Louise Owusu-Kwarteng

Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng BA Hons, MA Social Policy; PhD Sociology of Race and Education

Associate Professor in Applied Sociology

Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng is an Associate Professor in Sociology, Programme Leader in the same area, and leads the Faculty Office of Undergraduate Research and Enterprise (OURE).

Her research interests focus on race and educational experience, but with specific emphasis on West African groups; Sociological Autobiography and Ethnicity and identity. Prior to working at the University of Greenwich, Louise taught English as a second language and managed ESL teachers in Madrid. Before that she was seconded to the Community Cohesion Unit where she contributed to political leadership policy. Louise also worked at Oxford City Council as a community development officer.

Current Taught Courses

Writing Culture
Education and Social formation

Responsibilities within the university

Office of Undergraduate Research & Enterprise (OURE), Director

Programme Leader, Sociology and Combined Honours


Student Led Teaching Awards for Inspirational Teaching (2019) and for Personal Tutor (2017)

International Conference Nigerian Students – Altruistic Endeavours University of Leicester (2018)

Faculty awards for Student Experience (2017)

Research / Scholarly interests

Educational Experience of West African Groups

Louise's Doctoral dissertation entitled 'Between Two Lives' documents the impact of parenting on the academic, professional attainment and socio-emotional outcomes for 25 British Ghanaians'. It explores the impact of the approaches of Ghanaian migrant parents to facilitating academic/professional outcomes, and also examines the participants responses to their parents methods. Another aim is to challenge dominant assumptions about Black families and their supposed lack of interest in their children's education and also ideas that they do not attain well.

'Telling a Different Story' looks at the effect of parenting on the academic and professional achievement for 24 British Ghanaian highflyers which emerged from Louise's PhD, with a focus on their academic and professional outcomes.

Louise has been undertaken live sessions online for Africans in the UK, US and Canadian diaspora and in so doing drawing on this research. She has contributed to The Centre of Pan African Thought (Contributing Success Factors to Black Achievement) YouTube channel and in so doing drew on this research.

'Studying in This England is Wahala' analyses the experience of West African Overseas Students in a UK based University and discusses the experience of 12 West African students who studied in the UK. This work highlights how they navigated a new education system and approaches to teaching and learning. Louise also produced an article on this for The Conversation.com Africa, she has been asked to participate in a conference at Westminster in November 2020, and was also interviewed by researchresearch.com in February 2020.

Race and Identity

Louise's Paper 'We all Black Innit' analyses the relationships between Black African and Caribbean groups in Britain (2017). It explores the extent to which the tensions that sometimes existed between previous generations of African and African Caribbean migrants continue within the second and third generations who were born and raised in the UK. This will potentially be used as part of a discussion on Yanga TV, which is a subsidiary of Sky TV but focuses on UK African affairs. She also presented this at the BSA Conference in 2017 at Manchester University


'Educated and Educating as a Black Woman' (2019) is an autobiographical reflection on Louise's grandmother's role in her professional trajectory, addressing her experiences of teaching in Higher Education and the influence of her grandmother 'Madame Elizabeth (Lizbet) Beyie' had on her decision to become an academic.

'Whoever Holds the Scissors Wields the Power' (2020) examines Louise's experience of Black hairdressers. Although she describes her encounters, in many respects it resonates with Black women who interact with these spaces. Moreover it addresses Black hair politics and how they play out in these contexts. This was presented at DiscFest and included noted actor Gbemisola Ikumelo who produced it.

In her capacity as Director of Undergraduate Research, Louise facilitates staff/student research collaborations. This also neatly dovetails with her work with the Centre for Applied Sociology. To that end she has produced a paper entitled 'Livin and Learnin' Staff Student Collaborations and impacts on Black and Minority Ethnic students' (2019). Her work has been presented at Council of Undergraduate Research Conferences in Ohio (2019), and online in 2020. As part of this she co-facilitated and presented a paper on visible/invisible disability and undergraduate research.

Together with Ewa Sidorenko and in conjunction with the Centre for Applied Sociology Research and Sociology and Education and Community Studies students, an Autobiographical collection entitled 'Livin Our Best Lives' Autobiographical reflections of life in current times' (2019) provides diverse insights into students lives during the uncertain times we are in. A second collection entitled 'When The Personal Gets Political' Linking Students Sociological Autobiography to Social and Political Contexts (2020) was published this year.

Recent publications

Journal Articles

'Telling A Different Story': The effect of parenting on the academic and professional achievement of 24 British-Ghanaian high flyers Power and Education (2015) vol. 7 no. 3 289-305

'We all Black Innit?' (2015). An Exploration of intra-ethnic relations between second and third generation British people of African And African-Caribbean origin (forthcoming)

'Lizbet's Legacy (2015)': Analysing the impacts of my grandmother's role in the education of females in our family (forthcoming)

'Whoever holds the scissors holds the power' (2016)- an Autobiographical reflection of my hair journey in the formation of my identity (forthcoming)


The African Experience in Higher Education at the University of Greenwich as part of the BME project University of Greenwich 2009.


Conference Organisation

Alongside Professor Tracey Reynolds and Corine Delage (Head of Student Affairs) I  co facilitate the University of Greenwich Black and Minority ethnic project. As part of this, myself, Corine and Tracey have hosted two symposia. The first one Entitled 'Brighter futures Enhancing opportunities for all' took place in July 2015 with Baroness Doreen Lawrence as the keynote speaker. The second 'Telling it like it is' Analysing the experiences of BME students took place in November 2015. The keynote speaker was Hakim Adi, Professor of the History of Africa and the African Diaspora. The third, entitled 'Does my face fit? Exploring the experiences and the likelihood progression and promotion for BME staff in further and higher education', takes place in April 2016. The Key note speaker is Dr Gurnam Singh - Principal Lecturer. University of Coventry. Visiting Professor of Social Work. Chester University.

National Presentations

January 2016 'Whoever Holds the scissors holds the power'  Centre for Methodological Innovations research seminar. University of Plymouth

October 2015 Lizbet's Legacy' Black History Month Seminar series, Coventry University

July 2015 BSA Autobiographical Conference Lizbet's Legacy analysing the impacts of my grandmother's role in the academic and professional outcomes for her female descendants

October 2013 University of Lincoln Education Research Group: Methodological considerations from my PhD

April 2012 – Two Generations of Resistance: West African Contribution to British Anti-Racism and resistance movements at the 'Re-Thinking Resistance' symposium at the University of Greenwich

July 2011- Between Two Lives Revisited: Parental and Cultural expectations and impacts on Academic/Professional Outcomes for British-Ghanaians at the Teaching and Learning Conference at the University of Greenwich

July 2010 – The role of the family in academic attainment amongst British Africans. Conference hosted by the Research Centre for Children Schools and Families

November 2009- Autobiographical Methods workshop and symposium - University of Nottingham

September 2009 – The African Experience in Higher Education at the University of Greenwich

February 2007 - The effects of Parenting on Twi language acquisition amongst British born Ghanaians – Researching Africans symposium –University College London

January 2007 – Between Two Lives: The impact of Parenting Style on academic achievement amongst British-Ghanaians at Africans in 21st Century Ireland Conference, Trinity College Dublin

Editorial Board Membership

University of Greenwich Compas Editorial Board


Institute of Management