Associate Professor and Director of Academic Studies
Centre for Lifelong Learning, Westwood Campus
Nalita is Director of Academic Studies in the Centre for Lifelong Learning, she is also an Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Leicester. Prior roles have included being the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Leicester, which was disestablished in October 2016, and Head of Curriculum and Quality for the Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service. Nalita is also Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Up until recently she was Chair and Council member of the Standing Conference on University Teaching and Research in the Education of Adults (SCUTREA). She is currently a member of the European Stakeholder Reference Group in Adult Education (EPALE) and the EAAL England Impact Forum, she is also Co-Editor of the Studies in the Education of Adults journal and editorial board member for the International Journal of Lifelong Education. She is an active researcher and advocate of lifelong learning and adult education. Nalita is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Nalita's research interests lie in the sociology of education and include: access to higher education; adult education; changing patterns of education, work and identity; lifelong learning; and education policy. Finally, her methodological research interests include the use of the internet and online research methods in qualitative research
With the Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service, Nalita was awarded funding from the Department for Local Government and Communities (September 2017-20) to examine the impact of adult education on migration and integration in Leicester.
Nalita has also conducted major research with Dr Hugh Busher, in the School of Education, funded by the British Academy and Aim Awards on the learning transitions of Access to Higher Education (HE) students. The study came at a time when shifting education policy was emphasising the need for HE to recruit and retain students to deliver future economic growth and social mobility, rather than creating opportunities for students to 'participate' in HE.
PhD Supervision and Interests
Nalita can supervise PhD students in the following areas:
- Access to higher education
- Adult education and lifelong learning
- Education, Work and Identity
- Social Justice and higher education
- Teaching and Learning
Full List of Publications
- James, N. and Busher, H. (2018) Improving Opportunities to Engage in Learning: A study of the Access to Higher Education Diploma, London: Routledge.
- Boeren, E. and James, N. (2019) Being an Adult Learner in Austere Times, London: Palgrave.
- Boeren, E. and James, N. (2018) Advancing Theory and Research in Widening Participation, London, Routledge.
- James, N. and Busher, H. (2009) Online Interviewing. London: Sage Publications.
- Busher, H. and James, N, (2020) Struggling to become successful learners: Mature students’ early experiences of Access to Higher Education courses, Studies in the Education of Adults. 51 (1) https://doi.org/10.1080/02660830.2018.1556483
- Busher, H. and James, N. (2019 ) Mature students’ socio-economic backgrounds and their choices of Access to Higher Education courses, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 44 (5) https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2019.1576857
- Lokhtina, I. and James, N. (2018) Feeling on the periphery? The challenge of supporting academic development and identity through communities of practice, Studies in the Education of Adults, 50 (1)39-56.
- Boeren, E. and James, N. (2017) Editors Special Issue: Advancing theory and research in widening participation, Studies in Continuing Education, 39 (2): 117-119.
- James, N. (2016) Creating space to think and time to talk. Using email interviews to gather academic narratives, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education,
- James, N. Suttill, B. and Busher, H. (2016) Using habitus and field to explore Access to Higher Education Students' identities and learning, Studies in the Education of Adults.47 (1): 4-20.
- Busher, H., James., N. and Piela, A. (2016) On Reflection: Mature Students’ Views of Teaching and Learning on Access to Higher Education Courses, International Studies in Sociology of Education http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09620214.2015.1083405
- Busher, H., James, N. and Piela, A. (2015) I always wanted to do second chance learning" Identities and Experiences of tutors on Access to HE courses, Research in Post-compulsory Education,20(2): DOI: 10.1080/13596748.2015.1030235
- James, N. (2015) “You've got mail...!" Using email interviews to gather academics' narratives of their working lives, International Journal of Research and Method in Education, DOI:10.1080/1743727X.2015.1056136
- James, N and Busher H. (2015) Guest editorial: Ethical issues in online research, Special Issue, Educational Research and Evaluation: An International Journal on Theory and Practice.21 (2): 89-94.
- Busher, H. and James, N. (2015) Special Issue In pursuit of ethical research: Studying hybrid, communities using online and face-to-face communications, Educational Research and Evaluation: An International Journal on Theory and Practice, 21 (2): 168-181.
- James, N. Busher, H., and Suttill, B. (2015) "We all know why we're here": Learning as a Community and Practice on Access to HE courses, Journal of Further and Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2015.1014319
- James, N., Busher, H., Piela, and A. Palmer, A.M. (2014) Transforming marginalized adult learners' views themselves: Access courses in England, British Journal of Sociology of Education (Special Issue), 35 (4) : 800-817
- James, N, and Busher (2013 Special Issue) Researching hybrid learning communities in the digital age through educational ethnography, Ethnography and Education, 8. (2): 194-209
- James, N. (2008) The use of email interviewing as a qualitative method of inquiry in educational research, British Educational Research Journal 33(6): 963-976.
- James, N. and Busher, H. (2007) Ethical issues in online educational research: protecting privacy, establishing authenticity in email interviewing,
- International Journal of Research & Method in Education 30(1): 101-113
- James, N. and Busher, H. (2006) Credibility, authenticity and voice: dilemmas in online interviewing, Qualitative Research 6(3): 403-420.
