Professor Karen Nelson

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Research areas

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


Appointed to the University in 2014 as the inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students). Member of the Academic Board, and Chair of the Learning and Teaching Committee, Member of Executive, Member of Research Degrees Committee, Chair of Curriculum Advisory Group, Chair of the First Year Experience Reference Group, Chair of the Student Engagement Leadership Team, Member of the Equity and Diversity Committee, Chair of the Reconciliation Action Plan Review Committee, Member VCP Indigenous Advisory Committee. Chair of the RUN DVC/PVC Learning and Teaching Group, Director, Sunshine Coast Lightning Pty. Ltd. Co-chair STARS Conference and Editor in Chief Student Success Journal, Member of the International Advisory Board for Centre for Transition and the First Year Experience, Member of the Editorial Board Active Learning in Higher Education. Active researcher in the areas of student engagement, student success and retention in higher education, and the first-year experience.


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