Professor Murray SaundersProfessor
Co-founder and now member of HERE@lancaster , and Professor of Evaluation in Education and Work. I have acted as a consultant to, and undertaken a wide range of evaluation projects for, the British Council, DfES [Department for Education and Skills], DFID [Department for International Development], UN, UNRWA, ESRC [The Education and Social Research Council], HEFCE [Higher Education Funding Council], SFC (the Scottish Funding Council) and a variety of regional agencies. I have carried out evaluation and research projects in a wide range of cultural contexts, including in Asia: China, Japan, Singapore and India; in Africa: Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Ethiopia; in Latin America: Mexico and Chile: In the Middle East: Jordan as well as other member states of the EU and Russia.
I enjoy promoting and developing evaluation practice as past president and Council member of the UK Evaluation Society, Board member and past President of the European Evaluation Society, chair of the co-ordinating committee for the establishment of the IOCE (International Organisation for Cooperation in Evaluation) and current vice president [ and I am associate editor of the only international multidisciplinary academic journal in the field - Evaluation]. I was Co-Director of the SFC [Scottish Funding Council] funded evaluation of the new Scottish HE Quality Enhancement Policy the last element of which was in 2014. I continue to have research interests in the nature of evaluative practices, the relationship between education and the workplace and the connection between social change and development and evaluative practice.
I am currently undertaking a collaborative project under the auspices of the IOCE and UNICEF to enhance the role of evaluation asociations' participation in civil society world-wide. The web link for this initiative is will be launched in March 2012. Work for the British Council currently involves the review and evaluation of higher education partnerships.
I am also interested in the way School Farms are used as a learning process and have been awarded (March 2012), along with Mason Minnitt (honorary research fellow of the Department of Educational Research) a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship to further this work.
I am currently evaluating the use of the Indicator of Enhancement in Scottish Higher Education for the QAA Scotland.
Current evaluative research is funded by the British Council and is focused on the evaluation of impact. Within the research consultancy IDEAs, I have designed an impact assessment strategy for HE and Science interventions and have just completed an evaluation of the Going Global programme.
I have directed or co-directed some 40 separate evaluation and research projects over the last 20 years in areas of change, policy and strategic development and vocational education. In the HE environment I have worked (as both evaluator and developer) on six R&D projects which have tested various types of learning support in international consortia of HEIs [Higher Education Institutions].
I was Head of the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University from 1997-2000. I currently hold visiting professorship in Evaluation at Freibourg University, Switzerland.
Research programme during the last 6 years
Director of the British Council Evaluation Development Project [Case studies of Hong Kong, Ghana and Poland] funded by the British Council £19,000 1997
Also for BC -
Evaluation of Designing, shopping Eating Project Hong Kong 1998.
Evaluation design and planning, Ghana, Poland and Hong Kong 1999.
Evaluation of Creative Industries Export Promotion, Singapore, Japan 2000.
Evaluation Capacity Building in HE, Ethiopia 2000.
Evaluation Children's Rights Mexico 2001.
Evaluation Governance Interventions Chile, 2001.
Evaluation Design for the Education Support Project UNWRA, Jordan 2001-on-going.
Evaluation capacity building English Peace Keeping Project 2001
Design of Impact Assessment Framework 2017
Evaluation of Going Global 2017/18
Director of the King's Fund Management Development Evaluation ProgrammeFunded by the King's Fund £29,000 1997
Co Director of the HEINE Project: Government intervention in Higher EducationFunded by TSER [EU] £120,000 1997
Co-Director of the Cumbrian Small Schools Research Support Project Cumbrian LEA £6000 1998
Director of the Equam Project [Quality and Environmental Management Project] under the Leonardo Initiative Funded by the EU £12000 1998
Director of the Learnett Project under the Socrates InitiativeFunded by the EU £12000 1998
Director of the Evaluation of Education Action Zone: Barrow2000-2005 £100,000
Director of the World Challenge Evaluation 2000-2002 Funded by World Challenge £25000
Director of the RECRE@SUP project on innovations in HE2001-2002 Funded by Socrates [EU] £12000
Director of the Evaluation of the EQUEL project 2002-2004 Funded by the EU
Co proposer and manager of the LTSN National Evaluation 2001-2002 Funded by HEFC £200,000
Co-director of the LTSN second phase evaluation 2004 Funded by HEFC £50000
Consultant to the Subject Centre Review Committee 2004 Funded by HEFC
Co-Director of the SHEFC Quality Enhancement Framework Evaluation 2003-2006 £300,000
Co-Director of the Skills for Life evaluation of the Learner's Experience, 2003-2006, £391,000
Co-Director of the ELAC project: evaluation capacity building 2004-2006, £40000
Director of the KTP project on partnership learning 2004-2007, £135000
Director of the evaluation of the national CETL programme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland 2007 -2008
Director of the evaluation of the London Refugee Policy 2008 -2009
Director of the Widening Participation Evaluation programme, HEFCE, 2008
Director of the Evaluation of the Scottish Funding Council Quality Enhancement Strategy 2008-2014: £495,000
My research has focused on evaluative practice. This has been in a wide range of contexts but mainly in education. It has involved both undertaking evaluations of, in recent times, Higher Education policy and practice in the UK and internationally and also the research of evaluative practice itself in Higher Education settings. I have adopted, broadly speaking, a social practice approach to evaluation. This has two implications. The first is to understand evaluation as a social practice. The second is to understand the effects of policies and programmes on people as changes (or not) in their practices, either directly or embedded in policies and systems.
