School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Professor Sue Robson

Professor of Education



Sue Robson is Professor of Education in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences. Sue is a member of the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLAT) and leads the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (HE) Research Group. Her current research focuses on the internationalization of HE; innovative teaching and learning in HE; reward and recognition for teaching excellence in HE; educational leadership. She is Principal Investigator 2016-18 on an Erasmus Strategic Partnerships Project 'Approaches and Tools for Internationalisation at Home'. She is also Principal Investigator 2017-18 on a British Council, Brazil Capacity Building & Internationalisation for Higher Education Project: 'Developing an institutional strategy and practical framework for internationalisation of the curriculum

Background Sue taught in secondary schools and special education services for 13 years before joining Newcastle University in 1995. Sue taught in the Centre for International Studies in Education, University of Newcastle from 1997-2002, and became Director of the Centre in 2001.  She was a member of Newcastle University Senate 2008-2011 and Head of the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences 2007-2015. From 2009-2011 Sue was Co-Director of the North East Regional Centre for LINKS into Languages, funded by the Department of Children Schools and Families (DCSF) to bring together all those working with languages in the region through networking, action research and innovative Professional Development opportunities. From 2013-15 she convened a Research and Practice Network for the Higher Education Academy on Internationalising the Curriculum. Sue was co-author (with Yvonne Turner) of Internationalizing the University: an introduction for university teachers and managers, 2008, Continuum Press. She was Co- Principal Investigator on an Inter-Institutional Benchmarking Project: Promoting Teaching (with the universities of Tasmania, Wollongong, and Leicester, funded by the HEA). From 2014-2016 she was Principal Investigator on an Erasmus Strategic Partnerships Project, Entrepreneurial Competences for School Leadership Teams.

Roles and Responsibilities

Sue supervises doctoral research into innovative learning and teaching;  the internationalization of higher education; educational leadership. With a team from CfLAT she developed and delivers the EQUATE (Equal Acclaim for Teaching Excellence) research and practice network for university teachers. She is a member of the advisory group for Reward and Recognition of Teaching Excellence at Newcastle University

Current doctoral supervision:  Shaun Robison, Yewen Guan, Yuwei Liang, Klaus Schoefer, Lucia Liu, Caroline Burns, Nouf Alarifi, Sandra Strigel, Anna Binti Azaman, Oonagh McGee, John Reilly O'Donnell, Yuqi Xiao 

Previous doctoral supervision: Muqaddas Butt and Nadia Aljenahi, (graduated 2016); Nguyen Du, Abdullah Alkarni (graduated 2015); Meng Fan (graduated 2014); Haifa Al-Nofiae (graduated 2013);  Dearbhaile Church and Hui-Hua Hsieh (graduated 2012); Georgios Pachalidis (2008); Elizabeth Hunter (2006); Barbara Roberts (2004)

Area of expertise

  • Internalisation of higher education


International Federation of National Teaching Fellows
ESRC Peer Review College
Society for Research into Higher Education
British Educational Research Association
European Educational Research Association Network 22 (Higher Education)

Google scholar: Click here.


Research Interests

Sue's current research interests include:
? the internationalization of higher education; Sue's research has explored academic perceptions of the impact of internationalization on professional lives, the student experience, the curriculum, and on learning and teaching. Sue convenes a regional internationalization university network and is a member of Newcastle University’s Internationalization Executive Group
? teaching and assessing for successful learning in higher education. Sue is a member of the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching at Newcastle University. She has developed and evaluated professional development programmes for teachers in Syria, China and the UK and currently leads a team from CfLAT in delivering the EquATE programme - (Equal acclaim for teaching excellence an innovative teaching and learning development programme for university colleagues. She was a member of the research team that reviewed frameworks for effective thinking for the Learning and Skills Research Council (Moseley et al, 2004). Sue co-authored (with Turner) a book on Internationalizing the University, which was published by Continuum in 2008.

Current and Recent Work

Coordinator, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Research Group  The teaching and Learning in Higher Education Research Group is an interdisciplinary research group within CfLAT with key research themes including: teaching excellence, innovative learning and teaching, the internationalisation of higher education'

2016-18 Principal Investigator, Erasmus strategic partnerships project 'Approaches and Tools for Internationalisation at Home' (ATIAH) with interdisciplinary partners at Universita di Bologna and KU Leuven

2014-16 Principal Investigator, Erasmus Entrepreneurial Competences for School Leadership Teams Project

2016 Newton Fund British Council International Early career researcher Development project with Kasetsert University, Thailand

2016 NU Global Excellence Fund project on Internationalisation of Higher Education with PUCRS University, Brazil

2015-16 EquATE 3 programme - an interdisciplinary research and practice network

2015 PI international seminar 'Rethinking Internationalisation: conceptual and methodological challenges', The Core, 13/14/15 May 2015. 33 participants from UK, EU, Australia, Canada

