Dr Saeeda Shah FRSA, FHEA

Dr Saeeda Shah

Honorary Research Fellow

Reader/Associate Professor

21 University Road

Leicester LE1 7RF




Tel: +44 (0)116 229 7522

Email: sjas2@le.ac.uk


Personal details

  • MEd (Manchester)
  • PhD (Nottingham)

I have been working in the School of Education, University of Leicester since 2003. Previously, I taught for many years in higher education in Pakistan, holding senior management posts.

Before coming to the University of Leicester, I was Professor and Dean at the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. I was awarded the Best University Teacher Millennium Award 2000 by the University Grants Commission, Pakistan.

I have been Member College International Strategy Forum and Co-Chair Race Equality Action Group at the University of Leicester. Previously, I was Chair of the College of Social Sciences Equality and Diversity Committee till July 2016. In October 2015, I was awarded Inspirational BME Lifetime Achievement Award.

I have been Postgraduate Tutor and programme leader (PhD/EdD) for many years. I have also taught on educational leadership and management programmes at Master's and Doctoral levels, supervising a number of doctoral students from the UK and overseas, both on the EdD and PhD.

In addition to my responsibilities at the University of Leicester, I hold many external positions including:

  • Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Derby
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)

I'm a member of the editorial boards of many journals including International Journal of Leadership and Policy in Schools (USA), Journal of Education (Switzerland), Journal of Education and Research (Pakistan) and of the editorial review board of Leadership and Policy Quarterly (USA), plus many more.


My teaching interests range includes:

  • educational leadership and management
  • leadership development
  • Islam and education
  • cross-cultural research
  • managing diversity/ethnicities
  • culture, gender and power issues

I also offer lectures/sessions for visiting international faculty members.


Shah, S. (2017) ‘We are Equal’; datum or delusion: perceptions of senior women academics in three Malaysian universities’. British Journal of Sociology of Education; e-print available on http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/TRjqVht7gU2ddxCn5sva/full.

Qazi, M. H. and Shah, S. (2017) ‘Identity constructions through media discourses: Malala Yousafzai in Pakistani English newspapers’. Journalism Studies; Pages 1-16 | Published First online: 16 Feb 2017; ID: RJOS 1284574; DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2017.1284574

Shah, S. (2017) ‘Gender and Leadership: exploring the intersections of gender, religion, culture and leadership’ in J. Wilkinson and L. Bristol (eds) Educational leadership as a culturally-constructed practice: New directions and possibilities; Chapter 5. Routledge; London and New York.

Shah, S. (2017) ‘Education of Muslim Students in Turbulent Times’, in M. Mac an Ghaill and C. Haywood (eds) Education, Neo-liberalism and Muslim Students: Schooling a ‘Suspect Community’, pp51-66; Palgrave Macmillan.

Shah, S. (2016) Education, Leadership and Islam: Theories, discourses and practices from an Islamic perspective. Routledge. http://www.amazon.com/Education-Leadership-Islam-discourses-perspective-ebook/dp/B010VJ8VQO ).

Shah, S. (2015) ‘Where does the Power lie! Gender, leadership, and positional power’, in E. Reilly and Q. J. Bauer (eds) Women Leading Education across the continents: overcoming the barriers; pp.165-174. Rowman & Littlefield; USA.

Shah, S. (2014) ‘Being a Social and Professional Insider: possibilities and challenges for educational research’, in G. Smyth and N. Santoro (ed) Methodologies for Researching Cultural Diversity in Education: International Perspectives. Trentham Books

Shah, S. (2014) Islamic Education and the UK Muslims: options and expectations in a context of multi-locationality. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 33(3) 233-249.

Shah, S. (2013) ‘Islam, Education and Gender: discourses and practices among Pakistani Diaspora in the UK’;  Chapter 16, pp.241- 252 in Z. Gross, L. Davies and K. Diab (eds) Gender, Religion and Education in a Post-modern Chaotic World. Springer Publishers.