PhD Supervision Interests
I am no longer available to supervise new students.
Responding to Student Voice: Insights into international practice
Trowler, V., Trowler, P.R., Saunders, M.S. 5/11/2018 QAA Scotland. 39 p.
Evaluative research in Higher Education policy analysis
Saunders, M., Sin, C., Dempster, S. 10/2015 In: Theory and Method in Higher Education Research. Emerald Group Publishing Ltd p. 49-69. 21 p.
Selective acquiescence, creative commitment and strategic conformity: situated national policy responses to the Bologna agreement
Sin, C., Saunders, M. 12/2014 In: European Journal of Education. 4, 4, p. 529-542. 14 p.
The role of HEFCE in teaching and learning enhancement: a review of evaluative evidence
Trowler, P., Ashwin, P., Saunders, M. 17/07/2014
Developmental evaluation: lessons for evaluative practice from the SEARCH programme
Dickson, R., Saunders, M. 04/2014 In: Evaluation: the International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice,. 20, 2, p. 176-194. 19 p.
Middle managers’ experience of policy implementation and mediation in the context of the Scottish quality enhancement framework
Saunders, M., Sin, C. 6/03/2014 In: Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. 40, 1, p. 135-150. 16 p.
Quality enhancement: an overview of lessons from the Scottish experience
Saunders, M. 20/01/2014 In: Quality assurance in higher education, contemporary debates . Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan p. 117-131. 15 p.
Blended simulation based medical education: a complex learning/training opportunity
Shahoumian, A., Saunders, M., Zenios, M., Parchoma, G., Hanson, J. 2014 In: Learning and collaboration technologies. Springer p. 478-485. 8 p.
From quality indicators to enhancement descriptors: towards a new framework
Dempster, S., Saunders, M. 2014 QAA Scotland.
EvalPartners: an international partnership to strengthen civil society’s evaluation capacities and promote equity
Catsambas, T., Segone, M., De Silva, S., Saunders, M. 01/2013 In: Evaluation and Civil Society . New York : UNICEF EWP Series p. 43-51. 8 p.
Interdisciplinary SBME: a case study in development of B-SBME
Shahoumian, A., Parchoma, G., Saunders, M., Hanson, J., Dickinson, M., Pimblett, M. 2013
Mediating the use of global university rankings: perspectives from education facilitators in an international context
Saunders, M., O'Connell, C. 2013 In: Journal of Studies in International Education. 23 p.
SBME: Exploring boundaries between formal, non-formal, and informal learning
Shahoumian, A., Parchoma, G., Saunders, M., Hanson, J., Dickinson, M., Pimblett, M. 2013
Social practices in Blended-SBME: work in progress
Shahoumian, A., Saunders, M., Parchoma, G., Hanson, J., Dickinson, M., Pimblett, M. 2013
The use and usability of evaluation outputs: a social practice approach
Saunders, M. 9/10/2012 In: Evaluation: the International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice,. 18, 4, p. 421-436. 16 p.
A political economy of university funding: the English case
Saunders, M. 08/2012 In: Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management. 34, 4, p. 389-398. 10 p.
Conclusion: academic practices and the disciplines in the 21st century
Trowler, P., Saunders, M., Bamber, V. 12/01/2012 In: Tribes and territories in the 21st-century. London : Routledge p. 5-29. 25 p.
