development in reverse'? A longitudinal analysis of armed conflict, fragility and school enrolment

Shields, R. & Paulson, J., 2015, In : Comparative Education. 51, 2, p. 212-230 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
school enrollment
human security

The network of bilateral aid to education 2005-2015

Shields, R. & Menashy, F., 20 Jul 2017, In : International Journal of Educational Development.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


False equivalence? Differences in the post-16 qualifications market and outcomes in higher education

Shields, R. & Masardo, A., 20 Mar 2017, In : Educational Review. p. 1-18 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

occupational qualification


A university in a period of disruption: identity as an explanatory interpretation of strategic decision-making

Author: Mazzoleni, E., 30 Jun 2016

Supervisor: Shields, R. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Business (DBA)


Curriculum reform in the Faculty of Health Sciences at La Trobe University

Author: Swerissen, H., 9 Oct 2017

Supervisor: Jamieson, I. (Supervisor) & Shields, R. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Business (DBA)


Examining Shifts in Institutional Positioning in the Evolving Irish Higher Education System

Author: Hannon, M., 2 Nov 2017

Supervisor: Davies, J. L. (External person) (Supervisor) & Shields, R. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Business (DBA)


Facilitatory and Inhibitory Factors in Higher Education Mergers: Case Studies from the Irish Institute of Technology Sector

Author: Kenneally, A., 27 Jun 2017

Supervisor: Shields, R. (Supervisor) & Davies , J. (External person) (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Business (DBA)

Internationalisation of South African higher education: rationales and implementation

Author: Sowazi, S., 14 Sep 2017

Supervisor: Shields, R. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Business (DBA)