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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, UG and PG teaching and supervision, leadership and administrative responsibilities within the Nottingham Institute of Education, the School of Social Sciences and beyond, cooperating with colleagues from other universities in the UK and internationally. She is a qualitative researcher with an interdisciplinary research background.

Career overview

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS: PhD (University of Edinburgh, UK), MA (Central European University, Hungary/Austria), PSCert (Ball State University, USA), BEd Hons (Ternopil National Pedagogical University, Ukraine), BA Hons (Ternopil National Economic University, Ukraine)

CAREER MOBILITY:  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 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.

Research areas

RESEARCH EXPERTISE:  higher education, education policy, Europeanisation, post-Soviet transition, social justice.


  • 2022-2024 - ‘Europeanisation agenda and membership in the European Higher Education Area post-2020: stakeholders’ perspectives from the UK, Germany, France and Italy’
  • 2020-2021 - ‘Strategic significance of UK’s membership in the European Higher Education Area for the UK: the perspectives of key UK HE actors’
  • 2020 - ‘Towards social justice in the European Education Area’
  • 2019-2020 - ‘Re-introducing the homeless in Nottingham to education’
  • 2019-2020 - ‘Education and the UN Developmental Goals Projects (MDGs and SDGs): definitions, links, operationalisations
  • 2018-2019 – ‘Free University Nottingham’
  • 2018-2019 - ‘A growing voice of ‘inclusion’ in the neoliberal context of the Bologna Process'


  • Jennifer Swineheart
  • Clare Allen
  • Sara Bdeir
  • Kelly Winfield

External activity

Dr Kushnir has co-founded a national-level non-for-profit research organisation the Ukrainian Educational Research Association (UERA) in 2015, acting as a communication officer. UERA has become the biggest and most influential national research association in Ukraine, evidenced by the fact that it has gained full membership in the European Educational Research Association (EERA).

Dr Kushnir is an executive editor of Sciendo's Journal of Pedagogy and a member of the British Education Research Association (BERA) working group of six academics across the UK for reviewing and recommending updates to the latest version of BERA Research Ethics Guidelines (2018). She has also reviewed for a range of journals and edited volumes by different publishers: Social Policy and Society, European Journal of Higher Education,  European Educational Research Journal, Scientometrics, Journal of Sustainable Development, Cambridge Open-Review Educational Research e-Journal, book content for Emerald Ltd, Springer, etc.

Dr Kushnir is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

Sponsors and collaborators

Dr Kushnir is the PI on the two-year project funded by Spencer Foundation ($50,000) 'Europeanisation agenda and membership in the European Higher Education Area post-2020: stakeholders’ perspectives from the UK, Germany, France and Italy'


Authored book

Kushnir, I. (2021). The Bologna Reform in Ukraine: Learning Europeanisation in the Post-Soviet Context. Emerald Publishing.

Articles in academic peer-reviewed journals

Kushnir, I. and Nunes, A. (2022). Education and the UN developmental goals projects (MDGs and SDGs): definitions, links, operationalisations. Journal of Research in International Education.

Kushnir, I. and Brooks, R. (2022). UK membership(s) in the European Higher Education Area post-2020: a ‘Europeanisation’ agenda. European Educational Research Journal.

Kushnir, I. (2022). Referentiality mechanisms in EU education policymaking: The case of the European Education Area. European Journal of Education Research, Development and Policy.  DOI:  10.1111/ejed.12485

Kushnir, I. (2021). The role of the European Education Area in European Union integration in times of crises. European  Review. DOI: 10.1017/S1062798721000016 with Addendum

Kushnir, I. and Spowart, L. (2021). University teacher development courses in the UK neoliberal higher education context. Education in the North, 28.2, 164-170.

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.

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