Thelma Obiakor

Thelma Obiakor

PhD candidate

Department of Social Policy

Key Expertise
Education inequalities, Social mobility

About me

Research topic:

Inequality in Educational Opportunities and Outcomes: Assessing Disparities Between School Types in Sub Saharan Africa. 


Thelma is a PhD candidate at the Department of Social Policy. Her doctoral research examines inequalities of educational opportunities and outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In particular, she is analyses heterogeneity in private schooling, and assessing differences between public schools and the heterogeneous private school sector. 

She has particular interests in i) the role of education in intergenerational social mobility in SSA; privatization of education systems in SSA and its implications for marginalized groups ;and iii) the role education plays in shaping social capabilities for productive economic transformation (linking education with industrial policy). 

She graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, and from the University of Cambridge with an MPhil in Development Studies. Prior to joining LSE, she worked as a researcher and evaluator in the fields of economics and education, with a critical lens on inclusive development. Her work is situated in the nexus between research, results-based evaluations, policy, and practice.


Supervisors: Professor Stephen Jenkins, Professor Anne West

Expertise Details

Education Inequalities; education policy in comparative contexts; economic policies; social mobility; education system privatization; mixed methods research; evaluations; school choice; and poverty dynamics.