Jaakko Kauko
+358 50 3187788
Professor (Education Policy), Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University
“In studying education policy and comparative education, I explore the use of knowledge in policymaking, quality assurance and evaluation as a governance tool, and the dynamics between political actors. I am inspired with the theoretical questions of complexity and contingency.” Read more…


Nelli Piattoeva
+358 40 1901471
Associate Professor, New Social Research programme, Tampere University
Dr Nelli Piattoeva is Associate Professor at Tampere University, Finland. She completed her post-doc at the Institute for Advanced Social research in Tampere in 2012-2014 and in 2017-2018, she was a visiting scholar at the Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. Piattoeva was appointed Associate Professor of education (tenure track) in 2018. Read more…



Anna Medvedeva
Post-Doctoral researcher, Tampere University

I am interested in researching higher education policy, internationalization and multilingualism in the academia. My PhD study at the University of Helsinki was about international master’s programs and internationalization of higher education. As a result of this research I realized that the issue of language is central to the development of higher education, which prompted my next project about languages in the academia and how their position is negotiated in terms of value, power and practices.
In the future, I hope to develop teaching and research collaborations within the following topics:

  • Tuition fees
  • Student politics
  • Inclusion/Exclusion of international students
  • Multilingualism in higher education
  • Mapping of the European HE language policies


Galina Gurova
Tampere University
“I am based in Moscow and enjoy work in the international environment. I study how education policy works at the local level, and what effects it has for teachers, students and administrators.” Read more…


Hannele Pitkänen
Post-Doctoral researcher, Tampere University
“Hannele Pitkänen is a postdoctoral researcher in the Tampere University, working in fields of sociology and politics of education and critical curriculum studies. Her main research interest has been on evaluation in education as a societal phenomenon and form of governing education and educated. Her current Academy awarded project (2020–2023) examines ethnographically the current politics of pupil self-evaluation and the enactment of it in the daily practices of schooling and pupils’ experiences on it. The project runs from the theoretical premise that pupil self-evaluation is not an apolitical technique of learning but potentially plays a significant role in shaping pupil subjectivities and identities, and finally their future prospects as well.”


Ioana Tîstea
Doctoral researcher,  Tampere University
“My doctoral research is a study of educational knowledge production “about”, “for”, “with” and “by” minoritized subjects in a Nordic/Finnish context through reflexivity, autoethnography, and genealogy.  I also work as a part-time research assistant for the project Re-Connect / Re-Collect: Crossing the Divides through 

Memories of Cold War Childhoods.”


Íris Santos
Post-doctoral researcher, Tampere University and University of Lisbon
Íris Santos is a post-doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Administration and Business, at Tampere University, Finland. Her current work focuses on the international dynamics of development cooperation for education, more specifically, her project analysis the influence of Finnish education experts in international organisations. She recently (March 2022) defended her PhD dissertation titled Externalisations in the Portuguese Parliament and print media: A complexity approach to education policymaking processes, which presents an analysis of the complex dynamics emerging from the interactions between global, national, and local actors in policymaking processes in Portugal.

Her research interests are diverse, focusing on education policymaking, the dynamics of global-national-local networks of actors involved in education governance and policy, global citizenship education and sustainable development from a critical post-colonialist point of view. In her research she uses complexity thinking as her onto-epistemic standpoint to aggregate diversified theories, which offer complementary angles to the analysis of the societal phenomena related with power struggles, knowledge production and expertise influence, and Politics of education.


Jarmo Kallunki
Doctoral researcher, Tampere University
“I am a PhD candidate interested in the politics, sociology, and economics of education. My main research interests are funding of higher education, and knowledge networks and expertise in education policy-making. Currently I work at the Faculty of Social Sciences in the Tampere University.”


Joni Forsell
University instructor, Tampere University
“I am interest in how knowledge, power and expertise are intertwined and how they interact in educational policymaking. Currently, as part of my doctoral thesis, I am examining how knowledge is cited as evidence in the Finnish higher education admission reform.”



Jussi Puukka
Doctoral researcher, Tampere University
“My research interests are arts education, education policy, and poststructural policy analysis. In my research I am analysing different policy documents and articles from the media. The research investigates the different discourses in which arts education is dealt with.”


Kimmo Kuortti
Head of Global Education Solutions at Oulu University of Applied Sciences
“My research interests are transnational education policy, public – private networks in transnational education and cross-sectoral shifts in education policy-making. I am currently studying the development of education export policy and strategies in Finland and Germany focusing on commodification of education.” Learn more…


Oshie Nishimura-Sahi
Doctoral researcher, Tampere University
“My scholarly concerns are mostly focused on policy transfer and policy mobilities in education. For my PhD project, I study how European Framework (CEFR) was transferred from Europe to Japan, focusing on networks of individual actors involved in the policy transfer process. My research interests comprise also such themes as multicultural and intercultural education, language education policy and education systems in Japan and Finland.”

Saija Volmari
Doctoral researcher, University of Helsinki
” My main research interests are the use of knowledge and data in education policy-making and politics, internationalisation and globalisation of higher education, and post-structural policy analysis. My current research is a comparative study on the use of evidence and expertise in the education policy-making in the Nordic countries. I particularly focus on latest reforms in the field of comprehensive and higher education.”


Sari Eriksson
University of Helsinki
“I am writing my doctoral thesis on international educational reforms in Post-Soviet countries for the Faculty of Educational Sciences. My research will examine how global education reforms are landing in Central Asia and especially look at the case of Kyrgyzstan from the field.”


Tram Ninh
Doctoral researcher, Tampere University
“I have the research interest in the politics of education, in which I pay much attention to education governance, policies, and reforms – especially in higher education.
“My current dissertation topic is on ‘Ideology and transformation in higher education governance in Vietnam: Path dependency and path transformation.’ The research investigates the institutional autonomy policy thread in Vietnam to give an insight into the interplay and complex influences of three institutional logics of Confucianism, socialism, and neoliberalism in the transformation of higher education governance in the country. Read more


Paula Silvén
Doctoral researcher, Tampere University
“In my doctoral thesis I explore the ways Finnish universities use strategic steering as a performance management tool to accommodate the criteria of the funding model. The main objective of my research is to analyse academic resistance and a formation of neoliberal academic subjectivity in a relation to strategic steering, performance management and research funding.”


Vera G. Centeno
In researching the global-local nexus in education, I am interested in capturing global and local processes in relation to each other and from different angles.

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Santeri Sorsa
Doctoral researcher, Tampere University
“My doctoral thesis is about upper secondary vocational education in Finland and its latest reform. In my research I study what are the ideals behind the reform, and how is this reform experienced in everyday education by students. In my theoretical frame, I use theories of ideology, politics, governance and culture in vocational education, and how they shape education and what are the outcomes of it.”


Valeriia Smirnova
Doctoral researcher, Tampere University

“My research interests include education policy, curricula and large-scale assessment. In my PhD dissertation, I examine how nationalist discourses have shaped English language education in Russia over the last two decades. What makes the case of foreign language teaching societally interesting is that it by definition addresses such concepts as culture, the national and the global, identity, borders, the familiar and the other, and so on. I hope that my study will contribute to theoretical research on education policy implementation, on nationalism discourse in education and on the interrelation between nationalism and foreign language education.”