Karen graduated from the University of Edinburgh with MA (Hons) Sociology in 2003, and graduated with an MBA (Distinction) from the University of Suffolk in 2017. Karen’s MBA Dissertation title was ‘Higher Education: An Interfering Sector. An analysis of the awareness and preparedness of English Universities for risk from Government policy.’

Karen is Head of Student Recruitment and Market Development at the University of Suffolk. She has strategic responsibility for student recruitment and outreach, but her role also encompasses the development of Degree Apprenticeships at the University. Karen has a personal and professional interest in social mobility – she went to university as a first generation student who required the support of a widening participation project in Edinburgh to gain a place at the University of Edinburgh. Karen is particularly interested in government policy and how it impacts social mobility, and she is undertaking a part-time PhD at the University of Suffolk, under the supervision of Professor Mohammad Dastbaz and Dr Clare Gartland. The PhD is an exploratory study to understand the impact of Degree Apprenticeships on social mobility, with specific interest in individual characteristics (eg. race, gender, socioeconomic background) and subjects/sectors (eg. Health, ICT, Business).