Ian Willis

Job Title: EdD Lead on Internationalisation Research,

Telephone: 0151 794 1165

Fax: 0151 794-1165

Email: ian.willis@liverpool.ac.uk

Job Role:

I am the Lead on Internationalisation research for the EdD (the University’s professional doctorate in Higher Education). The EdD has over 300 students worldwide and is wholly online.

Previously, I was Head of the Educational Development Division and Director of Studies of the Postgraduate Diploma/MA in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.


My PhD was on the Internationalisation of Higher Education, which forms the basis of many of my interests.

I am a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

I came to the University of Liverpool from New Zealand where I was a staff developer at a regional HEI. During that time, I sat on institutional level committees and developed and led L&T programmes.


I have been involved in a number of consultancy projects to enhance learning and teaching including work in Syria, Lebanon, Canada, Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi. I was the lead on a three year project (now extended to its seventh year), funded by the British Council and the Higher Education Commission in Pakistan, to help build capacity for the development of Learning and Teaching in Medical Education in the Punjab province, Pakistan.

Recently, I was a lead on a project for the Association of Commonwealth Universities to design and deliver a SEDA accredited course to enable mid-level administrators in African Universities to actively promote projects that support L&T in their institutions.

I really enjoy these opportunities to meet staff from other countries and to work out ways to develop sustainable practices in order to achieve their educational ambitions.

I was part of the team at the Centre for Lifelong Learning that developed the online EdD (professional doctorate in Higher Education; in collaboration with Laureate Online Education). I led the development of the first module: 'Becoming a Doctoral Practitioner' and lead the ‘Internationalisation Research Cluster’ for students in the thesis stage of the programme and supervise doctoral students’ internationalisation research.

I'm fascinated by the process of learning and teaching in general and have specific interests in critical thinking and reflection.

Adjunct Professor
University of Health Sciences, Lahore

External Examiner (2016-17)
Durham University
Queen Mary University, London

External reviewer (2010-15)
University of Central Lancashire: EdD
Bahrain Polytechnic: Certificate in Tertiary T&L,
Aliah University, Bahrain: Quality Management Systems
Liverpool John Moore
University: PGCert in L&T
University of Wales Trinity St David: MA Technology Enhanced Learning
York University: PGCert in Academic Practice
Regents University: PGCert in Learning and Teaching

Conference presentations

Building sustainable teaching capacity: secrets to success in international collaboration.European Association for International Education, Liverpool, September 2016 with Drs Khawaja, Younus & Strivens

Meeting the needs of EdD students through a 100% online programme. UK Council for Graduate Education, Glasgow, April 2016 with Dr Wendy Maddison

The impact of ULTRA: Academic staff as advocates for learning and teaching in a research-intensive university. Staff and Educational Development Association, April 2015 with Dr Janis Davidson

International collaboration: a multi-level academic development project. International Consortium for Educational Development conference, Stockholm, June 2014

Multimedia usage online: student perceptions, organising framework and readily adaptable good practice. Higher Education Teaching and Learning conference, Anchorage, May 2014 with Dr Lee Graham (Laureate funded research project)

International collaboration for capacity building in medical education: achievements, learning and future developments. Association for Excellence in Medical Education, Lahore, Pakistan, March 2014. Invited international scholar

Models of international collaboration: a people endeavour. British Council Global Policy Dialogues, South Asia series, Dubai, November 2013. Invited speaker

Ripples of influence; or how one thing leads to another in successful international collaborations. Going Global conference, Dubai, March 2013

Developing strategies and activities to improve interactions between home and international students and to enhance teaching and learning. HEA/UKCISA, London, March 2013, with Dr Gita Sedghi

Collaborative reach in partnerships that build capacity for higher education. Going Global conference, London, March 2012

Ensuring quality through international collaboration: A conceptual and a practical model. Association for Excellence in Medical Education, Islamabad, Pakistan, March 2012


Willis, I., & Strivens, J. (2015) Academic developers and international collaborations: the importance of personal abilities and aptitudes. International Journal of Academic Development

Strivens, J. and Willis, I. (2015) Cross crediting a master’s programme in UK and Pakistan. In Pauline Kneale, Ed Perspectives on Masters Level Teaching, Learning and Student Experience, London: Palgrave.

Varga-Atkins, T., McIsaac, J. & Willis, I. (2015) Focus Group meets Nominal Group Technique: an effective combination for student evaluation? Innovations in Education and Teaching International

Willis, I., & Taylor, J. (2014). The importance of rationales for internationalization at a local level - university and individual. European Journal of Higher Education, 2014, 1-14

Willis, I. (2014) Ripples of influence: how one thing leads to another in successful collaborations. In M. Stiasny, & T. Gore (Eds.), Global education: knowledge based economies for 21st century nations. Bingley, Yorkshire: Emerald

Willis, I. and Sedghi, G. (2014) Perceptions and experiences of home students involved in welcoming and supporting direct entry 2nd year international students. Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Vol. 9(1), 2-17

Willis, I. (2013). Collaborative reach: A model for international collaborations through engaging different levels within partner institutions. In M. Stiasny, & T. Gore (Eds.), Going global: Identifying trends and drivers of international education (pp. 99-107). Bingley, Yorkshire: Emerald

Qualter, A., & Willis, I. (2012). Protecting academic freedom in changing times: The role of heads of departments. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 44(2), 121-139.

Qualter, A., & Willis, I. (2011). Internationalisation policy and practice: The position of middle managers. ISOTL/ISL 2010 Conference Proceedings, Liverpool, UK.

Kahn, P. E., Young, R., Grace, S., Pilkington, R., Rush, L., Tomkinson, C. B., & Willis, I. (2008). A practitioner review of reflective practice within programmes for new academic staff. International Journal for Academic Development, 13, 119-211.

Kahn, P., Wareham, T., Young, R., Willis, I., & Pilkington, R. (2008). Exploring a practitioner-based interpretive approach to reviewing research literature. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 31(2), 169-180.