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Grace Ese-osa Idahosa


Assistant Professor

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0)1223


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Political and International Studies, Rhodes University, South Africa.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education, Rhodes University, South Africa.
  • Master of Arts (With Distinction) in Political and International Studies, Rhodes University, South Africa.
  • Bachelor of Arts in History and International Relations, Redeemer’s University Nigeria.

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • Gender Work and Organisation network on Gender and Health at Work.
  • Editorial board member: Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography
  • Society for Research into Higher Education

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My research program encompasses two complementary lines of inquiry: Agency and Higher Education Transformation and Feminist and Decolonial Thought. The first is a hermeneutic phenomenological interpretation of the impact of structures, cultures, and identity on academic staff and university leaders' agency to contribute to social change.

Within this project, my interest lies in the somatic representations of power and how it produces and is reproduced by different bodies to enable the reproduction/transformation of the social world. This interest is explored within the context of higher education transformation in South Africa, India, and Northern Ireland.

Higher education in my work is understood not just as an educational space where learning occurs but as an institution and organisation with its own logic that mirrors, produces, and reproduces societal inequalities while creating the conditions of possibility for changing and transforming these inequalities. I attempt to understand the intersectional nature of the reproduction and transformation of legacies of oppression and domination within HE systems and how individuals (staff, faculty, management, students) within these spaces challenge and transform them.

The second strand of my research draws on feminist and decolonial scholars employed within my study to develop a framework for analysing agency and transformation within contexts marred by legacies of oppression. My research interests encompass the social dimension of political and feminist theory, higher education transformation, agency, gender, social change, body politics, marginalities, decolonisation, and qualitative research methodology.

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Research Topics

  • Structure, Culture and Agency
  • Higher Education Transformation and Decolonisation
  • Body Politics
  • Feminist Theory
  • Intersectionality
  • Qualitative Methods

Current Research Project(s)

  • Mid-level Managers Agency for Transformation in Post-conflict Higher Education
  • Research contributions to understanding and responding to the Covid-19 pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Sustainability and Transformation in Higher Education: Interactional dynamics in gender and intersectionality

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  • Postgraduate
    • MPhil Education, Globalisation and International Development (Teaching)
    • Supervision in Education and Social Justice
  • Undergraduate
    • Emergence of Educational Thinking and Systems; Education and Social Justice

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Principal and Recent Publications

Dhawan, N.B., Belluigi, D., and Idahosa, G.E. 2022. “There is a hell and heaven difference among faculties who are from quota and those who are non-quota”: Under the veneer of the ‘New Middle Class production of Indian public universities. Higher Education (Online).

Belluigi, D., Dhawan, N.D., and Idahosa, G.E 2022 ‘Like king, like subject’? Insights into the politics of staff participation within institutions in India and South Africa. In Role of Leaders in Managing Higher Education: Governance and Management in Higher Education. Emerald Publishing Group.

Idahosa, G.E. and Mkhize, Z. 2021. Intersectional Experiences of Black South African Female Doctoral Students in STEM: Participation, Success and Retention. Agenda: Empowering women for gender equity. 35(2): 110-122.

Wijngaarden, V. and Idahosa, G.E., 2021. ‘An Integrated Approach Towards Decolonising Higher Education’ In E. Woldegiorgis, I. Turner, and A. Brahima (Eds). Decolonisation of Higher Education in Africa: Perspectives from Hybrid Knowledge Production. London: Routledge.

Idahosa, G.E. 2020. Agency and social transformation in South African higher education: Pushing the bounds of possibility. London: Routledge.

Idahosa, G.E. 2020. Dirty Body Politics: Habitus, gendered embodiment and the resistance to women’s agency in transforming South African higher education. Gender, Work and Organization. 27(6): 988-1003.

Idahosa, G.E, and Bradbury, V. 2020. Challenging the way we ‘know’ the world: Overcoming Paralysis and Utilising Discomfort Through Critical Reflexive Thought. Acta Academia, 52(1): 31-53.

Idahosa, G.E. 2019. ‘Decolonising the curriculum on African women and gender studies’ In O. Yacob-Haliso and T. Falola (Eds.). The Palgrave Handbook on African Women’s Studies. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Idahosa, G.E and Vincent, L. 2019. Enabling transformation through critical engagement and reflexivity: A case study of South African academics. Higher Education Research and Development, 38(4): 780-792.

Idahosa, G.E and Vincent, L. 2019. Strategic competence and agency: Individuals overcoming barriers to change in South African higher education. Third World Quarterly, 40(1): 147-162.


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