Professor David N Smith

Emeritus Professor of Lifelong Learning
Prior to joining GCU, David was previously at the University of Leeds as Principal Research Fellow in Education, Deputy Director of CPSE, Director of Knowledge Transfer in Social Science and founding Co-Director of the Higher Education Policy Unit and a Research Associate of Evidence Ltd.
David’s academic background is in historical studies. After a first degree in Social Science at Liverpool Polytechnic he was awarded Research Council (SSRC) Studentships at the Universities of Lancaster and Liverpool to study for his MA and PhD in social and economic history. After qualifying for his PGCE, he held posts as Lecturer in Social History at Liverpool Polytechnic, Research Associate at the University of East Anglia and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Warwick.

David’s research has focused on the transformations and policy dimensions of contemporary mass higher education. His work encompasses studies into the leadership and governance of universities, funding and the management of the higher education research base, the role of academics in the history of knowledge transfer, the founding of new universities in the 1960s and the impact on institutions and students of policies for widening access to higher education. He has held numerous research grants and awards from a range of funding bodies including research councils, government agencies and major research charities both in the UK and internationally. He is an author of over 70 academic publications including books, articles and policy reports. David has also been a reviewer for academic journal and book publishers, research council and charity funders and for many years was Book Reviews Editor of Higher Education Quarterly. Latterly he was a member of the QAA’s Research Advisory Group.