Dr Niki Sol

Senior Lecturer & Course Leader for the MA Student Affairs

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education

Department:School of Education & Social Care

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Education and teaching

Niki leads the new MA Student Affairs in Higher Education course. Her main research interest is intercultural identity negotiation during university study abroad.

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Prior to joining ARU as an academic, Niki operated in student services in the UK, Netherlands, and United States since 2005.  She has worked directly with university students studying abroad with CISabroad, the University of California Education Abroad Program, and the University of Connecticut. Niki served as a student affairs professional at Leiden University College, the University of Connecticut, and Cornell University. While at LUC, Cambridge, and UConn, Niki taught modules on diversity, inclusive education, and student development, respectively. She facilitates diversity simulations and is a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory, which measures intercultural sensitivity.

Research interests

  • Student development in study abroad.
  • Underrepresented students in study abroad.
  • Identity negotiation in higher education.
  • Intercultural relations in higher education.
  • Social Justice in higher education.

Niki is very much interested in the impact that higher education has on student development, particularly in terms of identities (social, academic, and professional) and in the context of the study abroad setting. She concentrates mainly on individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, taking a critical social justice focus to foster positive change in their higher education experience.

Areas of research supervision

  • Higher Education
  • Intercultural Competency
  • Study Abroad
  • Intersectionality
  • Identity Development
  • Social Justice


Niki teaches on the modules in the MA Student Affairs in Higher Education course, as well as modules in the MA Education and MA Early Childhood Education.


  • PhD Education, University of Cambridge - Outside Looking In: Case Studies of the Effects of Study Abroad on Female African American University Students' Identities (2013)
  • PG Cert Learning and Teaching (Higher Education), Anglia Ruskin University (2017)
  • MA Intercultural Relations, University of the Pacific - Intercultural Sensitivity through the Mass-Mediated Lens: Understanding DMIS Levels in Newspaper Editorials in Regards to Same-Sex Marriage
  • BSc Communication, Cornell University
  • Certified Administrator, Intercultural Development Inventory v3, IDI LLC

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member, AMOSSHE: The Student Services Organisation

Selected recent publications

Sol, N., forthcoming. Fostering identity development during study abroad to strengthen cultural competence. In:  L. Leavitt, ed., Cultural awareness and competency development in higher education. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Recent presentations and conferences

Sol, N., McAdam-Donegan, L., and Intolubbe-Chmil, L., 2016. Supporting non-traditional students in their abroad experiences. Conference presentation: Forum on Education Abroad’s 12th Annual Conference: Navigating the Intersections: The Cultures of Education Abroad. Atlanta, GA, USA, 6-8 April, 2016.

Sol, N., 2013. Outside looking in: case studies of the effects of study abroad on female African American university students’ identities. Conference presentation: 6th Annual Doctoral Student Research Conference: Chaos, Creativity, and Connections in Social Science Research. University of Sussex, UK, 27 June, 2013.

Sol, N., 2012. Outside looking in: case studies of the effects of study abroad on female African American university students’ identities. Unpublished poster presentation at: NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo: Comprehensive Internationalization: Vision and Practice. Houston, TX, USA, 27 May-1 June, 2012.