Professor Marcia Devlin is the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and a Professor of Learning Enhancement at Victoria University.

Reporting to the Vice-Chancellor, the position of Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor contributes to the achievement of the strategic goals of Victoria University by providing executive leadership in coordinating and implementing a major reform agenda. This includes an unprecedented emphasis on the quality of student learning, through the introduction of The VU Way - a bold Australian-first approach to learning and teaching.

Marcia works closely with all members of the Senior Executive Group to:

  • bring about major transformational changes across the organisation
  • ensure effective financial, human, intellectual and physical resource management to facilitate long-term financial sustainability
  • create, find and take up opportunities to grow and strengthen Victoria University
  • contribute to making VU a great place to work
  • ensure governance and reporting obligations are met
  • promote effective partnering, decision making and problem solving
  • promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

An experienced executive in public and private spheres and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Marcia has extensive expertise and experience in governance, strategy development and implementation, risk, human resource and financial management and marketing, media and communications.

A psychologist by discipline, she is a strategic, award-winning leader and an internationally recognised thought leader in tertiary education. She is an elected Lifelong Fellow of the Society for Research in Higher Education in the United Kingdom, a Fellow of the Institute for Managers and Leaders Australia and New Zealand and a Specialist for the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications.

Marcia is actively engaged in the sector nationally and internationally, and concurrently with her role as Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, holds positions on a number of editorial and advisory boards.

With colleagues, she has won almost $6 million in commissioned and competitive research and other grants and has more than 300 publications, comprising refereed, academic, professional and media outputs. She has given more than 90 keynote and invited addresses in nine countries.

Marcia is a strong and vocal advocate for the transformative role of tertiary education, as both a mechanism for social justice and a driver for local and national innovation. Her research informs and produces new tertiary education policy and practice and she is widely read and cited.

Follow Marcia on Twitter, LinkedIn and The Conversation.

Professional memberships

  • Founding Editorial Board member of Teaching Inquiry
  • Founding Editorial Board member of the International Journal for First Year in Higher Education (now called Student Success)
  • Member of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • Member of the Education and Training Advisory Board of Open Colleges
  • Lifelong Fellow of the Society for Research in Higher Education in the United Kingdom
  • Fellow of the Institute for Managers and Leaders Australia and New Zealand
  • Specialist for the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications.

Previous positions

  • Deputy Vice Chancellor (Learning and Quality), Federation University Australia
  • Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor Education, RMIT University
  • Executive Director, Open Universities Australia
  • National Co-Chair, Universities Australia Executive Women
  • Member of the Register of Experts for the Australian Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)
  • Assessor for the Australian Awards for University Teaching
  • Executive Member of the Universities Australia Deputy Vice-Chancellors (Academic) Committee
  • Deputy Chair of the Regional Universities Network Executive Women Committee
  • Member of the Executive of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA)
  • Member of the National Advisory Group for the Australian University Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE)
  • Adviser to the National Teaching and Learning Forum in Ireland.

Recent appearances in the media

Selected publications

Refereed journal articles

Devlin, M. and McKay, J. (2018). Teaching inclusively online in a Massified University system. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning 20(1), pp.146-166.

Devlin, M. and McKay, J. (2018). The financial realities for students from low SES backgrounds at Australian regional universities. Journal of Australian and International Rural Education 28(1).

Devlin, M. and McKay, J. (2016). Teaching students using technology: Facilitating success for students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds in Australian universities. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 32, pp. 92-106.

McKay, J. and Devlin, M. (2015). ‘Low income doesn’t mean stupid and destined for failure’: Challenging the deficit discourse around low SES students in higher education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20, pp. 347-363.

Devlin, M. and Radloff, A. (2014). A structured writing programme for staff: Facilitating knowledge, skills, confidence and publishing outcomes. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 38, pp. 230-248.

View a full list of Professor Marcia Devlin's publications on VU's Research Repository.

Book chapters

Devlin, M. & McKay, J. (2018). Facilitating the success of students from low SES backgrounds at regional universities through course design, teaching and staff attributes, in M. Shah, J. McKay (eds.), Achieving Equity and Academic Excellence in Higher Education: Global Perspectives in an Era of Widening Participation. Palgrave Macmillan.

Pitman, T., Harvey, A., McKay, J., Devlin, M., Trinidad, S., & Brett, M. (2017). The impact of enabling programs on Indigenous participation, success and retention in Australian higher education, in S. Larkin, J. Frawley; J. Smith; (Eds.) Indigenous pathways and transitions into higher education: From policy to practice. Springer, Singapore.

Devlin, M. (2016). Higher education learning and teaching research: A case study informed by the neo-positivist paradigm. In Ling, L. and Ling. P (Eds.). Methods and Paradigms in Education Research. IGI Global. (68-87).

