New Head of School for Education

31 August 2023
Professor Robin Shields
Professor Robin Shields.

Welcome to Professor Robin Shields, who will replace Professor Tisha Morrell as the School of Education's Head of School next week.

Professor Shields joins UQ from the University of Bristol, where he was Professor of Education. He was previously based at the University of Bath, where he was Associate Professor of Higher Education Management.

His research examines how new sources of data and statistical models can be used to understand global trends in education. He is particularly interested in using social network analysis to understand global networks in education, and his recent research has also examined how international higher education is implicated in the crisis of global climate change.

Professor Shields has held grants from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, the European Commission, the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, and other funders, totalling more than $4.8 million across his career.

He has also served as co-editor of the journal Comparative Education Review, the executive committee of the British Association for International Education, and undertaken consultancies for national and international NGOs and UNESCO, most recently contributing a background paper for its 2021 Global Education Monitoring Report.

A committed teacher, Professor Shields enjoys undertaking technological innovation in his teaching practice while experimenting with gamification and simulation-based learning. In recognition of these qualities, he received the University of Bristol’s Inspiring and Innovative Teaching Award in 2021 and served as the School Education Director.

At the University of Bath, he directed the doctoral program in higher education management.

Social justice is a key theme that cuts across Professor Shield’s teaching and research practice. In addition to serving on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee at University of Bristol, he collaborated on a participatory research project to investigate exclusion of British Somali students from higher education and participated in institutional initiatives to address the gender pay gap.

With this change in leadership, we also want to reflect on Professor Morrell’s time as Head of School and thank her for all she achieved during her tenure. With research strengths including Indigenous education, learners with special needs, education policy, and many other areas, the School of Education at UQ is a leading centre of research and teaching nationally and globally.

Its recent review highlights these strengths and sets ambitious recommendations for a school-level approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.

Professor Shields is thrilled to have the opportunity to lead a strong and inclusive School and is looking forward to working with colleagues across HASS and the University. Welcome aboard! And farewell Professor Morrell – we wish you all the best in your future endeavours.