Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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Dr Ceryn Evans

DrCerynEvans.JPGRole: Research Associate

Institution: Cardiff University


Telephone: 02920 870854


To explore the impacts of widening access initiatives in Wales on entry to higher education in order to further our understanding of the social processes underpinning participation in HE. Specifically, my role involves carrying out analysis on distinctive policies adopted in Wales to widen access. My role also involves examining the ways in which national policies have been implemented by the Welsh universities, paying attention to the assumptions about the determinants of HE participation that are in play.


I have been a researcher at WISERD since 2013 when I began work on a project which explored the Welsh Government’s implementation of ‘widening access to higher education’ policies by higher education institutions in Wales. In 2015, I began work on a ‘civil society’ project which explored the role of graduates in local civil society. I have completed an ESRC funded PhD at Cardiff University’s Schools of Social Science. Before embarking on the PhD I completed an MSc in Social Science Research Methods and before that a degree in Psychology and Education (BSc) both at Cardiff University.

Research Interests

My research interests lie within the area of sociology, education, social class and place. I am particularly interested in the ways in which social class and geographical place bears upon young people’s educational transitions, and how contemporary economic climates also frame them. I am also interested in civil society, and the role that graduates play in the formation of local civil society. 

Current Research

I am currently working as a research associate on a civil society project at WISERD exploring the role that graduates play in local civil society. This is a mixed methods project involving the collection and analysis of interview data, as well as quantitative analysis of secondary survey data derived from a large scale cohort study. It aims to explore the extent to which the shift from ‘elite’ to ‘mass’ systems of higher education (HE) have influenced the roles that graduates play in local civil society. Specifically, my role involves conducting interviews with graduates from contrasting HE systems (‘elite’ and ‘mass’ systems) and analysing this data with a view to explore the extent to which graduates roles in local civil society have changed as the HE systems in the UK have shifted. 

Publications in process:

Evans, C and Donnelly, M (in process). ‘It’ll be worth it to have that little bit of ‘debt’: young people’s views on debt in the context of a changing higher education funding landscapes. Journal of Education Policy.





Latest News
Young People and Brexit

22nd March 2017

WISERD has recently been awarded ESRC funding to carry out a new interdisciplinary study into how young people in the UK feel about, and are responding to, the most significant policy issue of this Parliament: the UK’s exit from the European Union.


Poverty and Food Banks in Wales

16th March 2017

Poverty and the rise of food banks in Wales were the focus of research shared at WISERD’s latest civil society seminar, held at Cardiff last night. PhD student, David Beck and Dr Hefin Gwilym from Bangor University’s School of Social Sciences presented findings from their research exploring the experience of food poverty in Wales.


Featured Events
26 April, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Aberystwyth University (room to be confirmed)

As part of the WISERD Centre for Welsh Politics and Society Seminar Series, Dr Taulant Guma from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University presents emerging findings from the WISERD/Civil Society project on ‘Migrants, Minorities and Engagement in Local Civil Society’.