Transformations from without and within the disciplines: the emerging practice landscape
Saunders, M. 01/2012 In: Tribes and territories in the 21st Century . London : Routledge p. 232-241. 10 p.
Tribes and Territories in the 21st Century: Rethinking the significance of disciplines in higher education
Trowler, P., Saunders, M., Bamber, V. 01/2012 London : Routledge / Open University. 312 p. ISBN: 978-0-415-88062-6.
Capturing effects of interventions, policies and programmes in the European context: A social pracice perspective
Saunders, M. 01/2011 In: Evaluation: the International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice,. 17, 1, p. 89-103. 15 p.
Experimentation and development through the CETL programme: connections between education, learning and working
Saunders, M. 2011 In: Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning. 1, 3, p. 290-296. 7 p.
Insights into programmatic evaluative practice in HE: a commentary
Saunders, M. 2011 In: Reconceptualising evaluation in higher education. Maidenhead : Open University Press p. 113-124. 12 p. ISBN: 9780335241613 . Electronic ISBN: 9780335241620 .
Programmatic evaluative practice in Higher Education: design diversity and degrees of programme alignment
Saunders, M. 2011 In: Reconceptualising evaluation in higher education. Maidenhead : Open University Press p. 77-82. 6 p. ISBN: 9780335241613 . Electronic ISBN: 9780335241620 .
Reconceptualising evaluation in higher education: the practice turn
Saunders, M., Trowler, P., Bamber, V. 2011 Maidenhead : Open University Press / SRHE. 247 p. ISBN: 9780335241613. Electronic ISBN: 9780335241620 .
Setting the scene : the four domains of evaluative practice in Higher Education
Saunders, M. 2011 In: Reconceptualising Evaluation in Higher Education: the practice turn . Maidenhead : McGraw-Hill / Open University Press p. 1-17. 17 p.
The national programme of Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs) in England and Northern Ireland: a theory driven evaluation of change
Saunders, M. 2011 In: Reconceptualising evaluation in higher education. Maidenhead : Open University Press p. 83-89. 7 p. ISBN: 9780335241613 . Electronic ISBN: 9780335241620 .
The practice turn: reconceptualising evaluation in higher education
Saunders, M., Trowler, P., Bamber, V. 2011 In: Reconceptualising evaluation in higher education. Maidenhead : Open University Press p. 203-226. 14 p. ISBN: 9780335241613 . Electronic ISBN: 9780335241620 .
Enhancement Theories Theme 1: Influencing the Disciplines.
Trowler, P., Saunders, M., Bamber, V. 2009 In: Enhancing learning, teaching, assessment and curriculum in higher education : theory, cases, practices. Maidenhead : Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press 205 p. ISBN: 0335233759.
Enhancing learning, teaching, assessment and curriculum in higher education: theory, cases, practices
Bamber, V., Trowler, P., Saunders, M. 2009 Maidenhead : Open University Press / SRHE. 210 p. ISBN: 9780335233762.
Introduction - Continuities, Enhancement and Higher Education.
Bamber, V., Trowler, P., Saunders, M., Knight, P. 2009 In: Enhancing learning, teaching, assessment and curriculum in higher education : theory, cases, practices. Maidenhead : Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press 205 p. ISBN: 0335233759.
Making Practical Sense of Enhancing Learning, Teaching, Assessment and Curriculum References.
Saunders, M., Bamber, V., Trowler, P. 2009 In: Enhancing learning, teaching, assessment and curriculum in higher education : theory, cases, practices. Maidenhead : Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press 205 p. ISBN: 0335233759.
2005-2010 Centres of Excellence in Teaching and Learning programme
Saunders, M., Trowler, P., Ashwin, P. 2008 Bristol : HEFCE. 127 p.
The 'presence' of evaluation theory and practice in educational and social development: toward an inclusive approach.
Saunders, M.S. 1/07/2006 In: London Review of Education. 4, 2, p. 197-215. 19 p.
From 'organisms' to 'boundaries': the uneven development of theory narratives in education, learning and work connections.
Saunders, M.S. 1/02/2006 In: Journal of Education and Work. 19, 1, p. 1-27. 27 p.
Do we hear the voices?: the 'presence' of evaluation theory and practice in social development
Saunders, M. 2006 In: Evaluation: the International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice,. 12, 2, p. 251-264. 14 p.
