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School of Education

Dr Liz Winter

Dr Liz Winter

Lecturer in Educational Psychology


 +44 (0) 1392 724742

 North Cloisters NC117


North Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


My interest in young people's career choices stems from my first employment as a design engineer where I found several social groups to be under-represented and, despite the passage of time, this remains the case today. Following an interest in social processes behind this, my career in Psychology started and continues to this day where it is constantly fuelled by natural inquisitiveness and a desire for young people's aspirations not to be limited by social constructs, self-concepts or expectations.

As a considerable career diversion, most recently I have been working in an international partnership to establish and suport a university in Kazakhstan which has brought many challenges and much joy plus a burgeoning insight into various cultural and political apsects that support young people, education systems and change.

For my publications and projects worked on, please see my research page.


PhD in Social Psychology (University of Leicester)

BSc in Psychology (University of Leicester)

BSc in Mathematics (Univeristy of Manchester)

Chartered Member of British Psychological Society. Member of the following Division and Sections:

  • Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology (past committe member)
  • Psychology of Education Section
  • Social Psychology Section


I joined the University of Exeter School of Education in 2022 from the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Before Cambridge, following on from my PhD examining young people's attitudes to technology, I taught undergraduate Social Pscyhology and was Course DIrector for a Certificate of HE in Psychology at the University of Leicester. 

I started work at Cambridge in 2011 to firstly act as course co-ordinator and tutor on the MPhil and MEd Pschology in Education BPS Conversion course. I then moved across to support a three-way international partnership to establish a new Graduate School of Education in Kazakhstan. Learning about systemic educational reform and the cultural aspects of this, particularly in a post-Soviet context, are natural areas for enquiry. My more recent research activities and doctoral supervisions have focussed on this to range from cultural factors to school engagement, the financing of public schools, national qualifications and assessment in schools plus educational reform and change management in general.

Research group links

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Research interests

My original research interests, which I maintain, are in self-stereotyping effects that undermine self-efficacy and future career choices in specific domains. For example, the under-representation of women in science, technology and engineering.  Effectively, I examine individuals' mis-match between self-shema and assumed schema for various school subjects, later study, professions and employment. This is also related to a generic interst in widening participation of all types and in all areas of education.

Coupled to the above, I also research school wellbeing and school engagement so the individual perspective is brought to the fore in policy decisions on funding and school priorities. 

For the last ten years, I have been funded to research systemic educational reform. This has meant a broad approach to enquiry including: researching National Qualification Frameworks to inform and reconfigure models of assessment that then inform national assessmenty policy; cultural appreciation of the purposes of assessment that affect parental engagement and support; centre to periphery transmission of educational policy including stakeholders' understanding of policy aims and frontline implementation of renewed curricula and language policies; financing of schools in a post-Soviet setting and the introduction and use of new teaching resources (e.g. textbooks in Oman and Kazakhstan).

Research projects

General publications

McLellan, R., Faucher, C., & Winter, L. (2022). Developing a culturally appropriate tool to assess young people's wellbeing in Kazakhstan: a derived etic approach. In R McLellan, C Faucher and V. Simovska (Eds.) Wellbeing and Schooling: cross disciplinary and cross cultural perspectives, (pp 135-154). Springer.

Yu, J., McLellan, R., & Winter, L. (2020). Which boys and which girls are falling behind? Linking adolescents’ gender role profiles to motivation, engagement and achievement. Journal of Youth & Adolescence

Winter, L., & Mace, K. (2014). Adolescent and pre-adolescent migration: implications for identity. Studia Migracyjne - Przeglad Polonijny, 40(3), 107-128. Available online

Thabet, A.A., Ibraheem, A.N., Shivram, R., Winter, E.A., Vostanis, P. (2009). Parenting support and PTSD in children of a war zone. International Journal Social Psychiatry, 55(3):226-37. DOI: 10.1177/0020764008096100

Outputs from a Nazarbayev University led project examining the introduction of a new model of finance for schools in Kazakhstan, funded by The Ministry of Education and Science, Republic of Kazakhstan

Winter, L., & Kasa, R. (2021). Financial Autonomy of Schools in Kazakhstan: International Comparison and a National Perspective. The European Conference on Education 2021: Official Conference Proceedings. Published online

Outputs from projects led by the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge examining the introduction of the 'Renewed Content of Education', funded by Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan:

Yakavets, N., Winter, L., Malone, K., Zhontayeva, Z. &  Khamidulina, Z. (accepted). Educational Reform and Teachers’ Agency in Reconstructing Pedagogical Practices in Kazakhstan. Journal of Educational Change.

McLaughlin, C., Winter, L., Fimyar, O., & Yakavets, N. (2021). Reforming a Whole School System: The Case of Kazakhstan. In C. McLaughlin & A. Ruby (Eds.), Implementing Educational Reform: Cases and Challenges (Cambridge Education Research, pp. 67-90). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108864800.005

Outputs from projects led by the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge examining the introduction of a trilingual education policy, funded by The Ministry of Education and Science, Republic of Kazakhstan

Mehisto, P., Winter, L., Kambatyrova, A., & Kurakbayev, K. (2022). CLIL as a conduit for a trilingual Kazakhstan, The Language Learning Journal, DOI: 10.1080/09571736.2022.2056627

Outputs from British Council Institutional Links Grant between University of Cambridge and Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan entitled International Interdisciplinary Wellbeing in Schools for Health (I-I-Wish)

Winter, L., Hernandez-Torrano, D., McLellan, R., Almukhambetova, A., & Brown Hajdukova, E. (2020). A contextually adapted model of school engagement in Kazakhstan. Current Psychology.

Brown Hajdukova, E., Winter, L., & McLellan, R. (2017). Young people’s conceptualization of their wellbeing: Culturally situated understandings in the context of Kazakhstan. Health, 9 (11), 1542-1566.

Outputs from The Center to the Periphery research project on Educational Reform in Kazakhstan funded by the Ministry of Education and Science, Republic of Kazakhstan

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I am interested in teaching and discussing how individuals are located in their realities by using a variety of psychological perspectives and approaches such as developmental, social, cultural and individual difference explanations.

As the above is a broad remit, I am interested in how research methodologies and methods fit enquiry. I have used a number of methods in both large and small research projects. I can support students in quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research from analysis of large-scale secondary data through to qualitative analysis of a single case study.

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Office Hours:

My office hours are open to change. Please email me if you would like to meet.

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