Research at Leeds Beckett
About Michelle Wishardt
Michelle has managed externally funded research projects (most recently under the EU-TEMPUS programme) and organises conferences in the RTPI Yorkshire Conference series. She co-ordinates the International Exchange and Erasmus programme for the Geography and Planning group, teaches across the programme and is module leader for Global Geographies.
Michelle’s background relates mainly to economic and political geography. She was externally funded to carry out research into the influence of international organisations in the development of welfare and employment policies. This work resulted in the publication with (with Bob Deacon) of Global Social Policy, International Organisations and the Future of Welfare (1997, 2002, 2013) Sage.
Broadly her research activity has been concerned with issues of regional governance, migration and European spatial planning. She has developed expertise on EU territorial instruments and their evaluation and has regional expertise in Central and Eastern Europe. Particular areas of knowledge and interest relate to European planning and Cohesion policy, social inclusion, transport developments and various aspects of sustainability. Geographically areas of study have included North Yorkshire, Ireland and Central and Eastern Europe, particularly Poland and the Middle East.
Prior to work in the university sector, Michelle worked as a Parliamentary Researcher in the House of Commons, Westminster and brings to the University experience both from there and from various other voluntary activities both in the UK and abroad.
- BA (Hons) Human Geography
- BA (Hons) Human Geography and Planning
- MA Town and Regional Planning
Michelle has contributed to various collaborative research projects in the EU and internationally. Most recently she managed an externally funded research project led by LBU under the EU-TEMPUS programme which supports the modernisation of higher education in the partner countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the Mediterranean region, mainly through University cooperation projects. This 5 year project focused on the environment, construction and reconstruction in three Syrian Universities; Damascus, Aleppo and Tishreen and involved collaboration with partners at Northumbria University and the University of Claude Bernard, Lyon.
This project involved the establishment of a centre of excellence for research & training in construction and the environment at the University of Damascus, with satellite centres in Aleppo and Tishreen. Also it resulted in the delineation of suitable research sub-themes and training areas and a set of modules in line with these and relevant training courses and training materials. Over a hundred students are already enrolled and active in the courses established.
Michelle represented LBU as partners with the University of Cairo and a consortium across the EU to complete a similar TEMPUS project in 2018 across 6 universities in Egypt. Her current and on-going interests relate to issues of the process of governance and environmental outcomes in terms of equality of access to better, more sustainable places and green infrastructure.