David Roxburgh

David Roxburgh, SFHEA


  • United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Before joining the School of Education, initially on a two-year secondment in 2012, David enjoyed a varied and successful teaching career of 17 years in primary schools across Glasgow and was awarded the professional title of 'Chartered Teacher' by the General Teaching Council for Scotland in recognition of the quality of his classroom practice and expertise across a number of curricular areas.  He was heavily involved in a wide range of local authority and national initiatives notably in mathematical problem solving, social studies, science and technology. 

David has taught on a varied range of classes across the BA and PGDE programmes in Primary Education and, to a lesser extent, also within the BA in Childhood Practice.  In module leader roles, he has been instrumental in the redesign of classes to support the STE(A)M agenda and internationalised his practice in this area in working with influential organisations in China such as the Tianjin Municipal Education Commission.

From 2014-2017, he was the Depute Director of the newly established Strathclyde China Institute (SCI) and played a key role in international student recruitment into courses within the HaSS and Business School Faculties, as well as promoting research and knowledge exchange collaborations with a number of high-ranking Chinese partners.  

Since 2017, he has been the Faculty Director for Student Mobility (China) successfully promoting and organising inward/ outward mobility for under and postgraduate students interested in visiting Scotland, China and South Korea for comparative education, language and cultural experiences.  Recently, David has also taken over the co-ordination of the successful Erasmus programme in the School of Education as a whole, working with other colleagues to support incomng and outgoing student exchanges. In the area of mobility, he also leads a module which introduces visiting international students to the Scottish school system and encourages reflections on education in their own contexts.

From June 2020 onwards, David will serve an initial 3-year term as the 'Director for Global Engagement' within the School of Education.  As a member of the School Leadership Team, he will be responsible for operationalising the School's strategic plan in collaborations with local, national and international partners and supporting other colleagues to build upon their expertise.

He has been a member of a number of Faculty/University wide internationalisation groups and is asked to give his perspective on working with Chinese partners.  From October 2018 - September 2022, David will serve as the External Examiner for the MA (Hons) degree in Primary Education at the University of Aberdeen.

David's recently completed PhD, supervised by Professor Ian Rivers and Ms Joanna McPake, examines the teaching of Chinese culture in Scottish primary schools.  This links to national policy developments and to the on-going work of the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools, based in the HaSS Faculty, with whom he enjoys a very strong relationship and is further evidence of his commitment to internationalising his practice.

In recognition of the breadth and quality of his various contributions, David was promoted to Senior Teaching Fellow in 2016.  In 2019, he was the proud recipient of a 'Strathclyde Medal' for his team leadership in creating and managing Knowledge Exchange opportunities with Chinese partners.  He was nominated for the Faculty 'Teaching Excellence Awards' in promoting inward/ outward student mobility in 2019 and won the 2020 category for an 'Effective and Sustained Contribution to Outstanding Student Experience' through his work in this area.

He has recently been awarded status as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), which recognised his impact on colleagues in the areas of STEM education and internationalisation practices.

David will serve as a member of University Senate until August 2024.




Expertise & Capabilities

David has performed a range of module leader roles in the former BEd, current BA and PGDE courses in Primary Education, most notably in STEM and international education.  Having successfully completed a postgraduate qualification in ‘Supporting Teacher Learning,' he has used this work to enhance partnership initiatives through the joint assessment of students on placement by university and school staff.

He visits China on a regular basis to work with partner universities in promoting opportunities to engage with Strathclyde and has recently extended this work to include South Korea.  He has successfully designed, implemented and evaluated new student programmes in comparative education and language study delivered at Strathclyde and Asian contexts.  These have opened up opportunities for large numbers of students across the HaSS Faculty as a whole.  He would welcome requests from other international partners to open up new models of collaboration.

He is an enthusiastic learner of Mandarin and is looking ahead to the full implementation of the 1+2 languages agenda in 2021 and how Chinese language and culture can be promoted through this in Scottish primaries.  

Research Interests

- The teaching of Mandarin Chinese as second/ third language in Scottish primary schools
- The teaching of Chinese culture in Scottish primary schools
- Comparative education with a Chinese/ Scottish focus
- Study abroad experiences of student teachers
- The promotion of STEM learning in the primary school

David has successfully supervised a number of students on MEd and MSc pathways in these areas, including international students and welcomes further enquiries from those interested.


MSc: 'A Comparative Study of English Curriculum Standards in Secondary Schools in China and Japan'

MEd: 'STEAM within the Secondary Classroom Environment'


MSc: ‘A Study of the Challenges Faced by Chinese Undergraduate Students in Learning to Write in English in a Second Language Context’

MSc: ‘Research on Intercultural Adaptation of Chinese Visiting Students in the UK’

MEd: ‘Exploration of the use of Project-Based Learning to Increase Engagement of Socially Disadvantaged Young People in STEM’


MSc: ‘A Comparative Study of Students’ Self-Regulation Strategies in Learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL)’

MSc: ‘A Comparative Study of the Practices and Professional Development Needs of Chinese STEM Middle School Teachers’

MSc: ‘A Comparative Study of the Challenges Faced by Heritage and Non-heritage Learners of Mandarin Chinese'

His PhD was a multi-layered study exploring the experiences of those delivering Mandarin Chinese in a range of schools within 3 Scottish Local Authorities.  The views of pupils learning the language were also very much central to the aims of the research.  This work will provide an innovative perspective on the teaching of Chinese language and culture within the context of the Scottish Government’s 1+2 policy agenda.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University Of Strathclyde

Award Date: 2 Sep 2021

Master of Science, University of Strathclyde

Award Date: 11 Nov 2006

Bachelor of Education, University of Strathclyde

Award Date: 29 Jun 1995

External positions

External Examiner MA (Hons) in Primary Education, University of Aberdeen, School of Education

1 Sep 201931 Aug 2023


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