EERA co-theme leader within Network 22 (HE Research) on Internationalisation of HE for ECER 2016

2013 Convenor for a national research and practice network: Internationalising the curriculum. For the HEA

2012 Co-PI HEA Inter-Institutional Benchmarking Project: Reward and Recognition for Teaching in HE. (with Tasmania, Wollongong, Leicester)

2012 Convenor for national seminar:  Working towards transformative internationalisation: an enquiry based approach. HEA Internationalisation Seminar Series, June 1, Newcastle University

2010 Convenor for the Teaching and Learning in HE Research Group

2010 Internationalising the Curriculum: an analysis of staff perceptions in SAgE of internationalisation and its impact on teaching and learning. UTLC Innovation Fund award (with Jackson and Huddart):

2009 the Equal Acclaim for Teaching Excellence Programme. UTLC Innovation Fund award (with Leat, Lofthouse and Wall) 

2008 Towards a Global Graduate: a creative lecture series in cross-cultural skills for careers and education. UTLC Innovation Fund award 

2005  Regional University Internationalization Network

2005 -2007 Research Team for FDTL5 – 126/03 Developing formative assessment using ICTs in Education

2003-2005 Research Team: Frameworks for Effective Thinking.  (Moseley et al, 2004) funded by the Learning and Skills Research Council

2000-2004 Co-PI (with Lin) British Council China Study Grant to develop a model for thinking skills in schools in China.

Recent Conference papers

European Educational Research Conference 2014  Paper: Internationalisation: investigating the dimensions of a transformative framework for higher education. ECER, Porto, September 2014 European

Educational Research Conference 2015 'Internationalisation: conceptual and methodological challenges' Research Workshop

European Educational Research Conference 2016 " Becoming international: academic perceptions and practices of internationalising higher education"

BERA 2015 " Entrepreneurial competences for school leadership teams"

Durham Learning and Teaching Conference 2015 Sue Robson, Stephen McHanwell, Alina Schartner "Reconceptualising and Rewarding Teaching Excellence in Higher Education Research Institutions: perceptions, practices and possibilities"

2013 paper: Can You Help Me To Raise The Profile Of Teaching In This Institution?” A Case Study From A UK University" with McHanwell, Hall and Grimwood. ECER, “Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research” Conference, Istanbul, Turkey,  10th - 13th September 2013

2013 The Methodology Of Research Partnerships In Education: Approach, Design And ToolsHall, Elaine; Robson, Sue; Woolner, Pamela; Wall, Kate. ECER, September 2013, Istanbul.

2011 Jackson, E,. Huddart, T., Robson, S. Staff Perceptions of Internationalisation Australian International Education Conference, Adelaide Convention Centre, Australia, 11-14 October 2011

Robson, S. Leat, D., Lofthouse, R. Feedback or feed forward? Supporting international postgraduate students through effective assessment to enhance future learning. ‘Teaching International Students’ Conference, 17 June 2011, HEA/CICIN/CAPRI, University of Warwick 

2010 Robson, S., Wall, K.m Lofthouse, R., Wooler, P and Moore, U.Symposium on Developing theorised practice: an enquiry-based approach to professional learning across the sectors. European Association for Practitioner Research on Improving Learning (EAPRIL) Conference, Lisbon, 24-26 November 2010.  

2010 Robson, S., Hsieh, H. Responsible internationalization: challenges for Higher Education. ECER Helsinki, 23-27 August 2010 

2010 Robson, S., Wall, K., Lofthouse, R. Raising the esteem of educational research and practice knowledge in a Russell Group university. Higher Education Close-up 5 conference, Lancaster, July 2010.

Future Research

Internationalization of Higher Education
Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Keynotes and invited talks:

Aug 2016 Invited discussant at European Educational Research Conference Leadership symposium 'Collaborative leadership for solving wicked problem in international contexts'

Jan 2016 Keynote: Internationalisation of HE: developing a values-based dialogue. Kasetsert University, Thailand.

July 2016 Keynote at Nottingham Trent Institute for Teaching and Learning Symposium on Internationalizing the curriculum. July 14th 2016

April 2016 Keynote at BERA/BELMAS seminar. How to research critical conversations in educational leadership? 26 April 2016

April 2016 Keynote at University of Hull East Asian Research Group Anniversary Seminar: Benefits and Challenges of Internationalisation in a competitive global environment.

