skip to content

Sociology Research


Sazana Jayadeva is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology. She is also a Fellow in Sociology and an undergraduate tutor at Murray Edwards College. Previously, she was a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey and UCL Institute of Education, where she worked on the ERC-funded ‘Eurostudents’ project, studying how the contemporary higher education student is constructed by different social actors in six European countries. Prior to this, she was awarded a Leibniz-DAAD Research Fellowship to carry out a research project on the role of social media in facilitating Indian student mobility to Germany. She conducted this research while based at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies in Hamburg (where she retains an affiliation as Associate Researcher).

Sazana has an MPhil and PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral research, funded by the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, focused on the relationship between education, class, and the English language in post-liberalisation India. 

Research Interests

Sazana’s research revolves around the broad themes of education and inequalities, class and language, and student mobilities and social media, with a regional focus on India and Europe.

Sazana's current research project – for which she was awarded funding by the German Academic Exchange Service – focuses on the aspirations and infrastructures mediating international student migration from India to Germany. It explores how ‘Study in Germany’ Facebook and WhatsApp groups and YouTube channels (typically run by Indian international students) offer prospective international students social and cultural capital important for successful student migration, apart from shaping their imaginative geographies of Germany, and embedding them in cultures of mobility. In addition, the project examines how student migration from India to Germany is closely tied to the job market for engineers in both countries.

She is also conducting research on the role of English language proficiency in middle-class formation in contemporary India, with a focus on the proliferation of low-cost private English-medium schools and commercial spoken English training centres (targeting adults).

She recently completed work on a European Research Council funded project — on which she worked as a postdoctoral researcher – that examined similarities and differences in how higher education students are constructed by different social actors (policymakers, the media, higher education staff, and students themselves) in six European countries.


Sazana is available to supervise MPhil students interested in exploring topics related to education; migration and mobilities; social class, social mobility, and inequality; and social media and everyday life (especially social media use in contexts related to education and migration).

Key Publications - Books

Brooks, R., Gupta, A., Jayadeva, S., Lainio, A. and Lazetic, P. (2022) Constructing the Higher Education Student: Perspectives from across Europe, Bristol, Policy Press.

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Jayadeva, S. and Thieme, S. (2022) “Building bridges: Narratives from and about educational consultants as mediators in transnational student mobility.” In Mobilities and Mobilisations: South Asian Universities as Transformative Social Spaces, edited by Thieme, S., Kölbel, A., and Pfaff-Czarnecka, J. Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Jayadeva, S. (2021) “Bad, Good, and Appropriate English: Negotiating English Proficiency in Bangalore, India.” In Hinglish: Language Use and Language Mixing in Contemporary India, edited by Orsini, F., and Ravikant. Orient Blackswan.

Brooks, R., Abrahams, J., Lazetic, P., Gupta, A. and Jayadeva, S. 2020. “Access to and Experiences of Higher Education across Europe: the Impact of Social Characteristics”. In The European Higher Education Area: Challenges for a New Decade, edited by Curaj, A., Deca, L. and Pricopie, R. Springer.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Jayadeva, S., Brooks, R. and Abrahams, J., (2021). The (stereo) typical student: how European higher education students feel they are viewed by relevant others. British Journal of Sociology of Education, pp.1-21.
Sazana Jayadeva, Rachel Brooks & Predrag Lažetić (2021) Paradise lost or created? How higher-education staff perceive the impact of policy on studentsJournal of Education Policy.

Brooks, R., Gupta, A., & Jayadeva, S. (2021) “Higher education students’ aspirations for their post-university lives: evidence from six European nations.” Children's Geographies, 1-14.

Brooks, R., Gupta, A., Jayadeva, S., Abrahams, J., Lazetic, P. (2021) “Higher education timescapes: temporal understandings of students and learning.” Sociology.

Jayadeva, S., Brooks, R., Gupta, A., Abrahams, J., Lazetic, P., and Lainio, A., 2020. “Are Spanish students customers? Paradoxical perceptions of the impact of marketisation on higher education in Spain”. Sociological Research Online. 

Jayadeva, S., 2020. “Keep calm and apply to Germany: how online communities mediate transnational student mobility from India to Germany”. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 46(11), pp.2240-2257. 

Brooks, R., Gupta, A., Jayadeva, S., Abrahams, J. and Lažetić, P., 2020. “Students as political actors? Similarities and differences across six European nations”. British Educational Research Journal. 

Brooks, R., Gupta, A., Jayadeva, S., Abrahams, J., 2020. “Students’ views about the purpose of higher education: a comparative analysis of six European countries.” Higher Education Research and Development. 

Brooks, R., Gupta, A., Jayadeva, S., Lainio, A., 2020. “Students in Marketised Higher Education Landscapes: An introduction”. Sociological Research Online. 

Jayadeva, S., 2019. “English‐medium: schooling, social mobility, and inequality in Bangalore, India”. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 50(2), pp.151-169.

Key Publications - Other

Jayadeva, S. 2021. “Do Spanish students see themselves as customers?” Wonkhe. 

Jayadeva, S. 2020. “The impact of Covid-19 on postgraduate-level student migration from India to Germany.” CGHE Research Findings, University of Oxford.

Jayadeva, S. 2016. “Aspiring by Degree: Student migration from India to Germany.” GIGA Focus Asia 5. Hamburg: GIGA. 

Media Articles

Research Groups & Affiliations

Additional Information

Editorial Roles:

Global Networks: Member of Editorial Board
Sociological Research Online: Member of Associate Editorial Board


Job Title:
Assistant Professor, Murray Edwards College
Dr Sazana Jayadeva
Contact Information: