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Marcellus Mbah

Marcellus Mbah

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Academic Division


Dr Mbah has an interdisciplinary background that draws on Management, Development and Education. He is currently a senior lecturer in the Institution of Education, contributing to the teaching of a range of modules and providing research supervision.

Career overview

Prior to joining NTU, Dr Mbah taught the following modules at Bournemouth University.

  • Leadership at Masters Level
  • Business Management and Developing Management Competence at Undergraduate Level

In addition, he was an active member of a research team, providing PhD supervision and examining transfers. He also led an internal funding scheme and provided leadership to the University’s Research Staff Association (RSA).

Prior to joining Bournemouth University in 2015, he contributed to the teaching of Research Methods at Canterbury Christ Church University, as well as served as a member of an Ethics Committee.

Research areas

Following the completion of his PhD on the topic "Rethinking university engagement to address local priority needs within the context of community development: a case study", examined by Kwame Akyeampong, Professor of International Education & Development at Sussex (external), Dr Mbah has administered a number of projects.

He led a project that explored the placement experience of international students. The findings of this project were presented at the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) network event in London, on 13 November 2015.

As Principal Investigator, he also completed a Fair Access research project that aims to understand university financial support and bursaries and their impact on students’ decision for higher education / university, choice of degree programme, retention, well-being, success and employability – findings were presented at the British Education Research Association (BERA) conference in September 2017.

Current projects Dr Mbah is working on include the following:

  • Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Research Awards 2018. A determination of how African academics understand and maximise the existing and potential role of indigenous knowledge and practices within their community-based research: Profiling the ecologically minded university and its contribution to sustainable development (PI)
  • NTU School of Social Sciences QR Funding, December 2018. Understanding value driven volunteering and its instrumentality in fostering a student’s civic engagement and wellbeing (PI).
  • NTU School of Social Sciences QR Funding, October 2019. A systematic review into mechanisms that have been used or currently deploy in the integration of indigenous knowledge systems to inform, as well as realise the sustainable development goals (SDGs), with emphasis on Education (SDG4) (PI).

His Research interests touch on the overarching themes of:

  • Higher Education and Sustainable Development
  • University Community Engagement
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Indigenous Knowledge Systems
  • Graduate Employability
  • Corporate Social Responsibility

In realising his research objectives, a versatile set of designs and skills come to fore, notably: Qualitative Case Studies, Ethnographies, Narratives, Knowledge Co-creation and Mixed Methodology.

Enquiries about PhD or research supervision that touches on any of the mentioned areas of interest are most welcome. Further information regarding research degrees can be obtained from NTU Doctoral School.

External activity

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Society for Research into Higher Education
  • Member of the Association for Moral Education

Selected conference presentations:

Mbah, M. 2018. Matching International Students' Placement Expectation and Experience: An Institutional Case Study. ASET Annual Conference 2018, Future-proofing Placements:Sharing Success and Inspiring Innovation, University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus 4th – 6th September 2018.

Mbah, M., Holley, D. and Eccles, S. 2017. Optimising Higher Education Opportunities through Financial Support: What More Do Students Need? British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, 5 September 2017, University of Sussex

Mbah, M. & Fonchingong C. C. 2017. Forging a university-aided indigenous community education policy: village elders, informal education and social development in Cameroon. Engaged Learning Symposium, University of Sheffield, 6-7th July 2017.

Mbah, M. 2016. Towards a university-driven service learning model for community development. Association for Moral Education’s 42nd Annual Conference, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, December 8-11, 2016.

Mbah, M. 2016. The instrumentality of community-based service learning in instigating local transformations: An investigation into the role community voices. 13th PASCAL Conference in Glasgow, 3-5 June, 2016.

Mbah, M. 2015. The placement experience of international students. The SRHE Employability, Enterprise and Work-based Learning Network Event - Developing the most employable global citizens: How can we encourage and celebrate outward mobility and working abroad? London, 13th November 2015

Mbah, M. 2015. (Invited keynote speaker) The idea of the interconnected university for a sustainable community development. The international scientific-practical conference on “Studies in Modern Society”, Siaulial, Lithuania, 26th February 2015.

External Awards:

  • Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) 2018 Research Awards.
  • Travel grants from the Association for Moral Education (2016) and World Social Science Forum (2013).
  • In 2013, he was granted a Graduate Scholar Award by the World Universities Forum.

Sponsors and collaborators

Dr Mbah is currently collaborating with colleagues at Canterbury Christ Church University, Rowan University, University of Zambia and University of Gambia on a number of projects


Journal articles

Mbah, M., & Fonchingong, C. (2019). Curating indigenous knowledge and practices for sustainable development: possibilities for a socio-ecologically-minded university. Sustainability, 11(15), 4244.

Mbah, M., & Fonchingong Che, C. (2019). University’s catalytic effect in engendering local development drives: insight into the instrumentality of community-based service learning. Journal of Sustainable Development, 12(3), 22-34.

Mbah, M., Eccles, S. & Frost, S. (2018) Student Perceptions and Institutional Targets: the matches and mismatches of financial bursary support. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, Vol. 20, No. 4, November 2018. DOI:

Mbah, M. (2018). Can local knowledge make the difference? Rethinking university engagement and prospect for community development. Journal of Environmental Education, DOI:10.1080/00958964.2018.1462136

Goodwin, K. and Mbah, M., 2017. Enhancing the work placement experience of international students: towards a support framework. Journal of Further and Higher Education

Tauringana, V., Mbah, M. and Alexander, P. (2017). Interrogating the importance and awareness of NSS improvement initiatives: A case study of final year undergraduate studentsJournal of Further and Higher Education.

Mbah, M. F. (2016). Towards the idea of the interconnected university for sustainable community developmentHigher Education Research & Development, 1-14. Taylor and Francis.

Mbah, M. (2015). Towards a model of university-aided technologically driven community developmentCommunity Development Journal50(3), 463-477. Oxford University Press.

Mbah, M. (2014). Galvanizing a University’s Developmental Mission through Community Participation. Journal of the World Universities Forum, 6 (2), 53-64. Common Ground Publishing

Mbah, M. (2014). The Dilemma of Graduate Unemployment within a Context of Poverty, Scarcity and Fragile Economy: Are there Lessons for the University? International Journal of Economics and Finance, 6 (12), 27.

Mbah, M. (2014). Connecting the University with the Local Community: Exploring Strategic Links to Capture and Maximise Community Voices. STUDIES IN MODERN SOCIETY, 5 (1), 42-51. ISSN 2029-431X

MBAH, M., 2012. Institutionalising 'community voice' within the framework of a university's developmental mission. Educational Alternatives, 10 (2), pp. 347-358. ISSN 1313-2571


Mbah, M., 2012. Motivation of university support staff to improve work performance. Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing.


Widening opportunities for higher education through financial supports: what are the key determinants?

Are students ready for a flat world?

See all of Marcellus Mbah's publications...