Using evaluation to create 'provisional stabilities': bridging innovation in Higher Education change processes.
Saunders, M.S., Bonamy, J., Charlier, B. 1/01/2005 In: Evaluation: the International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice,. 11, 1, p. 37-54. 18 p.
The evaluative research of complex projects in e-learning: the case of the 'EQUEL' (e-quality in e-learning) project
Bonamy, J., Charlier, B., Saunders, M. 2004
Charlier, B., Bonamy, J., Saunders, M. 2002 In: Apprendre les technologies pour l'education : analyses de cas, theories de reference, guides pour l'action. Brussels : De Boeck p. 45-67. 23 p.
Change thinking, change practices : a guide to change for heads of department, subject centres and others who work "middle-out".
Trowler, P.R., Saunders, M., Knight, P.T. 2002 York : LYSN Generic Centre. 40 p. ISBN: 1904190316.
Learning through evaluation : bridging change in higher education.
Saunders, M., Charlier, B., Bonamy, J. 2002 In: Proceedings of the 5th European evaluation society (EES) biennial conference, Sevilla, 10th-12th October 2002.
Les dynamiques de l'innovation.
Saunders, M., Charlier, B., Bonamy, J. 2002 In: Apprendre les technologies pour l'education : analyses de cas, theories de reference, guides pour l'action. Brussels : De Boeck p. 68-76. 9 p.
Produire la qualite dans la diversitie : comment un reseau de formation construit sa qualite.
Bonamy, J., Charlier, B., Saunders, M. 2002 In: Education Permenente. 147, p. 131-139. 9 p.
'Bridging Tools' for change: evaluating a collaborative learning network.
Bonamy, J., Charlier, B., Saunders, M.S. 1/09/2001 In: Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. 17, 3, p. 295-305. 11 p.
Understanding emerging trends in higher education curricula and work connection.
Saunders, M., Machell, J. 09/2000 In: Higher Education Policy. 13, 3, p. 287-302. 16 p.
Beginning a valuation via RUFDATA : theorising a practical approach to evaluation planning.
Saunders, M. 04/2000 In: Evaluation: the International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice,. 6, 1, p. 7-21. 15 p.
Understanding education and work: themes and issues.
Saunders, M.S. 2000 In: Routledge international companion to education. London : Routledge p. 1003-1029. 27 p. ISBN: 041511814X.
Understanding Teachers' Professional Cultures Through Interview: A Constructivist Approach
Knight, P.T., Saunders, M.S. 1999 In: Evaluation and Research in Education. 13, 3, p. 144-156. 13 p.
Young Researchers Project
24/04/2017 → …
Evaluation of the Enhancement Themes
01/01/2014 → 30/06/2014
Development of the Indicators of Enhancement
01/11/2013 → 30/06/2014
Evaluation of the use of Indicators of Enhancement
01/02/2013 → 01/07/2013
Improving the quality of student learning through school farms
09/04/2012 → 19/07/2013
22/02/2012 → 30/07/2015
Evaluation Capacity Building for HEI widening participation teams
01/04/2007 → 31/12/2009
Islington Integrated Refugee Strategy Evaluation Project
01/02/2007 → 31/03/2008
Evaluating Education Action Zones
25/01/2007 → …
National Evaluation of the CETL Programme
01/01/2007 → 31/12/2007
Adult Learning, Basic Skills and Literacy
01/11/2006 → …
HEA (Higher Education Academy)
01/11/2006 → 01/11/2008
KTP The Knowledge Transfer Partnership
01/11/2004 → …
European and Latin America Collaboration
01/10/2003 → 30/09/2006
Evaluating the Scottish HE policy on quality (QEF)
01/08/2003 → 30/06/2007
HE and FE
01/11/1994 → 01/11/2001
01/11/1993 → 01/11/1994
Training Strategies and Management Development
01/11/1992 → 01/11/1997
Education and Work
01/11/1990 → 01/11/2000
Evaluation and Quality
01/11/1990 → 01/11/2001
01/11/1989 → 01/11/2001
Teaching & Learning Strategies
01/11/1989 → 01/11/1997
Investigating the Long-term Impacts of Informal Science Learning at Zoos and Aquariums
01/01/1900 → …
EvalPartners international meetings and seminars
Public Lecture/ Debate/Seminar
- Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation
- Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education