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Centre for Higher Education Research, Innovation and Impact

Our story

Provision of, and access to meaningful and engaging educational experiences is a strategic objective for all universities. Globally, there are many challenges and pressures facing the Higher Education (HE) sector, such as a growing and diverse student profile, diminishing staff-student ratios, and quality imperatives to provide meaningful learning experiences for all students.

Higher education plays a critical role in Australia's society and economy. It's really vital that we have a good understanding of how students experience higher education and how academics teach in higher education, so that we have a strong evidence base to inform policy and innovation in the sector. 

I'm Shirley Agostino and I lead the research group CHERII. We are a group of leading researchers in education with an overall mission of better understanding student experiences at university and how academics teach at university. 

Higher education is facing many challenges but also has many opportunities, a key aspect of our research group is to understand those challenges, why they are occurring, how could they be overcome so that we could use that to leverage opportunities. 

Never before in higher education have we had a situation where we have so many students coming from all walks of life to university and so we need to have a really solid understanding of the student experience of all students, how they are engaging in university, what their experiences are like, these are all really important issues that need to be explored in order for us to have a strong and effective higher education sector that will support all students to be successful. 

Our focus is to help people, help students be the best learners they can be, and help teachers to provide the best quality experiences for their students 


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As education providers, universities need to ensure that teachers employ pedagogical approaches that promote student-centred learning and leverage digital technologies to provide an overall innovative high quality learning experience.

The research foci of this group seek to advance knowledge to inform solutions for these ‘wicked problems’ through its research in a diverse range of complementary areas to ultimately make a positive impact on student engagement and learning.


Projects our group are working on include examining the student experience, e.g., how they experience university life, how students learn online, what is the quality of that learning, etc., and investigating the teacher experience, e.g., exploring teaching and design practices.

Postponed until 2021

CHERII Seminar: Understanding practices using The Theory of Practice Architectures

Past Seminars

Seminar about “Student Success”

Presentation by Visiting Associate Professor Rola Ajjawi

Presentation by Professor Sarah O’Shea

Presentation by UOW PhD Candidate Jacinta McNamara - Presentation

Presentation by UOW PhD Candidate Annette Turney - Presentation

Seminar by Visiting Professor Rhona Sharpe, March 2019: PresentationVideo

Seminar by Visiting Professor Allison Littlejohn, January 2019: PresentationVideo

Seminar by Visiting Emeritus Professor Stephen Kemmis, July 2018: Presentation