Working at the nexus of development and humanitarian scholarship, policy and practice, Kathleen's professional experience has been wide-ranging and varied, including research, teaching, training, programme and project management, policy analysis, partner coordination and advocacy with academic institutions, governments, multi-lateral (UNHCR, UNICEF, UNGEI, European Union) and bilateral organisations (Global Affairs Canada, SIDA) and INGOs (Oxfam Novib, WUSC, Save the Children, British Council). Global regions of professional experience include: West Asia (Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, Syria, UAE), North Africa and the Sahel (Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan), Sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria), South Asia (India) and East Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore).
Kathleen holds a DPhil Education and Development from the University of Sussex, an MSc Gender and Development from the London School of Economics (LSE), an MAT (TESOL) from the School for International Training Graduate Institute (SIT) (USA) and a BEd and PGDipEd from the University of Alberta (Canada).
Before coming to St Mary’s, Kathleen lectured and taught at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the University of East Anglia (UEA-DEV) and the Institute of Education, University College London (IoE/UCL).
Prior to completing her PhD, Kathleen was Director of Education for Development at UNICEF Canada, Curriculum Reform Advisor for Gender at the Ghana Ministry of Education (WUSC/CIDA) and a teacher/lecturer in various schools, colleges and universities around the world.
During her time at St Mary’s University, Kathleen was Associate Professor (education in development and humanitarian contexts), Founding Director (2019) of the Centre for Research into the Education of Marginalised Children and Young Adults (CREMCYA) and Founding Course Lead (2020) for the MA Education, International Development and Social Justice.
She remains an Honorary Researcher in CREMCYA.
Kathleen's research interests centre around the sociology and political economy of education and learning within development and humanitarian contexts.
Specific themes of interest include: identities, inequalities, social exclusion, social cohesion, social mobility, citizenship, inter/intra community relations and institutional power.
Kathleen’s doctoral research (2011) explored how Palestinian youth construct, articulate and negotiate their identities vis-à-vis nation, religion and gender through formal and non-formal education institutions and networks in UNRWA refugee camps in south Lebanon.
Other research projects/consultancies have included:
- 2021-2024, Identifying best practice for empowerment through entrepreneurial freedom for women and youth in slum settlements in Delhi, India (in collaboration with the University of Newcastle)
- 2021, Research Consultant: Mapping of Refugee Access to the National Education System in North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia) (UNHCR)
- 2014-2020, Troubling Muslim youth identities: nation, religion, gender - Lebanon, Pakistan, Senegal, Nigeria (in collaboration with the University of Sussex)
- 2016-2017, Research Consultant: Syrian youths’ perceptions and experiences of higher education opportunities for refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey (British Council/ UNHCR)
- 2016, Higher Education Consultant: Creating Tertiary Education Opportunities for Refugees in Europe (UNHCR)
- 2015, Tertiary Education Advisor: Syrian Refugees in Jordan (UNHCR)
- 2015, Research Consultant: Factors affecting the education and retention of girls in basic schools in Sudan (SOFRECO/ European Union)
- 2014, Researcher: Teacher education, teacher practice, gender and girls’ schooling outcomes: A study in five Nigerian states (IoE/UCL)
- 2012-2013, Research Consultant: Youth as active citizens for their rights to education and SRHR - Palestine, Pakistan, Nigeria, Senegal (University of Sussex/ Oxfam Novib)
- 2010, Senior Gender and Education consultant: Transforming policy and practice for gender in education: a review of the 2010 Education for All Global Monitoring Report using an equity and inclusion lens (UNGEI/ UNICEF)
- 2009, Senior Gender and Education consultant: Transforming policy and practice for gender in education: a gender review of the 2009 EFA Global Monitoring Report (UNGEI/ UNICEF)
- 2001, Gender and Education Consultant: Rights and Equity in the Classroom: classroom interactions in basic schools in Ghana (UNICEF)
- 1999, Economic Development and ‘Modernisation’: progression or regression for women in the UAE? (MSc dissertation – London School of Economics)
- COMPARE: A Journal of Comparative and International Education (BAICE)
- Girlhood Studies
- International Journal of Educational Development
- Journal on Education in Emergencies (INEE)
- Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies
- Journal of Refugee Studies
- Prospects: Quarterly Review of Comparative Education (UNESCO)
- Fincham, K. (with Dunne, M., Durrani, N. and Crossouard, B.) (2017). Troubling Muslim Youth Identities: Nation, religion, gender. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Fincham, K. (2023). ‘UNRWA and the politics of education for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon’. In J. Matthews and Q. Maire (eds), Handbook of Refugee Education: Comparative perspectives, innovations and new directions. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing (in progress).
- Fincham, K. (2022). ‘Gender, higher education and Capabilities within the Syrian context’. In Y. Baiza (ed), Education in Troubled Times: A Global Pluralist Response. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 147-167.