McKay, J. and Devlin, M. (2015). Widening Participation in Australia: Lessons on equity, standards and institutional leadership. In S. Mahsood, A. Bennett, and E. Southgate, (Eds.) Widening Participation: A Global Perspective. Elsevier. (161-179).

Devlin, M. and McKay, J. (2014). Reframing the problem: Students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds transitioning to university. In Brook, H., Fergie, D., Maeorg, M. and Michell, D. (Eds). Universities in Transition: Foregrounding Social Contexts of Knowledge in the First Year Experience. University of Adelaide Press. (97-125).

Research reports

Wood, D., McLeod, M., Viragh, K., Devlin, M. Hill, A., Harvey, A., Bennett, A., Hanley, J., Whitty, G. and Nelson, K. (2017). A comparative study of the equity strategies employed by Australian universities. Central Queensland University, Rockhampton.

Devlin, M. and McKay, J. (2017). Facilitating success for students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds at regional universities. Federation University Australia, Ballarat. ISBN: 9781876851941

Pitman, T, Trinidad, S., Devlin, M., Harvey, A., Brett, M., & McKay, J. (2016). Pathways to higher education: A comparison of the efficacy of enabling and sub-bachelor pathways for disadvantaged students. National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, Perth. ISBN: 978-0-9923560-9-5

Blackmore, J., Gribble, K., Farrell, L., Rahimi, M., Arber, R. and Devlin, M. (2014). Australian International Graduates and the Transition to Employment: Final Report. Deakin University, Melbourne. Digital copy ISBN: 978-0-7300-0009-9 | Print copy ISBN: 978-0-7300-0010-5. Major report from ARC grant no. LP0990875

Devlin, M., Kift, S., Nelson, K., Smith, L. and McKay, J. (2012). Effective teaching and support of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds: Resources for Australian higher education. Final Report. Office for Learning and Teaching, Commonwealth of Australia. ISBN: 978-1-922125-51-4.

Research grants

  • 2017-2019 National Priorities Pool (Commonwealth Department of Education, $199,899)
  • Title: Economies of scale in supporting low SES and other disadvantaged students. Devlin, M. (lead) Zhang, L., Edwards, D., Withers, G., McMillan, J., Vernon, L., Trinidad, S.
  • 2016-2017 National Priorities Pool (DET, $156,686)
    Title: A comparative evaluation of the efficacy of the equity strategies employed by Australian universities. Wood, D., McLeod, M., Viragh, K., Devlin, M., Hill, A., Harvey, A., Bennett, A., Hanley, J., Whitty, G., Nelson, K.
  • 2016-2017 National Priorities Pool (DET, $146,500)
    Title: Facilitating success for students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds at regional universities. Devlin, M. (lead), McKay, J., Wood, D., Lawrence, J., Nelson, K., McAuley, A. and Balcombe, G.
  • 2016-2017 National Priorities Pool (DET, $179,094)
    Title: Improving the transition and retention of regional students from low socio-economic backgrounds: A '5 Ps' approach. Wood, D. Devlin, M., Barnhouse, A., Nelson, K., Coyle, J. and Sheppard, K.
  • 2016-2017 National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education and Regional Universities Network ($49,430)
    Title: Understanding the completion patterns of equity students in regional universities. Nelson, K. (lead), Martin, K., Picton, C., McMillan, J., Edwards, D., Devlin, M. and Perkins, C.
  • 2015-2016 National Priorities Pool (DET, $156,000)
    Title: Enabling Programmes for Disadvantaged Students. Trinidad, S., Pitman, T., Devlin, M., Harvey, A. Brett, M. & McKay, J.
  • 2010-2012 Australian Learning and Teaching Council/ Office for Learning and Teaching ($220,000)
    Title: Effective teaching and support of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds: Resources for Australian higher education. Devlin, M. (lead), Kift, S., Nelson, K., Smith, L., and McKay, J.
  • 2010-2011 Australian Learning and Teaching Council ($235,000)
    Title: Sustainable leadership of teaching and learning initiatives: Lessons from the sector
  • 2009-2013 Australian Research Council ($337,404)
    Title: Investigating the mismatch between Australian international graduate destinations and skill shortages.

Areas of expertise

  • Transformation
  • innovation in education
  • The contemporary tertiary student experience
  • Effectively supporting non-traditional students
  • Teaching and learning quality
  • change leadership
  • digital education
  • Education policy
  • women in leadership

Contact details

Executive Officer

Hollie Grant

 +61 3 9919 7051
 hollie.grant@vu.edu.au

Senior Advisor, Strategic Projects

Megan Tucker

 +61 3 9919 1271
 megan.tucker@vu.edu.au