Mariya Ivancheva


  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Personal Statement

Mariya Ivancheva is an anthropologist and sociologist of higher education and labour. Her academic and research-driven advocacy work focus on the casualisation and digitalisation of academic labour, the re/production of intersectional inequalities at universities and high-skilled labour markets, and the role of academic and student communities in broader processes of social change especially in transitions to/from socialism. She is the author of multiple peer-reviewed and book chapters, op-ed and policy reports, and has recently published the monograph The Alternative University: Lessons from Bolivarian Venezuela (Stanford University Press, 2023). 

Mariya has carried out historically grounded and theoretically informed ethnographic fieldwork and interdisciplinary mixed-method research in different regions of the world, including Eastern and Western Europe, South America and Southern Africa. As an engaged scholar she has been a member of a number of research-led platforms, working on national, international and EU-level on topics of anti-racism, labour rights, gender and financial justice, e.g. LeftEast, LevFem, Essential Autonomous Struggles Transnational (E.A.S.T.) and PrecAnthro. As a member of her anti-perecarity work, she served on the board of the European Association of Social Anthropology, as a member (2019-21) and President (2021-23).

Beyond her academic work, Mariya is a qualified psychotherapist (PGDip Counselling and Therapy, Leeds Beckett University, 2023). In her work she integrates insights and techniques from psychodynamic (psychodrama, TA), humanistic, and cognitive-behavioural paradigms. She works with specific focus on mental health provision in education- and labour-related setting and is interested in issues around the link between collective and individual mental health and wellbeing, volunteer and activist 'free' labour and burn-out, and the effects of 'flexible' capitalist organisation on personal wellbeing and public mental health provision.

Mariya has a large experience in undergraduate and postgraduate research & teaching supervision, through traditional MA & PhD routes, as well as professional doctorates and practitioner inquiry. She is happy to receive PhD / EdD inquiries on topics such as:
- Higher education, leadership and management
- Academic and teaching labour and industrial relations
- Digital education, outsourcing and automation
- Gender/race/class/intersectional inequalities and social justice in education
- Global historical and geopolitical topics in education incl. socialist and alternative university experiments

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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 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Social Science, Central European University

External positions

President, European Association of Social Anthropologists

1 Feb 202131 Jan 2023


  • higher education
  • labour market
  • inequalities
  • digital technologies
  • political economy
  • socialism
  • social justice
  • precarity


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