Dr Zibah Nwako

Research Topic Title: Towards an African feminist framework for students’ welfare in Nigerian Higher Education

Women students are disadvantaged and marginalised in African universities as they face a myriad of problems that threaten their physical health, emotional safety and academic progress. However, the wellbeing and welfare of women students in educational institutions has received little research attention, the issues are neither given much policy consideration nor opportunities for improvement in practice. This project builds on my PhD research study titled ‘In Our Own Voices: A Critical Participatory Study of the Wellbeing of Female Undergraduate Students in Nigeria’.

The privileging of the voice and agency of female participants, as well as an interrogation of the coloniality of university structures, is intrinsic to my research design and context. The centring of women’s lived experiences challenges several policy assumptions and priorities within Nigeria’s higher education sector. My project therefore contributes important insights to ongoing policy debates including ways to mitigate gender-based violence in educational institutions.

My research places equal importance on supporting women students develop their understandings and responses to welfare at an individual and on a collective level. This interaction between the individual and the collective underpins the participatory nature of my research and lends itself to the idea of collaboration and co-production of resources through this fellowship.

Through the project, I employ a multi-targeted approach to communicate policy-based research findings and recommendations to African education stakeholders, and to a wider public audience through accessible, engaging and creative outputs. It also facilitates knowledge exchange between women students in African universities to establish empowering national and international networks.

Mentor: Professor Arathi Sriprakash


Kere Abdulrahman, H., Adebisi, F., Nwako, Z. and Walton, E. (2021). ‘Revisiting (inclusive) education in the postcolony. Journal of the British Academy, 9(s1), pp. 47-75. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/009s1.047

Sprague, T., Nwako, Z., Kulundu-Bolus, I., Tikly, L., Wals, A., Facer, K., Elmi, M., and Imaniriho, D. (2021). Co-Creating Education for Sustainable Futures: TESF Methodology Background Paper. Bristol, TESF. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4462433

Nwako, Z. (2021). Activist or Advocate? Redefining Scholarly Risk in an African Research Context. In: Mulligan, D. L. and Danaher, P. A. (Eds.), Researchers at Risk: Precarity, Jeopardy and Uncertainty in Academia. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-53857-6 Chp. 19, pp. 295-309. Palgrave Macmillan.

Morris, C., Nwajiuba, C., Ogunji, C. Masika, R. and Nwako, Z. (2020). Supporting women students in Nigerian Higher Education. A Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) funded study report for the University of Portsmouth.

Owens-Ibie, N., Nwako, Z. and Ajufoh, C. (2010). Building Together: Peer Education Resource Kit for Community Women. Abuja: ActionAid Nigeria.

Nwako, Z. (2009). Springboard Women’s Development Workbook (1st Nigerian Edition). By: L. Willis and J. Daisley (Eds.). Abuja: Fruitful Prints and Publications.


Email: zibah.nwako@bristol.ac.uk

LinkedIn: zibah a. nwako

Twitter: @DrZibahNwako

Website:  www.zibahnwako.com