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Assoc Prof Andrea Todd

Associate Professor Andrea (Andy) Todd from the University’s Law School was awarded joint first prize for Research by The Universities Association for Lifelong Learning during their annual conference at the University of Cambridge during the summer. This award recognises the contribution that Andy’s research into the experiences of students with parental responsibility has made to the Lifelong Learning agenda across the sector.

Over the past three years Andy has undertaken local and national research projects with undergraduate student-parents with the aim of understanding what student-parents need from their institution to help them succeed, devising evidence-based methods of meeting these needs and gauging student-parents’ responses to these interventions with a view to taking them forward. 

Andy’s research has resulted not only in contributions to academic journals and an opinion piece on WonkHE, but has also been put into practice via evidence-based practical toolkits and guides for use by institutions, personal tutors and student-parents themselves.  Andy has presented widely on these resources at national and international conferences and via invited presentations to national Communities of Practice.

Andy’s toolkits and guides have been implemented by institutions across the sector in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The significance of her research has also been recognised by national organisations. Andy is advising the UCAS Fair Access Team on enhancements to its advice and guidance to student-parents and institutions and has shared her latest national research data with the Office for Students with a view to contributing an evidence base to discussions around the potential inclusion of student-parents in the Equality of Opportunities Risk Register (EORR).

Andy said: “I am delighted to receive this award.  I’m in awe of the work ethic and resilience shown by our student-parent population and am thrilled that this recognition is bringing the experiences of this committed but previously overlooked group to the forefront of national discussions.”

Andy is co-host, with current second year student-parent, Helen Williams, of The Student-Parent Podcast, a podcast for university students who are looking to start or have already started their university journey, providing hints, tips and information on what to expect and how to navigate university life and home life whilst parenting.  Listen now on Spotify (for free), Audible or Apple Podcasts.



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