Professor Catherine Manathunga

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Professor Catherine Manathunga


Teaching areas

  • Postgraduate Research Methods and Theory
  • History and Sociology of Education
  • Masters and PhD supervision
  • Cultural Diversity and Education

Research areas

  • doctoral education
  • transnational university histories
  • academic identities
  • history of Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand international student programs
  • supervising African doctoral students

Catherine Manathunga is an historian who draws together expertise in historical, sociological and cultural studies research to bring an innovative perspective to educational research, particularly focusing on the higher education sector. She has worked for over 27 years in universities throughout Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Her research interests include doctoral education, especially focusing on intercultural supervision pedagogies; transnational histories of universities in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and Ireland; academic work and identities; the history of Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand international student programs, especially the Colombo Plan and supervising African doctoral students.

Her book, Intercultural Postgraduate Supervision: Reimagining time, place and knowledge, was published in June 2014 by Routledge. Catherine has also co-authored a monograph on educational history, A class of its own: a history of Queensland University of Technology; co-edited an oral history monograph, Making a place: an oral history of academic development in Australia; and has published in international, Australian, Irish, American and British journals.

Her research has been funded by the Australian Research Council, Australian Learning and Teaching Council, Ako Aotearoa (NZ Centre for Tertiary Education), Higher Education Research & Development Society of Australasia, Nagoya University Japan, Hiroshima University Japan and industry partners.

In 2004, she was part of the team who won an Australian National AAUT Award for Enhancing Student Learning and in 2006 she led a team winning an Australian National Carrick Institute Award for Programs that Enhance Student Learning. She has acted as an educational consultant to many other universities in Australia and internationally. She is a research assessor for the ARC, OLT and National Research Foundation in South Africa.

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