Shah, S. (2012) ' Muslim Schools in the West: persistence or resistance'. British Journal of Religious Education.

Shah, S. (2011) 'Pakistani Diaspora in Britain: intersections of multi-locationality and girls’ education'. British Journal of Sociology of Education, Vol. 32.

Shah, S. (2009) ‘Impact of Societal Culture on Practice: people management in colleges in Pakistan’. Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Practice; 24(2) 4-18.

Shah, S. (August, 2009) Muslim Learners in English schools: a challenge for school leaders’, Oxford Review of Education; 35(4) 523-540.

Shah, S. (June 2009) ‘Why Single-Sex Schools? Discourses of culture/faith and achievement’. Cambridge Journal of Education; 45(2) 191-204.


My research interests include:

  • educational leadership and cultural contexts
  • Islamic philosophy of education and knowledge
  • comparative education
  • Islam and society
  • gender, culture/faith and power discourses
  • cultural/belief systems
  • managing and leading multi-ethnic institutions
  • education of ethnic minorities in Britain
  • faith and identity constructions
  • Muslim women and HE
  • diversity, inclusion and citizenship

Research projects

1. Promoting Inquiry Informed Practice: bridging the gap between theory and practice for participants of pre-service teacher education program in Pakistan

I am a Principal Investigator for this British Council funded the three-year project (Dec 2014 to Dec 2017) in collaboration with Fatima Jinnah Women University (Pakistan), International Islamic University Islamabad (Pakistan) and Federal Teacher Training College Rawalpindi (Pakistan).

The project seeks to bridge the gap between theory and practice in teaching training programmes with specific focus on Methods of Teaching and Teaching Practicum elements. It will explore barriers in applying and adapting course learning to classroom practices while investigating the role of university supervisors and cooperative teachers as well as of the school management with regard to the application of teachers’ learning to practice.

Secondly, the project established a sustainable relationship between the University of Leicester and the Fatima Jinnah Women University and other providers of teacher education in that region. This collaboration is expected to continue beyond the life of the project, contributing to the enhancement of the quality of teacher education and mutual learning.

2. Investigating the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in the United Arab Emirates

I was PI from the University of Leicester for the project in collaboration with Professor Howard Stevenson, University of Nottingham, funded by The International Baccalaureate (2015-16). The project investigated to what extent the core principles of the IB MYP programme align with UAE Islamic religious and civic values (including meeting local curriculum mandates), seeking views of different stakeholders including students, parents, teachers/leaders and policy makers to explore the value and benefits of the MYP in that regional context and the practical issues facing IB schools in implementing the MYP in UAE, and the steps needed for successful implementation.

3. Research Capacity Building Through International Partnership for mapping women academics' careers in Pakistan

I am the Principal Investigator on this British Academy project (International Network and Mobility scheme) along with Dr Maryam Rab from Fatima Jinnah Women University (Pakistan) as co-investigator. The award was £29576 for a three-year collaborative project aiming to establish sustainable collaboration between two UK and four Pakistani HE institutions, working towards research capacity building while 'Mapping Women Academics' Careers in Pakistan'.

The broader aims included long-term international collaboration, research capacity building and significant contributions to the literature on leadership and gender. The project has been successfully completed in December 2015. 

Other projects in development are:

  • ‘The transition from education to employment among Muslim women aged 21-25 in England, Turkey and Pakistan: the roles of social, cultural and human capital in determining the impact of agency and structure’, in collaboration with Fatima Jinnah Women University (Pakistan) and Fatih University (Istanbul, Turkey).
  • ‘Muslim Male Teachers in English Schools and Progression to Leadership: Interplay of ethnicity, faith and visibility’
  • Muslim learners and issues of identity, inclusion and engagement’

Research projects

Doctoral Supervision

I welcome research students within her research interests and in the following areas

  • education, leadership and diversity
  • Islam and society
  • Diversity and identity
  • gender and leadership
  • faith schools

I examine PhD theses nationally and internationally.


























































































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