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Dr Caroline Oliver
Appointment
  • Associate Professor of Sociology
  • IOE - Education, Practice & Society
  • UCL Institute of Education
Role
UCL Subsidiary Supervisor
Biography

Caroline Oliver joined the Institute of Education in May 2019, having previously been a Reader in Sociology at the University of Roehampton. She is a Research Affiliate of the University of Oxford’s Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) where she worked as Senior Researcher from 2012-2016.

Research Groups
Research Summary

Caroline is a sociologist with expertise in the field of migration. Using qualitative and mixed-methods studies, she seeks to understand the interactions of migration with state policies and institutions (welfare, education etc.) and their consequences for social justice. She has interests in migrant identities and their intersections with other vectors of difference, especially life course and social class. She is currently Principal Investigator of research into city-led innovation in asylum seeker reception, evaluating the Utrecht Refugee Launchpad in the Netherlands (see https://www.compas.ox.ac.uk/project/utrecht-refugee-launchpad/)

Caroline is a series editor of the book series Sociological Futures, published by Routledge in association with the British Sociological Association. She is co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of the journal Comparative Migration Studies on innovation in city approaches to asylum seeker reception. This explores the changing governance of migration and the impact of the 'local turn', as well as practical innovations that aim to generate social connections between residents and newcomers.  Recent and forthcoming publications are on ‘encounters’ with difference and new urban socialities in the context of asylum reception, the impacts of legal restrictions to entitlements (welfare, education, healthcare etc. ) on migrants’ trajectories, and bordering practices in education. In 2016, she was part of the COMPAS team that developed a prize-winning online tool that helped simplify the assessment of migrant families’ eligibility for welfare and housing support, that is still used extensively by local authorities and NGOs. 

Current and previous research

- Caroline is Principal Investigator of a research and evaluation strand of the Utrecht Refugee Launchpad in the Netherlands, an innovative asylum seeker centre funded by the European Commission’s Urban Innovative Actions and Utrecht city council (2016-2019). The research investigates how principles of co-living and co-learning (including the provision of education in English and entrepreneurship) help to reduce hostility between locals and asylum seekers, improve early integration and enhance wellbeing. 

- Caroline led a strand around 'education' in an Open Society funded project Action for Inclusion across Europe, at COMPAS, University of Oxford, working with six local authorities across Europe on tangible reforms for migrant parental engagement in school in 2015-2016.

- Caroline coordinated an international, comparative project ('IMPACIM') funded by the EU fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals at COMPAS, University of Oxford from 2012-2014, which investigated the impacts of restrictive conditions of stay on the economic, social, cultural and political integration of third country nationals in four countries in Europe.

- Caroline worked on a range of projects at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge from 2006-2012 on topics including: Home-school relations for families with migrant children with SEN/D; youth exclusion; bullying and SEN/D; student HEI choice in the contexts of financial constraints and the status of teachers and the teaching profession (DfE).
 
- Doctoral and subsequent research on International Retirement Migration in Spain, with attention to life course transitions and social class reproduction; ‘community’ in liquid contexts (1998-).
 

Teaching Summary

Caroline is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  At IOE, she will take a lead role in the design and delivery of the new undergraduate BSc degree in Sociology, convening modules in 'Identities' and 'Urban Sociology in a Global World'. Caroline has held lecturing and research posts at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, University of Hull and the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education and the University of Oxford.

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