Professor Karen Nelson

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Research areas

  • student learning engagement, success and experiences of higher education
  • student engagement and retention
  • first year in higher education
  • information and knowledge systems in organisations


Professor Karen Nelson is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) at University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. She commenced in the position in April 2014.

Prior to joining USC, Karen was a Professor of Higher Education, and Director - Student Success and Retention in the Learning and Teaching Unit at QUT. She has been in senior leadership roles since March 2008 and held academic leadership appointments at QUT from 2003.


  • PFHEA (Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)
  • HERDSA (Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Inc)

Adjunct appointments

The  Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) also holds the following role:

Adjunct Professor in the School of Information System, Science and Engineering Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology.


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