Disrupting Higher Education Dialogues 

23 November, Public Plenary Session: 4:30 - 6:30
24 - 25 November, Conference: 9am - 5pm
Deakin University Burwood Corporate Centre
Level 2, Building BC, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood

Proudly sponsored by the Research for Educational Impact (REDI) Strategic Research Centre.

Event details

Higher education is undergoing rapid and radical transformation globally. It is timely for a critical analysis in areas such as governing research and teaching, the future of academic work and freedom, internationalisation and ranking, equity and the public good. Such issues are of significance for both this and the next generation of academics, those who research in the field of higher education, and higher education management and policymakers.

Offering theoretical and future oriented provocations on a wide range of relevant issues through a dialogue among leading international and Australian scholars, attending this conference is a must for academics, postgraduate researchers and others interested in current challenges to, and the future of the 21st Century university.


Wednesday 23 November

Location: Burwood Corporate Centre (Level 2, Building BC)

Free public symposium: What Future for the 21st Century University? Chair: Professor Jill Blackmore

Professor Rebecca Boden, The University of Roehampton
Professor Trevor Gale, University of Glasgow
Associate Professor Nicolas Lewis, The University of Auckland
Professor Louise Morley, The University of Sussex
Professor Hiroshi Ota, Hitotsubashi University
Professor Pat Thomson, The University of Nottingham

5.45 pm-6.30pm
Q&A with symposium panel


Thursday 24 November

Location: Burwood Corporate Centre (Level 2, Building BC)


Policy and Politics

The Wild West University? Rebecca Boden, University of Roehampton.

Critiquing ‘Policy by Numbers’: The Affordances and Limitations of a Sociology of Measurement. Radhika Gorur, Deakin University.

What Happens After the Knowledge Economy: Challenging and Refashioning the Social Contract for Higher Education. Shaun Rawolle, Deakin University.

Morning Tea

Re-imagining Internationalisation

Recent Polices and Changes in Internationalisation in Japan. Hiroshi Ota, Hitotsubashi University.
On Australian Research Collaborations in Asia. Fazal Rizvi, University of Melbourne.

Ubuntu, Pedagogy and Professional Learning in International Education. Ly Tran, Deakin University.


Being Governed

Reworking the Academic Habitus: In Theory and Practice. Trevor Gale, University of Glasgow.

Responsive Regulation: Between Privatisation and the Human Right to Education. Terri Seddon, Australian Catholic University.

The Silencing of Practising Academics within Academic Governance. Julie Rowlands, Deakin University.

Plenary: What Needs Disrupting?

Hiroshi Ota, Rebecca Boden, Fazal Rizvi and Trevor Gale.

Friday 25 November

Location: Burwood Corporate Centre (Level 2, Building BC)

Equity and Gender

Troubling Intra-actions: Gender, Neoliberalism and Research in the Global Knowledge Economy. Louise Morley, The University of Sussex.

The Continuing Balancing Act of Gender Equity: a Norwegian Case Study. Rebecca Lund, Aarhus University.

Groundhog Day and Equity in Higher Education:  Diversity, Innovation and Hypercapitalism. Jill Blackmore, Deakin University.

Morning Tea

Academic Work and Impact

Mission Creep and Academic Work: A New Zealand Perspective. Nicolas Lewis, the University of Auckland.

Academic Work in the Digital Age. Neil Selwyn, Monash University.

Disrupting Limited Definitions of Teacher Quality: A Review of the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group Report (TEMAG). Andrew Skourdoumbis & Emma Rowe, Deakin University.


HDR & Generational Change

The Uberisation of Academic Advice, Support and Services. Pat Thomson, the University of Nottingham.

Generationalising HDR Change: Implications for Supervision. Liam Grealy, the University Sydney.

Orchestrating Generational Change in the HDR Field. Andrea Gallant, Deakin University.

Closing Plenary: How do we disrupt, speak back and resist?

