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Academic Profiles (A-Z)

Dr Anna Mountford-Zimdars

Senior Lecturer in Higher Education

Anna Mountford-Zimdars picture


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7848 3066

Room 5.19, Waterloo Bridge Wing,
Franklin-Wilkins Building,
Waterloo Road,

London, SE1 9NN



 Anna teaches and researches topics in higher education policy, especially concerning fairness in access to elite education and employment. Her completed projects have included a study of admissions and degree performance at the University of Oxford; a study of fair entry to the legal Bar of England and Wales; and an analysis of continuities and changes in attitudes to higher education among the British public.

In 2013, she was the invited specialist writer for the UK Quality Assurance Agency's 'Quality Code' on higher education admissions and was part of the review of the use of contextual data in university admissions commissioned by Supporting Professionalism in Admissions.

Her publications include over a dozen peer-reviewed articles, a co-edited peer-reviewed international special issue on fair access to universities and a forthcoming comparative book on admission to selective universities. Her full publication list is available from my personal website here:

She is interested in institutional, national, and international activities and research that inform and enhance current practices in higher education. In her teaching role she has developed a module on inclusive teaching in higher education for the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice. She also co-ordinate the provision for PhD students and post-doctoral researchers new to teaching. She is available for the supervision of postgraduate taught and postgraduate research dissertations.

Research Interests

Who should go to university? How are educational opportunities distributed? What does it mean to select students based on merit?

These are just some of the questions that Anna is seeking to answer through her work. Her research interests concern access to higher education, access to professions (law), and equal opportunities issues more generally.

She uses the research method most suited to answering particular research questions. She has used quantitative methods to look at patterns of university admission, and she has used qualitative methods to see how selectors make sense of the experience of selecting students. She is always curious to find innovative ways to help me shed a new light on my research questions.


King's Research Profile


Selected Publications

Forthcoming 2016

Mountford-Zimdars, A (forthcoming April 2016) Meritocracy and the University: Selective admission in England and the United States. London: Bloomsbury.

Mountford-Zimdars, A and Harrison, N (eds) (forthcoming 2016) Fairness in access to post-secondary education. Routledge – SRHE series.


Clark, S, Mountford-Zimdars, A, Francis, B (2015) Risk, Choice and Social Disadvantage: Young People’s Decision-Making in a Marketised Higher Education System. Sociological Research Online.

Mountford-Zimdars, A, Sabri, D, Moore, J, Sanders, J, Jones, S, Higham, L (2015) Causes of Differences in Student Outcomes. Higher Education Funding Council for England, HEFCE, July 23rd 2015.

Mountford-Zimdars, A (2015) Contest and adjustment sponsorship in the selection ofelites: Re-visiting Turner’s mobility modes for England through an analysis of undergraduate admissions at Oxford University. Sociologie, issue 2, June 2015

Zimdars, A. (2015) Competicão por pupilagem na ordem dos advogados da inglaterra e pais de gales (2000-2004); translated into Portuguese and reprinted in Pedro Geraldo and Fernando Fontainha (Eds). Sociologia Empírica do Direito, Curitiba: Jurua Editora.

Higham, L, Moore, J, Mountford-Zimdars, A (February 2015) A review of the Supporting Professionalism in Admissions Programme. UCAS.

Mountford-Zimdars (ed)(2015) Teaching in the Context of Diversity: Reflections and tips from educators at King's College London. Special issue, Higher Education Research Network Journal.

Mountford-Zimdars, A (2015) Who is the best? Selecting undergraduates in competitive admissions contexts in Virgina Stead (editor). International Perspectives in Higher Education Admission Policy: A Reader, Peter Lang Publishing.

Mountford-Zimdars, A and Teulon, P (2015) AABe or not to AABe: A very English problem in Virgina Stead (editor). International Perspectives in Higher Education Admission Policy: A Reader, Peter Lang Publishing.


Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education

  • Enhancing Academic Practice (Module)
  • Rethinking Teaching in the Context of Diversity (Module)



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