2015 Invited talk: Society for Research in Higher Education seminar. Internationalisation: have we lost sight of what it’s all about? , May 2015

2014 Invited Talk: Internationalizing the curriculum. Loughborough University School of Business and Economics

2014 Invited Talk: Internationalizing the curriculum. Open University Invited paper

2015 Chartered Association of Business Schools Leaders in Learning and Teaching conference "Learning and Teaching: developing a University Culture" 3 December 2015 June 2016 Schools North East Annual Conference on "Leading Successful Teams"

2012  Internationalisation. University of Wollongong, November 2012

2012  Internationalizing the curriculum. Durham Business School. 12.11.12

2011 Keynote on Recognizing, supporting and rewarding innovative teaching in the internationalized university at  the Teaching International Students’ Conference, 17 June 2011, HEA/CICIN/CAPRI, University of Warwick 

2010 Robson, S.  Keynote:  Academic Development for internationalization. INCONSYM Conference, Symbiosis University, Pune, India.  Oct. 14-15 2010

2009 Robson, S. Invited paper: Internationalizing the curriculum. Durham: A World University Conference, 7 December,  2009.

2009 Robson, S. Invited paper and panel member Internationalising the curriculum. QS Apple Conference, Kuala Lumpur, 25 November 2009.

2009 Keynote and Symposium facilitator LEADING INTERNATIONALISATION  IN  HIGHER EDUCATION: NEW TRAJECTORIES AND FUTURE PARTNERSHIPS.  Monash  University Strategic Initiatives Symposium, Monash Sunway Campus, Malaysia. 22-24 November 2009.

2008 Keynote, ESRC-sponsored seminar series entitled Rethinking the Needs of International Students:  Critical Perspectives on the Internationalisation of UK Higher Education’16 December 2008.  The series was run jointly by the Universities of Birmingham, Bath and Nottingham.

2008 Keynote Making the international local and regional at the Monash Educate 08 Conference, Melbourne, 6-10 October  Sue is honorary adviser to the Teacher Training for Burmese Teachers Programme, a programme is funded by Prospect Burma.

2005 Invited paper: Conference on Inclusive and Cognitive Learning Enhancement in Schools, Charles University, Prague, October 30-November 1, 2005.

2002  Keynote at the launch Conference and advisor to the Innovative Learning Project, Chongqing, China, UNESCO, 2002-2007.

2002 Invited presentation: Helping Students with Special Needs to become Better Thinkers  EDEX Education & National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN) Conference, Cardiff.

2002 Invited presentation  Helping Students with Special Needs to become Better Thinkers. EDEX North West Education Conference (NWEC 2002), Bolton.

2001 Invited paper: Baptist University Hong Kong Thinking Qualities Initiative Conference June 2001 Thinking Skills and Teacher Pedagogy

Recommendations made in the following paper have been included in the Government of the Republic of Zambia's recent launched national document:The Fifth National Development Strategic Plan (2006-2015). Robson S and & Kanyanta B S (2007) Orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia: the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on basic education, International Journal of Inclusive Education.

2007 External Examiner for PhD student in Education, Durham, 2007.

2007 Invited Teaching Fellow, Charles University of Prague, Faculty of Education, Department of Pedagogical and School Psychology 8-12 May 2007.

2006 Selection of my case study on Internationalisation Initiatives in HASS Faculty for publication on the HEA national website.

2006 British Council China Study Grant Project, achieved national recognition in China in the 10th 5 Year Plan.


2016-18 EU189K Erasmus Strategic Partnerships Project 'Approaches and Tools for Internationalisation at Home' (ATIAH)

2015 £10k Internationalisation Strategic Fund. Internationalisation of Higher Education: developing an international research and practice strategic partnership with PUCRS, Brazil.

2015 £47K to lead the Equal Acclaim for Teaching Excellence (EquATE) Project. Cohort 3 (faculty funds from FMS, SAGE, HASS)

2015 £8,100 Academic Associate (consultant) to HEA - report on Innovative Pedagogies in the Disciplines. July 2015.

2015 £31k PI British Council (Newton Fund) to design and deliver workshops for early career researchers from the UK and Thailand, with partners at Kasetsart University.

2014 PI £5,800 from the NU Research and Innovation Fund to convene an international seminar Rethinking Internationalisation: conceptual and methodological challenges, The Core, 13/14/15 May 2015. 33 participants from UK, EU, Canada.

2014-16 PI EU299K Erasmus Strategic Partnerships Project on Entrepreneurial Educational Leadership

2013-14 £7k Academic Associate (consultant) to HEA - to produce an Internationalisation Framework for the HE sector

University Teaching and Learning Funds (£60k, 2009-10; £50k, 2010-2011) to develop and deliver the EQUATE programme.

University of Newcastle Innovation Funding 2009-10 (£15k) to investigate international student perceptions of feedback

British Council China Study Grants 2000-2004 (£14k)

University of Newcastle Innovation Funding 2005 to establish a Regional University Internationalization Network.


Postgraduate Teaching

IPhd, EdD and Masters programmes in Education