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Anna Vignoles


Professor of Education (1938)
Director of Research

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0)1223 767626


  • PhD Economics (University of Newcastle upon Tyne)
  • BA Hons (SOAS, University of London)

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • Economist member of the NHS Pay Review Body
  • Trustee of The Nuffield Foundation
  • Member of the ESRC Peer Review College and the ESRC Research Committee
  • Member of the advisory board of the Sutton Trust
  • Associate Editor, Education Economics and The Cambridge Journal of Education

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Professor Anna Vignoles is Professor of Education (1938) at the University of Cambridge. She has published widely on widening participation in higher education, social mobility, the impact of school resources on pupil achievement and on the socio-economic gap in pupil achievement. Her research interests include issues pertaining to equity in education, school choice, school efficiency and finance and the economic value of schooling.
Anna has advised numerous government departments, including the Department for Education, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and HM Treasury. She provided advice to the Browne Review of Higher Education Funding, the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee investigation of higher education funding, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Select Committee, as part of their inquiry into education and training opportunities for young people, and Lord Leitch's Review of Skills. Anna is also the economist member of the NHS Pay Review Body.
Anna is an Associate Editor for The Cambridge Journal of Education and Education Economics. She is a member of the ESRC Research Committee.
Anna has strong links with policy-makers and was invited to speak at the ESRC Ministerial Seminar on "Longitudinal Studies and Administrative Data Sets", sponsored by David Willets MP, Minister for Universities and Science and on "The Future of Young People" at the Royal Society.

Academic Area/Links

Leadership for Learning

Recent research topics include:

  • how socio-economic gaps in pupils’ education achievement change as they progress through the early years and into higher education
  • the educational achievement and progress made by children with special educational needs
  • gene-environment interactions in the development of children’s reading skills and the incidence of dyslexia
  • differences in higher education participation across different socio-economic groups. This work includes a cross country comparison of access to university and elite universities across four Anglophone countries (Australia, Canada, UK, USA).
  • higher education access issues.

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Research Topics

  • Economics of education
  • Equity in education
  • Economic value of education
  • Widening participation in higher education
  • Quantitative methods

Current Research Project(s)

  • ESRC CLOSER project
  • Evaluation of Activity Based Learning project in India funded by DFiD
  • Nuffield Foundation project on graduate earnings

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  • PhD supervision in economics of education
  • Masters teaching in quantitative research methods
  • External examiner for Kings College London

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Favourite Publications

Ilie S, Sutherland A, Vignoles A (2017) Revisiting free school meal eligibility as a proxy for pupil socio-economic deprivation. British Educational Research Journal 43 pp.253-274  [ DOI: 10.1002/berj.3260 ]

Burgess S, Greaves E, Vignoles A, Wilson D (2015) What Parents Want: School Preferences and School Choice. The Economic Journal 125 pp.1262-1289

Jerrim J, Vignoles A, Lingam R, Friend A (2015) The socio-economic gradient in children's reading skills and the role of genetics. British Educational Research Journal 41 pp.6-29  [ DOI: 10.1002/berj.3143 ]

Jerrim J, Vignoles A (2013) Social mobility, regression to the mean and the cognitive development of high ability children from disadvantaged homes. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A: Statistics in Society 176 pp.887-906  [ DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-985X.2012.01072.x ]

Chowdry H, Crawford C, Dearden L, Goodman A, Vignoles A (2010) Widening Participation in Higher Education: Analysis Using Linked Administrative Data. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A: Statistics in Society 176 pp.431-457  [ DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-985X.2012.01043.x ]

Most Recent Publications

Ilie S, Sutherland A, Vignoles A (2017) Revisiting free school meal eligibility as a proxy for pupil socio-economic deprivation. British Educational Research Journal 43 pp.253-274  [ DOI: 10.1002/berj.3260 ]

Green F, Henseke G, Vignoles A (2017) Private schooling and labour market outcomes. British Educational Research Journal 43 pp.7-28  [ DOI: 10.1002/berj.3256 ]

Crawford C, Macmillan L, Vignoles A (2017) When and why do initially high-achieving poor children fall behind?. pp.88-108  [ DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2016.1240672 ]

Vermunt J, Griffiths , Ilie IS (2016) The possibility of evidence-informed primary schooling. pp.9-9

Crawford C, Dearden L, Micklewright J, Vignoles A (2016) Family Background and University Success: Differences in Higher Education Access and Outcomes in England.

Allen R, Vignoles A (2016) Can school competition improve standards? The case of faith schools in England. pp.959-973  [ DOI: 10.1007/s00181-015-0949-4 ]

Crawford C, Gregg P, Macmillan L, Vignoles A, Wyness G (2016) Higher education, career opportunities, and intergenerational inequality.

Vignoles A, Murray N (2016) Widening Participation in Higher Education. Education Sciences 6 pp.13-13  [ DOI: 10.3390/educsci6020013 ]

Britton J, Dearden L, Shephard N, Vignoles A (2016) How English domiciled graduate earnings vary with gender, institution attended, subject and socio-economic background.

Jerrim J, Vignoles A (2016) The link between East Asian 'mastery' teaching methods and English children's mathematics skills. Economics of Education Review 50 pp.29-44  [ DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2015.11.003 ]

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