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Iryna Kushnir

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham Institute of Education

Staff Group(s)
Undergraduate and Professional Education


Dr Kushnir is involved with a range of research and teaching activities within the Nottingham Institute of Education and beyond, cooperating with colleagues from other universities in the UK and internationally. She is a qualitative researcher with an interdisciplinary research background. Dr Kushnir also contributes to UG and PG teaching and supervision at Nottingham Institute of Education. Her aim across all of her teaching is to equip students with the core subject knowledge and encourage students to develop critical thinking and understanding of a politicised and complex nature of the link between education and the social order.

Career overview

Dr Kushnir joined the Nottingham Institute of Education in 2018. She previously worked at the University of Sheffield as a University Teacher in Social Policy and a Research Associate on the EU funded Jean Monnet MIGRATE project. She also taught online at Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools in Kazakhstan. Prior to that, Dr Kushnir had been teaching and supervising students on UG and PG Programs in Education and Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh. Dr Kushnir also completed her PhD at Edinburgh. Her project was focused on analysing the process of the recent higher education reform in Ukraine (i.e. the Bologna reform) and examining Bologna as a case of Europeanisation in the post-Soviet context.

Research areas

Dr Kushnir's research expertise combines:

  • Higher education;
  • Education policy;
  • Europeanisation;
  • Post-Soviet transition;
  • Migration.

Prior research projects:

  • Reintroducing the homelss in Nottingham to education and training (funded by NTU Research Sandpit fund, 2019)
  • The role of education in sustainable development (funded by NTU QR fund, 2019)
  • Free University Nottingham (funded by NTU Research Sandpit fund, 2018)
  • The voice of inclusion in the midst of the neoliberalist noise in the Bologna Process (funded by NTU SPUR fund, 2018)
  • The relationship between the ‘migrant crisis’ and EU integration (employed for an EU funded Jean Monnet project 'MIGRATE', 2017-2018)
  • Looking for ‘rigour’, ‘discipline’ and ‘systematic’ in the Ukrainian ‘pedagogical sciences’: a textbook analysis (2017-2018)
  • Moving from Cold to Sustainable Peace in Ukraine: Local Capacities for Reform (supported by the United Nations House of Scotland, 2015)
  • The Bologna Reform in Ukraine: Learning Europeanisation in the Post-Soviet Context (funded by (1) University of Edinburgh CHSS Full Award, and (2) Edinburgh Global Research Scholarship, 2012-2016)
  • Gender (In)Equality in Higher Education in Ukraine (funded by the Open Society Foundation research grant, 2012)

External activity

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Co-founder of the Ukrainian Educational Research Association in 2015 and co-developer of this Association until 2018.


Articles in academic peer-reviewed journals

Kushnir, I. (2020). The voice of inclusion in the midst of neoliberalist noise in the Bologna Process. European Educational Research Journal. DOI: 10.1177/1474904120941694

Kushnir, I., Kilkey, M. and Strumia, F. (2020). EU integration in the post 'migrant crisis' context: learning new integration modes? European Review, 28.2, 306-324.

Kushnir, I. (2020). Forced migration and education. Education in the North, 27.1, 141-147.

Fimyar, O. Kushnir, I. and Vitrukh, M. (2019). Understanding Ukrainian pedagogical sciences through textbook analysis of four ''Pedagogy' textbooks. European Educational Research Journal, 18.5, 499-512.

Kushnir, I. (2019). Policy Learning in the Development of Bologna Study Cycles in Ukraine. Higher Education Policy. DOI: 10.1057/s41307-018-00133-x

Kushnir, I. (2019). The development of policy actors involved in the Bologna Reform in Ukraine. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 52.2, 117-128.

Kushnir, I. (2017). The development of a system of study credits in Ukraine: the case of policy layering in the Bologna Process. European Journal of Higher Education, 7.2, 188-202.

Kushnir, I. (2016). Exploring research potential: the Bologna reform and Europeanisation beyond the European Union in the case of Norway. Education in the North, 23.2, 141-147.

Kushnir, I. (2016). The Role of the Bologna Process in Defining Europe. European Educational Research Journal, 15.5, 1-12. (Before publishing, this paper received Best Paper Award at the EERA Emerging Researchers’ Conference in Sep, 2015)

Kushnir, I. (2015). Expanding the Horizons of the Referentiality Approach. Cambridge Open-Review Educational Research e-Journal, 1.2, 139-153.

Kushnir, I. (2015). The Limits of Soft Governance in Harmonization in the European Higher Education Area. Educate: The Journal of Doctoral Research in Education, 15.1, 11-21.

Kushnir, I. (2014). The Bologna Process as a Policy Transfer Issue. Cambridge Open-Review Educational Research e-Journal, 1.1, 59-73.

Book chapter

Prodromidou, A., Gkasis, P., Kushnir, I., Kilkey, M. and Strumia F. (2019). ‘Introduction’. In Prodromidou, A. and Gkasis, P. (ed.) Along the Balkan Route: The Impact of the Post-2014 ‘Migrant Crisis’ on the EU’s South East Periphery. Berlin: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

Articles for a wider audience

Strumia, F., Kilkey, M. and Kushnir, I. (2019). The lessons the EU learnt from the migrant crisis [in Italian]. Huffington Post Blog of Strumia, F.  

Kushnir, I., Kaliyeva, L., Yershova, Y. (2018). Another step towards inclusive education: SEN support in Kazakhstan. The blog of the Institute of Education, Nottingham Trent University

Kushnir, I., Yershova, Y., Kaliyeva, L., and Amirova, B. (2018). What are the limits of gender equality? Lessons from international studies. The blog of the Institute of Education, Nottingham Trent University

Kushnir, I., Yertay, C., and Tulesheva, A. (2018). How high-achieving students choose their career path. The blog of the Institute of Education, Nottingham Trent University

Kushnir, I., Tlekkyzy, D. and Medetbek, A. (2017). Good pre-university schooling for a good university: lessons from Kazakhstan. Blog of Education Trends

Kushnir, I. (2016). Harnessing the Local – Moving towards Conflict Resolution in Ukraine. Academic blog of the University of Edinburgh

Kushnir, I. (2015). Struggling to Meet the Millennium Development Goals: Who is to Be Blamed? Academic blog of the University of Edinburgh

Kushnir, I. (2015). No Ultimate Goal in the European Higher Education Reforms? Academic blog of the University of Edinburgh

See all of Dr Iryna Kushnir's publications...