- Fincham, K. (with Dunne, M., Durrani, N. and Crossouard, B.) (2014). ‘Youth Researching Youth: Reflections from a multi-country study of youth claiming rights to education and sexual/reproductive health’. In S. Bastien and H. Holmarsdottir (eds), Youth at the Margins: Experiences from engaging youth in research worldwide. Rotterdam: Sense, pp. 219-316.
- Fincham, K. (2013). ‘Shifting Youth Identities and Notions of Citizenship in the Palestinian Diaspora: The case of Lebanon’. In D. Kiwan (ed), Naturalization Policies, Education and Citizenship: Multicultural and multi-nation societies in international perspective. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 150-178.
Journal articles (peer-reviewed)
- Fincham, K. (2022). ‘Gender Norms and Syrian Refugee Women’s Negotiation of Higher Educational Choices in Jordan and Lebanon’. International Journal of Educational Development, Volume 92, 102629, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2022.102629
- Fincham, K. (2022). ‘Identity Politics and Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Implications for higher education’. Comparative Education Review, 66(2), pp. 302-320. DOI: 10.1086/718929
- Fincham, K. (2020). ‘Higher education and Syrian refugees’ navigation of economic, social and political constraints in exile’. Education and Conflict Review (3), pp. 29-37.
- Fincham, K. (2020). ‘Rethinking higher education for Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey’. Research in Comparative and International Education. DOI: 10.1177/1745499920926050
- Fincham, K., & Dunne, M. (2020). ‘Fracturing the nation: Muslim youth identities in multi-religious states’. Social Identities, 26(3), 330-344. DOI:10.1080/13504630.2020.1765762
- Fincham, K. (with Dunne, M., Crossouard, B. and Durrani, N.) (2020). ‘Gender symbolism and the expression of post-colonial national and religious identities’. Social Identities, 26(3), 376-387. DOI:10.1080/13504630.2020.1765765
- Fincham, K. (with Dunne, M., Durrani, N. and Crossouard, B.) (2020) ‘Pluralising Islam: Doing Muslim identities differently’. Social Identities, 26(3), 345-360. DOI:10.1080/13504630.2020.1765763
- Fincham, K. (2017). ‘Gender and Primary School Dropout in Sudan: Girls' education and retention in Red Sea State’. Prospects: quarterly review of comparative education (UNESCO) 47, 361–376. DOI: 10.1007/s11125-018-9420-6
- Fincham, K. (2013). ‘Constructions, contradictions and reconfigurations of “manhood” among youth in Palestinian camps in Lebanon’. International Journal of Educational Development, 37: 48-56.
- Fincham, K. (2012). ‘Nationalist narratives, boundaries and social inclusion/exclusion in Palestinian camps in South Lebanon’. COMPARE: a journal of comparative and international education, 42(2): 303-324.
- Fincham, K. (2012). ‘Learning the Nation in Exile: Constructing youth identities, belonging and “citizenship” in Palestinian refugee camps in South Lebanon’. Comparative Education, 48(1): 119-133.
- Fincham, K. (2010). ‘The Construction of the Palestinian Girl: Voices from South Lebanon’. Girlhood Studies, 3(1): 34-54.
Technical reports and policy papers
- Fincham, K. (2022). Mapping of Refugee Access to the National Education System in North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia). UNHCR.
- Fincham, K. (2017). Syrian Youths’ Perceptions and Experiences of Higher Education Opportunities for Refugees - MENA Regional Summary. British Council.
- Fincham, K. (2016). Establishing Higher Education Scholarship Schemes as a Pathway of Admission for Refugees to Europe. UNHCR.
- Fincham, K. (2015). Factors Affecting the Education and Retention of Girls in Primary Education in the Red Sea State of Sudan: Perspectives from Port Sudan, Hayya and Tokar. SOFRECO/European Union.
- Fincham, K. (with Dunne, M., Durrani, N. & Crossouard, B.) (2013). Youth as Active Citizens Report: Youth working towards their rights to education and sexual/reproductive health. University of Sussex/ Oxfam Novib.
- Fincham, K. (with Smith, R.L.). (2010). Transforming Policy and Practice for Gender in Education: A review of the 2010 Education for All Global Monitoring Report using an equity and inclusion lens. UNICEF/ UNGEI.
- Fincham, K. (with Smith, R.L.). (2009). Transforming Policy and Practice for Gender in Education: A gender review of the 2009 EFA Global Monitoring Report. UNICEF/ UNGEI.
- Fincham, K. (with Asiegbor, I.; Nanang, M.; Gala, E. E. K.; Britwum, A. O.) (2001). Rights and Equity in the Classroom: A case study of classroom interactions in basic schools in Ghana. UNICEF.