Caroline Oliver is a Reader in Sociology in the Department of Social Sciences.

Caroline employs a sociological-anthropological perspective to explore multiple aspects of transnational migration. She has expertise in life course transitions, as explored in her work on International Retirement Migration, as well as migrant ‘integration’ and the role of the State in enabling or restricting these processes. This is especially within the realm of education, where she has explored a range of topics including refugee education, State bordering practices in education, migrant parental engagement in schooling, migrant families with children with disabilities and diverse youth transitions. Caroline has worked in and led a range of projects, including leading a cross-national study of Family Migration in the EU (the European funded (EIF) funded IMPACIM project, 2012-2014). She has published numerous articles on these topics, a book Retirement Migration: Paradoxes of Ageing (Routledge, 2008) and Caroline is also Series Editor of the Sociological Futures book series, produced in association with the BSA and Routledge.

Caroline is Principal Investigator of an evaluation and research workpackage of the Utrecht Refugee Launchpad (U-RLP, 2016-2019). The research explores the outcomes of a novel city experiment which aims to create a vibrant co-learning and living environment for both refugees and the local community in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Working in collaboration with Oxford University's Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) and two Utrecht based researchers, the research uses both quantitative and qualitative research to generate evidence and insight into the project's outcomes in the neighbourhood and among asylum seekers and refugees. It explores impacts of the model on neighbourhood relations, as well as refugees' labour market and social integration and wellbeing. The work aims to inform wider learning from this innovative model for cities elsewhere and is funded by the EU (ERDF) Urban Innovative Actions fund.

Caroline continues to engage with a variety of stakeholders through knowledge exchange activities in her work. At COMPAS, she worked closely with European senior officials in European cities to develop city-wide strategies on migrant parental engagement with schools (Action for Inclusion in Europe) and convened a residential workshop on integration for European policy and civil society officers. In 2016, Caroline supported a team to develop an online tool for use by Local Authorities, voluntary sector organisations and service-users to help assess the outcomes and support needs for destitute families with children in need. The work arising from the COMPAS project was awarded a Community Integration Award in 2017.

Caroline welcomes enquiries from potential PhD students interested in her areas of research expertise. Caroline is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Memberships (current)

  • British Sociological Association
  • American Association of Geographers

Memberships (previous)

  • Social Policy Association
  • Association of Social Anthropologists
  • British Educational Research Association
  • European Association of Social Anthropologists
  • Development Studies Association
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society


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