Louise Morley, Pat Thomson, Nicolas Lewis and Neil Selwyn


Download the full program for the Disrupting Higher Education Dialogues conference (PDF, 2.8MB)


Jill Blackmore

Jill Blackmore is Alfred Deakin Professor of Education in the Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, former Director of the Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia. Her research interests include, from a feminist perspective, globalisation, education policy and governance; international and intercultural education; educational restructuring, leadership and organisational change; spatial redesign and innovative pedagogies; teachers' and academics’ work with a focus on equity. Recent publications include ‘Critical Perspectives on Educational Leadership: Nancy Fraser’. (Blackmore, J., 2016, Routledge), ‘Globalised Re/gendering of the Academy and Leadership’ (Blackmore, J. Sanchez, M. and Sawers, N., 2016, Routledge) ‘Mobile Teachers and Curriculum in International Schooling’ (Arber, R., Blackmore, J and Vongalis-Macrow, A., 2014, Sense) and ‘Repositioning the University: Changing Governance and Academic Work’ (Blackmore, J., Brennan. M and Zipin, L., 2010, Sense).

Rebecca Boden

Rebecca Boden is Professor of Critical Management at the University of Roehampton, London. An accountant, the principal focus of Rebecca’s research is on how regimes of accounting and financial control affect the nature and functioning of universities. Rebecca is a principal partner in Universities in the Knowledge Economy (UNIKE) - a major EU-funded collaborative research project investigating the dynamic relationships between universities and knowledge economies in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific Rim.

Andrea Gallant

Andrea Gallant is the Higher Degrees by Research Coordinator for the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University. Andrea’s research focuses on how power is legitimised consciously and unconsciously. Andrea investigates how organisational justice is enacted in workplaces and particularly how the public management discourses had become legitimised in workplace cultures and its impact on individuals’ careers and attrition rates in Education.  Within schools, Andrea conducts a participatory inquiry mentoring program for early and mid-career teachers.

Trevor Gale

Trevor Gale is Professor of Education Policy and Social Justice, and Head of the School of Education at The University of Glasgow. Trevor is a critical policy sociologist researching issues of social justice in contexts of influence and of practice in schooling and higher education.

Radhika Gorur

Radhika Gorur is a Senior Lecturer at Deakin University, and a Director of the Laboratory for International Assessment Studies. Radhika’s research seeks to understand how some policy ideas cohere, stabilise, gain momentum and make their way in the world. Exploring contemporary practices of quantification and ‘evidence-based policy’ has been central to her research agenda. Using material-semiotic approaches and concepts from Science and Technology Studies (STS), she has been developing and contributing to a ‘sociology of measurement and numbers’ that makes explicit the instrumental and constitutive work of quantification, calculation and comparison in policy. Based on a series of empirical studies, mainly relating to large-scale comparative assessments such as PISA, Radhika has been elaborating how the ‘character of calculability’ is imposed in specific policy settings and what consequences such impositions entail. Radhika is currently studying initiatives in assessment and accountability in low-income nations and exploring the possibilities for inclusive, collective and sustainable accountability practices.

Liam Grealy

Liam Grealy is a Research Associate in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. Liam’s current research projects are focused on media classification systems, higher degree research supervision, and preventive detention.

Nicolas Lewis

Nicolas Lewis is Associate Professor in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland, where he also coordinates the School’s contribution to the geography courses in the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching run through the Faculty of Education. Nicolas’ research interest include: geographies of neo-liberalism and the state; the post foundational geographies of Brand New Zealand; governance and the making of industries; geographies of education (particularly the internationalisation of education and emerging knowledge spaces); the New Zealand wine industry and the political economy of the small island Pacific. These various themes are integrated by a central interest in the production of subjects, the spaces of governance and the geographies of the core problems of the state associated with translating influence or control in micro settings.

