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Professor Karen Heard-Laureote

Professor of Education and Society

Karen Heard-Laureote


Karen Heard-Lauréote is available for all media work and for the supervision of post-graduate research projects (ProfDoc/PhD).

I have supervised successful thesis in the following areas: local government transnational networking in Europe, the transparency of expertise in EU policy-making, transnational social networks in the 1970s, democratic legitimacy in the European Commission, the internationalisation of HE in Vietnam and international student mobility in China.


Professor Karen Heard-Laureote is Professor of Education and Society and Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration and Director of the University of Portsmouth's Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for the Study of Transnational Europe (CESTE2). Her main expertise lies in active learning pedagogies, civic education and local/regional/national/transnational networks. Karen is a National Teaching Fellow (NTF), Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) and a Fellow of the Leadership Foundation (FLF). Karen is involved in the defence and promotion of the European Studies field in higher education in cooperation with UACES, with a primary focus on the United Kingdom. Karen is co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary European Research (JCER) Teaching and Learning section.

Research Interests

The overarching theme of my research is access and participation. These themes are explored within three core research areas:


  1. Access and participation of civil society stakeholders to European decision-making. Karen's previous research has explored the degree to which organised civil society participation is contingent on civil society organisations' legitimacy and representativeness and the democratic credentials of structures created to facilitate civil society access and participation in decision-making at EU level.
  2. Access and participation of students to postgraduate study within HE contexts. Karen has explored the extent to which access to and participation in post-graduate HE study is contingent on opening up flexible routes for study which facilitate access to non-traditional cohorts. Karen has also explored the way in which academic departments - the main structural container in which this study is undertaken by students and offered by HE staff - are structured impacts upon student access and participation. Karen is also co-Investigator on a research project funded by a OfS Catalyst Fund award which is investigating methods of improving postgraduate research student wellbeing by increasing mental health literacy and social support.
  3. Access and participation of secondary school pupils from non-traditional backgrounds to HE through active learning pedagogies. Karen's research advocates for academic researchers making space for and translating research in their substantive research area into their day to day HE teaching and learning practices to provide research informed teaching. Teaching and learning practices which enthuse and motivate students once they transition to HE is not sufficient however. Karen's research argues that enhancing the access to and participation of under-represented groups in HE - particularly in the social sciences - can be achieved through taking active learning pedagogies - like simulations - out into secondary schools to raise aspirations about entering HE, demystifying the University campus and boosting interest in the social sciences. This research is being undertaken as part of the University of Portsmouth's Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for the Study of Transnational Europe (CESTE2) and also incorporates teaching under-graduate political science using active learning pedagogies and simulated learning environments.  


Research Clusters 

  • Higher Education Researcg Group (CEISR)

Discipline Areas

  • Higher Education Pedagogy
  • Higher Education Policy
  • Teaching and Learning for Post-Graduate Research Students
  • European Studies
  • Politics and International Relations

Teaching Responsibilities

My main teaching interests are the development and integration of active learning pedagogies in political science education; especially the development and delivery of political simulations. Karen also teaches on research preparation modules, research training and takes an active role in continuing professional development for staff, research supervisors and research students.


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