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About Simon Marginson

Professor Simon Marginson is a Professor of Higher Education in the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne. He took up this position in July 2006. Simon completed his PhD in the Faculty of Education at The University of Melbourne in 1996 and was awarded the University’s Chancellor’s Prize for the outstanding thesis in the social sciences, arts and humanities that year. After spending 15 years as a policy research officer for four different education unions including three at national level, he worked at the Centre for the Study of Higher Education as a Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor/Reader (1993-1998), before transferring to the Monash University Faculty of Education in 1998. At Monash he was appointed to a Personal Professorial Chair in Education in 2000 and was director of the Monash Centre for Research in International Education (1999-2006). He became a Fellow of the Australian College of Education (FACE) in 1994 and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia (FASSA) in 2000. In 2002 he was awarded a five year Australian Professorial Fellowship for 2003-2007. In October 2007 he was invested as an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders (FACEL). Simon has active international collaborations in North America and Mexico, UK and Europe, and East and Southeast Asia. He is an Honorary Fellow of the UK Society for Research into Higher Education, and a member of El Seminario de Educacion Superior de la Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (the National University of Mexico, Mexico City) as well as several international scholarly associations, including the Association for Studies in Higher Education in the USA where he chaired the International Forum in 2004-2005. His invited paper at the Beijing Forum of November 2007 concerned globalisation and the worldwide higher education environment. Simon Marginson’s scholarship combines conceptual and observational inquiry. Theorisation, methodology and empirical investigation are inputs into the processes of investigation and explanation, without privileging one over another on a permanent basis. He works in two domains: higher education studies with emphasis on policy and history, and comparative and international education. Currently he is working largely on issues of globalisation and higher education, with reference to political theory and global sociology and political economy. He is preparing three monographs, one of which is focused on the internationalisation of Australian universities and another contains case studies of the global perspectives and practices of research-intensive universities in different countries. Recent theory papers have mapped the global sphere in higher education; re-examined the public/private divide and global public goods in higher education; discussed the theorisations of Bourdieu, Gramsci and Habermas as contributions to our understanding of higher education; explored forms of freedom, with particular reference to academic self-determination and the creative imagination; and discussed the distinctive features of Confucian higher education systems in East Asia. Several recent papers have concerned the formation of a worldwide market in higher education, including issues and problems in relation to university rankings. Longer term he is shaping a monograph on the research-intensive university as an institution. Recent books (2010) are focused on itnernational student security, and higher educaiton, the knowledge economy and creativity. Forthcoming works are concerned with Australian high education, and an edited collection of chapters on universities in the Asia-Pacific. He has also written on problems of the political economy of education, and education policy especially in Australia, and has published two books in the history of Australian education.


Present Professor, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne

Curriculum Vitae

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Contact Information

work phone: + 613 (03) 83448060
home phone: + 613 (03) 93170303
715 Swanston Street
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010, AUSTRALIA