Professor Claire Callender

IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society and Birkbeck

Claire Callender is Professor of Higher Education Studies at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society. She is a Deputy Director of CGHE. Claire led on CGHE Project 5, ‘Student loan debt and graduate decision-making’ which explored the impact of income-contingent student loan debt on English graduates’ lives using both quantitative and qualitative methods. It showed how loan debt can have negative effects on graduates’ lives.

Claire’ research is significant because of growing global concerns about graduates’ rising student loan debt and its potentially damaging consequences for graduates, governments, and society. Yet, government rhetoric and most extant research ignore the realities of repaying student loans. US-based studies of indebted graduates, which dominate the existing literature, have limited relevance outside the US, especially in countries with income-contingent student loans. Importantly, the qualitative lens adopted in the research counters the overrepresentation of quantitative economic studies which limit understandings of graduates’ subjective experiences. The research challenges policy makers’ misplaced assumptions about income-contingent student loan debt, in the hope of informing a more rounded global debate about student funding.

Claire’s other research, writing and policy advice focus on student finances in higher education and related issues. Claire was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours 2017 for services to higher education.

Claire’s full profile is available on UCL’s website.

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