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Dr Kate Symons

Profile summary

Professional biography

Prior to joining the OU in May 2021 as Lecturer in Global Development, I was Online Learning Project Co-ordinator for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars program at the University of Edinburgh, and lecturered in international development in the School of Social and Political Sciences, also at Edinburgh. I hold a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Edinburgh, which focussed on the politial geograhy of conservation and development in Mozambique, an MSc in Africa and International Development, and a BA (Hons) in Philosophy. 

Research interests

My research focusses on the politics of marine conservation and development, focussing primarily on Mozambique but also incluing other areas. I am particularly interested in the relationship between conservation and extractive projects under neoliberalism, and the day-to-day politics of implementing and governing marine protected areas. 

I am also interested in innovative online and blended pedagogies in teaching international development, and the role that blended learning can play in providing access to higher eductaion for refugees. This includes collaborating with the Foundations for All research project which is piloting a blended learning bridging programme for refugees in Uganda. 


Teaching interests

I am currently involved in designing and producting a new module for the MSc Global Development which supports students to produce a critical and robust masters dissertation, and provides research methods training. I have also contributed to modules in Understanding Global Development and Key Challenges in Global Development.

External collaborations

I collaborate with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, the American University in Beirut, Lebanon and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda on Foundations for All, investigating the role of blended learning in global access to higher education for refugees.