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Senior Lecturer, Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester

Dr Steven Jones is a Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Institute of Education at The University of Manchester (UK). His research background is in English Language and Linguistics, where he has authored a monograph for Routledge and co-authored another for Cambridge University Press.

Since 2011, Dr Jones has also published in the social sciences, writing about international Higher Education systems and their impact on students’ likelihood of participation. Dr Jones is particularly interested in how socio-economically disadvantaged young people conceptualise post-compulsory education, interpret the advice and guidance they receive, and exploit their cultural and social capital in university admissions processes. He investigates the student experience, from application through to graduation, and how it is influenced by educational background.

In 2012, Dr Jones was commissioned by the Sutton Trust to author its report “Personal Statements: a fair way to assess University applicants?”. He currently collaborates closely with the Employers and Education Taskforce.

Dr Jones has presented research findings at major international conferences in Mannheim and Freiburg (Germany), Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), Verona and Bertinoro (Italy) and San Francisco (USA). He has been interviewed about language use on BBC TV's The One Show (2010, 2011) and about Higher Education on BBC Radio Four's Today programme (2012). His funders have included the EPSRC, the British Academy and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. He has recently given invited talks for Universities UK (2012), the Employers and Education Taskforce (2011, 2012, 2014), the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (2014) and HM Treasury (2014), as well as delivering a Westminster Briefing (2013) and speaking at the Sunday Times Festival of Education (2013).


  • 2004–present
    Senior Lecturer, Manchester Institute of Education, The University of Manchester


  • 2014
    Non-academic indicators and the Higher Education admissions process: a case study of the Personal Statement., Handbook of Higher Education Admission Policy and Practice,
  • 2014
    Ambassador or Observer? Competing identities of the academic researcher in studies of higher education participation., Education Policy Tesearch: design and practice at a time of rapid reform
  • 2014
    The role of Work Experience in the UK Higher Education admissions process, Understanding Employer Engagement in Education: theories and evidence
  • 2013
    “Ensure that you stand out from the crowd”: a corpus-based analysis of personal statements according to applicants’ school type., Comparative Education Review
  • 2013
    "Framing higher education: questions and responses in the British Social Attitudes survey, 1983–2010., British Journal of the Sociology of Education
  • 2012
    Antonyms in English: construals, constructions, and canonicity. , Cambridge University Press
  • 2012
    Is the personal statement a fair way to assess university applicants?, Sutton Trust