- Busher, N. and James, N (2017) Struggling for Selfhood: Non-traditional Mature Students’ Critical Perspectives on Access to Higher Education Courses, in R.Waller (eds) Class and Higher Education, London, Routledge.
- James, N. and Busher, H (2016) Online Interviews, D.Silverman (eds) Qualitative Research, London, Sage.
- James, N. and Busher, H. (2012) 'Credibility, Authenticity and Voice: Dilemmas in Online Research', in C.Hine (ed) Virtual Research Methods,London: Sage Publications.
- James, N. and Busher, H. (2012) 'Epistemological Dimensions in Qualitative Research' in J.Hughes (ed) SAGE Internet Research Methods, London Sage.
- James, N. and Busher, H. (2012) 'The Displacement of Time and Space in Online Research' in J.Hughes (ed) SAGE Internet Research Methods, London Sage.
- James, N. and Busher, H. (2012) Engaging with Research Participants Online' in J.Hughes (ed) SAGE Internet Research Methods, London Sage.
- James, N. and Busher, H. (2012) 'Credibility, Authenticity and Voice: Dilemmas in Online Interviewing' in J.Hughes (ed) SAGE Internet Research Methods, London Sage.
- Busher, H. and James, N. (2012) Qualitative interviewing in cyberspace, in S. Delamont (ed) Handbook of Qualitative Research Edward Elgar.
- Busher, H. and James, N. (2012) The ethical framework of research practice in A. Briggs, M. Coleman, M. Morrison(eds) Research Methods in Educational Leadership and Management 3rd Edn, London: Sage.
- Busher, H. and James, N. (2012) 'Being there.' Reconceptulisations of space, time and place for ethnographers in hybrid and virtual educational contexts' in S. Marques da Silva and P. Land (eds) Rethinking Education Ethnography: Researching Online Communities and Interactions.
Available online at:www.ethnographyandeducation.org/documents/portocall.doc
- James, N. and Busher, H. (2012) 'Internet Interviewing', in J. Gubrium, J. Holstein, A. Marvasti and K. McKinney Marvasti (eds.) Handbook of Interview Research (2nd edn.). New York: Sage.
- James, N. and McNeil, B. (2011) 'The Impact of Drama on Young Offenders' Learning Identities and Careers', in B. Merrill (ed.) Learning to Change? The Role of Identity and Learning Careers in Adult Education. Oxford: Peter Lang Publishing.
- James, N. (2008) Authenticity, in L.M. Given (ed.).The Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods, London: Sage Publications
- James, N. (2007) The learning trajectories of old-timers: academic identities and communities of practice in higher education, in J. Hughes, N. Jewson and L. Unwin (eds.) Communities of Practice: Critical Perspectives. London: Routledge.
- James, N. and Busher, H. (2016) Employability and Learning: Access to HE Students’ Experiences, Gloucester, QAA
- James, N. Busher, H. Piela, A, Palmer, A-M (2014) Access to Higher Education Students' Learning Transitions, Phase 2 Report, Aim Awards and British Academy.
- James, N., Busher, H. and Suttill, B. (2012) Access to Higher Education Students Learning Transitions Phase 1 Report, University of Leicester
- James, N. (2014) Consuming Higher Education: Why Learning Can’t be Bought, Studies in the Education of Adults, 46 (11): pp 224-228.
- James, N. (2014) Lifelong Learning and Social Justice. Work and identities in a globalised world, British Educational Research Journal, 40 (3) 581-582
- James, N (2012) Five Ways of Doing Qualitative Analysis, British Educational Research Journal,38 (5): 883-884
Published Conference Proceedings
- James, N. (2016) Adult Education in Austere Times, Standing Conference for University Teachers and Researchers in the Education of Adults, 45th SCUTREA Conference 2016, Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Leicester, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8CpqlADwoQldGdfVEJKMnJGNHM/view
- Piela, A., Busher. H., James, N. and Palmer, A-M (2014) Agency and Future Life Trajectories in Accounts and Access to Higher Education students in England, I B. Kapplingter, N. Lichte, E. Haberzeth, C.Kulms (eds) Changing Configurations of Adult Education in Transitional Times. Proceedings of the ESREA Friennial Research Conference 2013. Humboldt University of Berlin: Germany ISBN: 978-3-8600-297-7
- James, N. (2021) A Pedagogy of Hope for Mature Students? Adult Education in a Post-Pandemic Era. Hope, social mobility and personal emancipation: what does the future hold for mature students in English Higher Education?[online seminar], Society for Research into Higher Education.
- James, N. and Busher, H. (2019) The Impact of Access to HE on Hard to Reach Learners Lives, Vaughan Cooperate College Inaugural Lecturer, 6th June 2019.
- N. (2014) Re-engaging Mature Learners through the Access to HE Diploma, Access to HE Conference: ‘Everybody’s business’ (or - ‘it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it’) University of Derby, 5th April 2014.