Professor Rob Hulme

Professor of Education and Director of Research Unit for trans-professionalism in the Public Services

Rob Hulme is Professor in the Faculty of Education and Children's Services where he leads research activity.


He is also Director of the Research Unit for Trans-professionalism in the Public Services. He co-ordinates Social Policy Research in the University and Chairs the University's Research Forum.

He teaches Research Methods on post graduate and under graduate programmes. He also teaches education policy (global, national and regional). Rob is international officer of the SIG for Education- Human Services Linkages at the American Education Research Association and the International and Comparative Social Policy Group at the Social Policy Association.



I lead the Research Unit for Trans-professionalism in the Public Services which explores the agenda for integrating education and other human services. My work examines the impact of this agenda on the professional identities of a variety of public service professionals and practitioners.

My work also examines the international movement of ideas and practices in education and social policy. I have looked at the transfer and mediation of agendas such as evidence based practice and higher education reform between the USA and the UK and Russia.

I am a member of the editorial board for Social Policy and Society and a regular reviewer for Global Social Policy.

I am an active member of the Social Policy Association and the British Education Research Association. I also prepare funding bids for the Leverhulme Trust and the CWDC.

Published work

My research interests fall into two main areas:

The international movement of ideas and practices in education and social policy

This has been my main focus for research activity to date and reflects my interest in the ways in which agendas in education and social policy travel, or are transferred around the globe. My work in this area has involved playing a significant part in the development of internationally recognised and world leading work on policy transfer and global social policy.

My work in this field has examined the impact of ideas from the USA on policy development in the UK on higher education reform, the development of the evidence movement in education and the reform of professional education in Russia.

Interagency working and trans-professionalism

This is an area of work that I have developed over the past two years. It has been influenced by my previous research in that I have examined the global movement of ideas and practices in inter and multi agency work. It has also been shaped by my experience in building research capacities with teacher educators and social work educators at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Chester.

My work in this field has focused on the importance of practitioner enquiry in building new professional knowledge to facilitate meaningful collaborative work across professional boundaries.

I am currently working on a series of publications from our qualitative data base of interviews and focus groups with senior decision makers, multi-professional leaders and practitioners in the North West of England.

Select Publications

  • Hulme, M., Thomson, A., Hulme, R., and Doughty, G. (2013) Trading places: the role of agents in international student recruitment from Africa. Journal of Further and Higher Education. ISSN 0309-877X (
  • Hulme, R. and Hulme, M. (2012) Policy learning? Crisis, evidence and reinvention in the making of public policy. Policy and Politics, 40 (4). pp. 473-489. ISSN 0305-5736 (
  • Hulme, R and Hulme, M. (2009 Dec ) The 're-imagining' of evidence under New Labour: policy and practice in education in uncertain times, Effective Education vol 1 no 2 ISSN 1941-5532
  • (2009 June) Hulme, R & Cracknell, D. Learning Across Boundaries: Developing Trans-professional understanding through Practitioner Enquiry, in Campbell, A. and Groundwater-Smith, S. (Ed.s) Connecting Inquiry and Professional Learning in Education: International Perspectives and Practical Solutions. Abingdon, Routledge
  • (2009 October) Hulme, R. and Owens, A. Learning in Third Spaces, Developing Trans-professional Understanding Through Practitioner Enquiry, Journal of Education Action Research