Our School

The School of Education, located in the John Goodsell Building on the Kensington campus of UNSW was established in 1960. It specialises in educational research and teacher education at the preservice and inservice levels, with a particular focus on secondary and higher education contexts. It has more than 1800 students, including over 100 higher degree students, and nearly 135 academic, administrative and school-based staff from all around the world.


The School of Education aspires to lead the study and practice of education nationally and internationally through academic excellence in learning and teaching as well as research, to influence public policy and improve community life through extensive social engagement and knowledge transfer, and to nurture global and ethical citizens who are passionately committed to the continuous improvement of education worldwide.


In realising our vision, we will endeavour:

  • To advance scholarship and engage in research with high impact internationally, nationally and locally;
  • To pioneer new developments in curriculum and pedagogy, and to become a role model for innovative evidence-based educational practice;
  • To nurture graduates of distinction with a global outlook, who are committed to lifelong learning, ethical practice and professionalism, and capable of becoming leaders in their fields;
  • To engage in productive partnerships with other academics, professional groups, and individuals and organisations in the wider educational community in order to generate, integrate, exchange, transfer and apply knowledge, build capacity, and enhance educational opportunities for all;
  • To develop and sustain a collegial, inclusive, supportive, and flexible culture that will attract and nurture students and staff of the highest calibre in an environment that inspires creativity, multi-disciplinarity, academic excellence, innovation and social justice.

Achievements and Aspirations


The excellence of the research produced within the School of Education is widely recognised within UNSW, among our peers and by the broader community in Australia and internationally

  • We were rated 5 (above international standards) for research output in specialist studies in Education and 5 overall (ERA 2018-19).
  • We are ranked No. 41 in the world (QS rankings 26 in 2015, 19 in 2013), with high employer approval ratings and a sharply rising trajectory in our research productivity and impact, as demonstrated by a rise in citations from 74.8 in 2014 to 88.6 in 2015 (the fifth best ranking in Australia, with the top ranked institution, the University of Melbourne, just ahead at 89.4) and an even more impressive increase in our H–index from 68.8 to 80.0.
  • We have doubled our research income over the last three years, with two ARC Discovery grants and two Goldstars awarded to staff for 2014, and an ARC Linkage grant in 2015.
  • We had one of only two successful Australian Research Council (ARC) DECRA recipients in Education in 2012, and a top 10% in 2013 and 2014.
  • We have increased our publication output by 20% each year over the last three years, and have had the highest ratio of publications per staff member within our Faculty each year for 2009-2014.
  • We have increased our higher degree research enrolment steadily over the last five years and have the highest number of postgraduate coursework and research students of any school in the Faculty.
  • We have strong and growing research and teaching partnerships with leading universities internationally, including the University of Hong Kong, Beijing Normal University, Kings College London and Arizona State University.
  • We have the world’s 3rd highest number of citations in the area of instructional design and four staff among the world’s top 20 educational psychologists.
  • We have the highest concentration of TESOL researchers in education in Australia.
  • We are a world-leader in our pioneering and innovative work in gifted education, and increasingly in special education and classroom management.
  • We are continuing to develop a research environment and a research culture that will enable us to gain a position as one of Australia’s top three research Schools in Education and to extend our international activities and reputation.

Student Experience

Building on our research expertise, we ensure all students’ experience of studying our courses is intellectually stimulating, pedagogically innovative and professionally engaging:

  • We are the preferred provider of initial teacher education in NSW, with the greatest number of students in NSW listing us as first preference, and the highest average ATARS of any initial teacher education program in Australia.
  • We are rapidly becoming the destination of choice for postgraduate coursework and higher degree students in education.
  • We have the most extensive range of alternative modes of study in the university.
  • We have very high positive evaluations for student experience and course evaluations, well above the university average.
  • We aim to develop graduates who are leaders, critical thinkers and significant contributors to educational and social change nationally and internationally.

External Engagement

We are a valued partner to industry, community and government organisations, domestically and internationally, and a respected and authoritative voice in public debate:

  • We are a preferred provider of professional development and training for the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)
  • We maintain close ties with leading public and private schools in Australia and overseas, and are the only university to have a formal partnership with the NSW Association of Independent Schools.
  • We have developed strong local and international partnerships in research and in delivering professional development to schools, government departments, ministries of education and other universities overseas including the Hong Kong Education Bureau, the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority, the Brunei Ministry of Education and the Singapore Ministry of Education.
  • We are renowned for our innovative work with the Matraville Education Partnership.
  • We are heavily engaged in work with developing countries, including supporting the work of the Katoke Trust for Overseas Aid, Tanzania.

Capabilities and resources

UNSW aspires to be a research-intensive, performance-based meritocracy. Hence, we ensure our systems, protocols, practices and relationships enhance staff performance, maximise operational efficiency and strategically improve research, learning and teaching, and social impact.