Dr Niki Sol

Senior Lecturer in HE Student Affairs/Course Leader

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

School:Education and Social Care

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Education and teaching

Research Supervision:Yes

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



Before joining ARU as an academic in 2016, 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 Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory, which measures intercultural sensitivity.

Research interests

  • Identity negotiation in study abroad
  • Underrepresented students in study abroad
  • Intercultural relations in higher education
  • Intersectionality and 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

Niki would be pleased to consider supervising doctoral students with the following research interests/topics:

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

Recent and current doctoral supervision as first supervisor:

  • A mixed methods evaluative study of a patchwork text and media approach to fully on-line worked focused undergraduate course design (Current)
  • How can vocational educational experience be developed to better engage operating department practitioners? (Current) 


Niki teaches on the MA Student Affairs in Higher Education course, as well as modules in the MA Education and MA Early Childhood Education, MA Special Educational Needs and Disability, and MA Higher 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 (2008)
  • BSc Communication, Cornell University
  • Qualified Administrator, Intercultural Development Inventory v3, IDI LLC

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member, AMOSSHE: The Student Services Organisation
  • Member, International Association of Student Affairs and Services
  • Peer Reviewer, International Journal of Multicultural Education
  • Peer Reviewer, Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad
  • Reviewer, New York University Journal of Student Affairs

Selected recent publications

McCleeary, M. and Sol, N., under review. Moving through autonomy toward interdependence: a framework for examining student perceptions of development in a hybrid model study abroad program. 

Sol, N., 2017. Fostering intercultural identity during study abroad to strengthen intercultural competence. In: L. Leavitt, S. Wisdom and K. Leavitt, eds., Cultural awareness and competency development in higher education. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. pp.325-345.

Recent presentations and conferences

Sol, N., 2018. Engaging student affairs through postgraduate research. Conference presentation: AMOSSHE National Conference 2018: Shaping Futures. Liverpool, UK, 4-6 July, 2018.

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.