Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact

PhD Project - Joshua Mhalila

A project on synergies between higher education researchers and government policy personnel in Australia

Why is the project important?

Effective university education is a subject of great importance to governments, students, employers and communities and attracts a substantial amount of educational research world-wide.

To what extent does this research impact on policy? This is not a new question, but there has been little in-depth research into what conditions need to be in place to support the productive connections between higher education researchers and personnel involved in policy processes.

What is the focus of the research?

The focus is 'synergy'. Synergy here refers to an enhanced effect of activity by both parties that leads to the use and application of research in policy.

Who are the researchers?

This research is being undertaken by Joshua Mhalila for his PhD.
His supervisors are Professors Allyson Holbrook and Maxwell Smith, and Dr Kylie Shaw.

How will the research be conducted?

The project will be conducted in two phases: An interview phase and a survey phase. The survey will be constructed on the basis of the interviews.The interviews are currently being conducted. Up until 25th February 2013, 19 interviews have been conducted.  Five interviews with CEOs of professional associations and consultants; six interviews with government policy personnel and eight interviews with researchers

Who can participate in the research?

For the first phase Joshua is seeking university-based (or former university-based) academics researching in higher education (educational researchers not necessarily researching in higher education but with experience in influencing government policy process are also included in the study), senior personnel in government departments with knowledge of policy and delegated authority to speak for their department and managers and CEOs of professional associations or consultancy firms involved in influencing the higher education policy process. He will locate them through publications and web-sites

Want to know more?

Keep a watch on this page as we will provide links to more documents about the project.
In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the research, please contact Joshua directly (email preferred):

Phone: +61 2 4921 6247
             +61 2 4921 5945 (Prof Allyson Holbrook)
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