Rebecca Lund

Rebecca Lund is a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow in the field of educational anthropology, working for the European initial training network (ITN) research project UNIKE (Universities in the Knowledge Economy). Rebecca holds an MA in Political Science, with a particular interest in feminist studies and political philosophy. Rebecca's PhD focused on the field of organisation studies, as part of an interdisciplinary critical higher education research project which drew upon and developed institutional ethnography and feminist theory to study the social effects of university reforms on academic work, culture and notions of excellence resulting from these.

Throughout her PhD studies she was affiliated with Institute for Gender studies at Tampere University. Rebecca has a solid foundation in the social sciences, and has not limited herself to one discipline which has been a tremendous strength. Through using and developing theory and methodology from sociology, feminist studies, anthropology, cultural studies and critical management/organisation studies, Rebecca has enabled herself to speak and collaborate with people from a wide range of disciplines and, as a result, she has taught and given lectures in fields such as gender studies, organisation studies, sociology and the arts.

Rebecca is involved as a Researcher and expert advisor on the Norwegian Balance project, working to increase the amount of women in the upper echelons of Norwegian academia.

Louise Morley

Louise Morley is a Professor of Education and Director of the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER) at the University of Sussex. She is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, a Fellow of the Society for Research into Higher Education, and a Senior Visiting Fellow, The Centre for Gender Excellence (GEXcel), University of Örebro, Sweden. Louise has an international profile in the field of sociology of higher education studies.

Louise is currently on the editorial boards for 'Studies in Higher Education', ' Gender and Education', 'Teaching in Higher Education', and on the International Advisory Boards for 'Education, Citizenship and Social Justice' and 'Studies in Research: Training, Evaluation and Impact'.

Louise’s research and publication interests focus on international higher education policy, gender, equity, women and leadership, micropolitics, quality, and power.

Hiroshi Ota

Hiroshi Ota is Professor of the Centre for Global Education at Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, where he serves as Director of the Hitotsubashi University Global Education Program. Prior to his current position, he worked for the Office for the Promotion of International Relations at Hitotsubashi University, the School of Commerce and Management as International Student Advisor at Hitotsubashi University, the Office of International Education at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Toyo University, Tokyo. His research primarily focuses on higher education policies and practices related to internationalization and international student mobility in a comparative perspective. From the State University of New York at Buffalo, Ota received his Ed.M. in 2001 and Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education (Comparative and Global Studies in Education) in 2008. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study international education administration in the U.S. in 1996.

Shaun Rawolle

Shaun Rawolle is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Deakin University and a member of the Research for Educational Impact (REDI) strategic research centre. His research interests are education policy sociology, policy implementation, the social contract of education, mediatisation and education, Bourdieu and education studies. Shaun’s recently published book ‘Improving Schools: Productive Tensions Between the Local, the Systemic and the Global explores school improvement policy - from its translation into national contexts and school networks to its implementation in leader and teacher practices in individual schools and classrooms within this network of schools and its impact on students’ learning.

Fazal Rizvi

Fazal Rizvi is a Professor of Global Studies in Education at the University of Melbourne Australia, as we well as an Emeritus Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States. He has written extensively on issues of identity and culture in transnational contexts, globalisation and education policy and Australia-Asia relations. A collection of his essays is published in: Encountering Education in the Global: Selected Writings of Fazal Rizvi (Routledge 2014). Professor Rizvi is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences and a past Editor of the journal, Discourse: Studies in Cultural Politics of Education, and past President of the Australian Association of Research in Education.

Emma Rowe

Emma Rowe is an early career researcher and Lecturer in Education at Deakin University. Her research utilises mixed-methods to examine globalised educational reform and policy, and how this interacts with the consumption and marketing of education. Emma’s forthcoming book, ‘Middle-class School Choice in Urban Spaces: the Economics of Public Schooling and Globalised Education Reform’ will soon be published by Routledge (2016).

