Dr Muir Houston is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and a member of the Social Justice, Place and Lifelong Education (SJPLE) Research Group at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, UK. He is also the Chair of the College of Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee and an Associate of both PASCAL and CRADALL networks. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has previously held positions in the Institute of Education at the University of Stirling and the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of the West of Scotland and has over 18 years’ experience in academic research. A sociologist by training, he has research interests in adult and lifelong learning, including the development and implementation of learning cities and regions; aspects of the contemporary student experience including access, retention, progression and performance, and issues of widening participation and inequality of opportunity. In addition, he has research interests in the career and educational motivations and aspirations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
He is proficient in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research often with an emphasis on advanced quantitative techniques including considerable experience of case study comparative research and leads a PG module on Research Methods. In addition to his teaching commitments he supervises students at Masters and Doctoral levels.
He has been involved in projects funded by: the Scottish Funding Council/National Health Service (Scotland), concerned with the selection of students to Medicine, Veterinary Science and the Allied Health Professions (WHAP and WHAN); a major ESRC/TLRP project utilising a case study approach to investigate the social and organisational mediation of university learning (SOMUL); and a number of European Union projects.
At the European level he has been involved in four projects funded under the LLL programme: R3L+ (504475-LLP-1-2009-1-DE-GRUNDTVIG-GMP) which involved a case study approach to investigate issues of quality and partnership in the creation of successful learning regions/cities and focused on adult learning partnerships; GINCO (503706-LLP-1-2009-1-BE-GRUNDTVIG-GNW) which looked at issues of quality in Grundtvig IST courses; the THEMP project (511690-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-KA1-KA1SCR) which again adopted a comparative approach to examine barriers to and opportunities for the participation of mid-life adults in higher education as a response to Europe 2020; and the LETAE project (LETAE: 539382-LLP-1-2013-1-ES-ERASMUS-EQR) which builds on THEMP, but focuses on work-related elements of HE collaborations with employers and trade groups .
He has excellent interpersonal, communication and networking skills and has experience of working within multinational, multidisciplinary teams and has coordinated numerous work packages and research strategies including activities in the R3L+, THEMP and GINCO projects. Through the PASCAL and CRADALL networks he has experience of the project dissemination and exploitation; and has published widely in the area of higher education with a focus on access, widening participation, the student experience and the role of flexible practices.