Dr Pere Ayling

Senior Lecturer in Early Years

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School of Social Sciences and Humanities
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Dr Pere Ayling is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. Pere was born in Nigeria and has over 10 years of teaching experience in early years, primary and higher education. Pere is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Pere teaches across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes currently at the University of Suffolk. Pere is also a PhD supervisor. Her area of interest is sociology of education and race, with a focus on the temporal and geographical characteristic of inequality and privilege.

Pere has several publications all of which are closely linked to her area of interest and specialism and focused on how social class, gender and race as well as (dis)ability intersect to (re)produce ‘privilege’ and ‘inequality’ in education and society in general. Her most recent publications examined how elite Nigerian parents are attempting to reproduce their class position by choosing to educate their children in ‘white’ schools while another explored the ethical dilemmas involved in researching elites. Her work on Nigerian elites has received national and international attention and led to speak at various conferences and symposia invitations from well-known scholars in the field of social class and elite studies.


Selected publications (see ORCID ID: 0000-0002-9878-0126 for full listing)


Distinction, Exclusivity and Whiteness: Elite Nigerian Parents and the International Education Market (2019), Springer.

Book chapters

Bourdieu in Nigeria: The Colonial Habitus and Elite Nigerian parents’ future Aspirations for their Children (2019).

In International Perspectives on Theorizing Aspirations: Applying Bourdieu’s Tools – Bloomsbury.

Diversity, Equality & Rights (2018) In Dis/Abled Childhoods? A transdisciplinary Approach – Palgrave Macmillan.

Eliteness and Elite schooling in Contemporary Nigeria In Elite Education: International perspectives (2016) – Routledge.

Diversity, Equality and Rights in Early Years (2016) in The Early Years practitioner's handbook – Routledge.

Social Distinction and Risk Avoidance: Reasons why affluent Nigerian parents choose British boarding schools (2011) in Brooks, M. - Nigeria: An analysis of the market in Nigerian for school-aged education in the UK. London: British Council’s Education UK Partnership).

Journal Articles

Lillie, K, and Ayling, P. (2020) Revisiting the un/ethical: the complex ethics of elite studies research, Qualitative Research, p1–16.

Decolonising the Mind: Using the colonial habitus to disrupt the dominant discourse of ‘white school’ as top-quality school in Nigeria, (2020) BERA RI (Research Intelligence).

Gartland, C. Nolan, S. Ayling, P. & Dogaru, C. (2020) Science technology, engineering and maths (STEM) employer collaborations with university and pre-university (16-19 years) settings: A review of evidence of impact & implications for future practice. INTED conference paper.

The Oyinbo man’s pedagogy as an indicator of top-quality education in Nigeria.  (2019) BERA RI (Research Intelligence).

The Three Rs: Parental Risk management strategies in the International Secondary Education Market (2017).

Journal of Curriculum Inquiry - DOI: 10.1080/03626784.2017.1324735.

‘Embodying ‘Britishness’: The (Re)making of the Contemporary Nigerian Elite Child’ (2015).

Curriculum Inquiry, Vol 45(5) p.455-471, DOI: 10.1080/03626784.2015.1095623.

International Education and Social Distinction: The consumption of British private schooling by elite Nigerian parents (2015) Doctoral Theses, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 36:2, 354-358, DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2015.1008337

Conference papers

Geographies of (dis)advantage: International education and the maintenance of middle-class advantage in Nigeria - BSA conference (accepted 21-23 April 2020).

Distinction, Exclusivity and Whiteness: Elite Nigerian parents and the international education market - BJSE @40 Institute of Education, University of London.

Consuming oversea schooling: An act of parental love? Workshop on Elites – Oxford (accepted 16-17, June 2020).

Whiteness as a symbol of ‘quality’ education: An analysis of perceptions of quality education among affluent Nigerian parents - Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) – New York (July 2019).

Class apart: A comparative analysis of elite Nigerian and working-class parents’ perceptions of quality education in the international education market - Children and Childhoods conference – (June 2019).

Theory: The art of academic writing - BERA REE SIG annual writing conference (May 2018).

The Three Rs: Parental Risk Management Strategies in the International Secondary Education Market - International workshop on multicultural Education Thailand (June 2018).

BOURDIEU IN NIGERIA! The Colonial Habitus and Elite Nigerian Parents’ Aspirations for Their Children - BSA annual conference -Lancaster University (July 2018).

Whiteness as a symbol of ‘quality’ education: An analysis of perceptions of quality education among affluent Nigerian parents - BSA annual conference – Manchester university (April 2017).

The Three Rs: Parental Risk Management Strategies in the International Secondary Education Market - Masters International conference -Madrid (June 2017).

Dis/ability critical race studies: Racialising (Dis)ability, disabling race - Annual disabled Children’s Research forum (July 2017).

Presented a paper on ‘The Nigerian elites’ at the BSA Annual conference at Aston University, Birmingham April 2016.

The (Re)making of the contemporary Nigerian elite child” -BSA Bourdieu Study Group’s Inaugural Biennial Conference July 2016: 'The contemporary relevance of the work of Pierre Bourdieu University of Bristol.

Pere completed a successful bid for a BT funded systematic review research on best practice in industry-linked STEM scholarships, internships, industry-school partnerships, and other/mixed programs offered to sixth form and university students.

Pere completed a successful bid for a Suffolk County Council funded research project examining the effectiveness of a local councils’ inclusion programme designed to support the successful reintegration of excluded students back into mainstream school.

Taken part in British Academy funded workshops on the ‘implementation and challenges of multicultural education in Thailand and a symposium in Italy exploring inequalities in all of their many and various manifestations.

Pere is a member of British Sociological Association and British Education Research Association.

Pere is currently one of the convenors of the Race, Ethnicity and Education BERA special interest group.