Julie Rowlands

Julie Rowlands is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Deakin University. Julie’s research uses university governance, in all its forms and at all levels, as a lens through which to consider the changing role and function of universities and of higher education systems. Within Julie’s research there is a particular focus on asymmetries of power in decision-making and she draws primarily on the theories of Pierre Bourdieu to consider and explain these power relations. Julie’s book on academic governance in Anglophone nations is being published by Springer in November 2016 and she has recently co-edited and contributed to a volume on practice theory in education, with colleagues Dr Julianne Lynch, Professor Trevor Gale and Dr Andrew Skourdoumbis, to be published by Routledge in January 2017.

Terri Seddon

Terri Seddon is Professor of Education and Leadership Studies at the Australian Catholic University. She brings 40 years of expertise to the adult education and lifelong learning sector. Terri is recognised as Fellow by the Australian College of Educators and Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

Terri’s current research addresses the meaning of education and the nature of educational work given global-national transformations in governance and the effects of educational privatisation. This research informs innovative initiatives, such as the Intercontinental Masters in Adult Learning and Global change: a networked teaching program between Universities in Canada, South Africa, Sweden and Australia.

Terri is a member of Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE) and the Australian National Council of Women, and is also series editor of the Routledge World Yearbook of Education (since 2006) and sits on Editorial Boards, including the European Education Research Journal.

Neil Selwyn

Neil Selwyn is Professor of Education at Monash University. His research and teaching focuses on the place of digital media in everyday life, and the sociology of technology (non)use in educational settings.

Neil has written extensively on a number of issues, including digital exclusion, education technology policymaking and the student experience of technology-based learning. Neil has carried out funded research on digital technology, society and education for the Australian Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the British Academy, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Nuffield Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Gates Foundation, Microsoft Partners in Learning, Becta, the Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, the Centre for Distance Education, the Welsh Office, the National Assembly of Wales and various local authorities in the UK.

Neil is co-editor of the journal 'Learning, Media and Technology', and a regular keynote speaker at international conferences. Neil is a core member of the 'Learning with New Media ' research group within Monash University. Recent books include: 'Is Technology Good for Education?' (2016, Polity), and 'Digital Technology and the Contemporary University' (2014, Routledge).

Andrew Skourdoumbis

Andrew Skourdoumbis is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Deakin University. His research interests include curriculum theory, policy analysis, teacher practice and educational performance. He investigates global reform efforts in education that impact teacher practice and the way that exacting methods of research govern teacher performance.

Pat Thomson

Pat Thomson is Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham, where she is Convenor of the Centre for Research in Arts, Creativity and Literacy (CRACL), and Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies, which serves the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Free State University, South Africa, Visiting Professor at the University of Iceland, a Visiting Professor at Deakin University, and a visiting Associate in the School of Education, University of Western Ontario.

Pat is known for her interdisciplinary engagement with questions of creative and socially just learning and change. Much of this work has been in collaboration with Professor Christine Hall. Pat has a long term research partnership with Professor Barbara Kamler with whom she writes about academic writing. Her academic writing and research education blog 'patter' is archived by the British Library and posts are frequently republished elsewhere. Pat is an editor of the international peer refereed journal, Educational Action Research (Taylor and Francis) and a senior editor for the forthcoming online Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Education.

Ly Tran

Ly Tran is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Deakin University and an Australian Research Council DECRA – Discovery Early Career Researcher Award – fellow. Her research and publications focus on student mobility, staff professional learning, pedagogy and curriculum in international education and Vietnamese higher education. Ly has been awarded three grants on international education by the Australian Research Council. Her book, ‘Teaching international students in vocational education: New pedagogical approaches’, won the 2014 International Education Association of Australia Excellence Award for Best Practice/Innovation in International Education.

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Key information


Deakin University Burwood Corporate Centre
Level 1, Building BC, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood


23 November, Public Plenary Session: 4:30 - 6:30
24 - 25 November, Conference: 9am - 5pm


Admission on 23 November is free.

November 24 – 25 
University Students: $35 per day
University staff/general public: $70 per day