Rob Strathdee is Executive Dean of the College of Arts, Business, Law, Education and IT. He was appointed Dean in the former College of Arts and Education in 2017 and Vice President of the Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities Cluster in 2018, which includes research in law, business, engineering and science.

Rob is from New Zealand and holds a PhD from the University of Canterbury (Christchurch) and a Diploma of Teaching from the Christchurch College of Education.

Rob commenced his career in higher education in 2000 at Murdoch University as a Lecturer in Education. He returned to New Zealand in 2004 to Victoria University of Wellington where he held a number of leadership positions including inaugural Head of the School of Education Policy and Implementation. In 2013, he crossed the Tasman once more, this time joining RMIT as Head of the School of Education.  

Rob’s research and teaching interests focus on the sociology of work. He has published widely on vocational education and training, transitions to work and markets in education and is on the editorial boards of a number of key journals in his field.

He lives in Brunswick with Charlotte, his two sons (Henry and Charlie) and the family hound, Rufus.


College of Arts, Business, Law, Education and  IT and the Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities cluster.


Areas of expertise

  • Sociology of youth
  • Labour market analysis
  • Neo-liberalism

Contact details

Leonie Beaton
Executive Assistant
+61 (3) 9919 7157

Research grants

Funding from National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) in 2016, totalling $20,000


Refereed journal articles

Cooper, G., Strathdee, R. & Baglin, J. (2018)  Examining geography as a predictor of students’ university intentions: a logistic regression analysis Rural Society

Strathdee, R. & Cooper, G. (2017). Ethnicity, vocational education and training and the competition for advancement through education in New Zealand. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 69(3). Taylor & Francis.

Strathdee, R. (2013) Neo-tribal capitalism, socio-economic disadvantage and educational policy in New Zealand, Journal of Education Policy, 28:4, 501-516

Strathdee, R. (2012). The social composition of VET in New Zealand In: Globalisation, Societies and Education, 10, 53 - 76

Strathdee, R. and Engler, R (2012) Who’s missing from Higher Education in New Zealand? British Educational Research Journal 38(3): 497-514.

Smyth, R. and Strathdee, R. (2009) The Effects of Type of Institution Attended On Graduate Earnings in New Zealand: A Cross Field Comparison British Journal of Sociology of Education 31(4) pp. 489-508.

Strathdee, R. (2009) Local Tertiary Education Reform and Legitimation in New Zealand: the case of Adult and Community Education as a ‘local state of emergency’, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 30 (3) pp. 303–316.

Strathdee, R. (2009) Reputation in the Sociology of Education, British Journal of Sociology of Education 30 (1) pp. 83-96


Mwanzia, J. and Strathdee, R (2010). Participatory Development: Empowerment, Transformation and Sustainability in Kenya, Ashgate: London.

Strathdee, R. (2008). Tertiary Education in the Twenty-First Century: Economic Change and Social Networks, Palgrave: New York.

Strathdee, R. (2005). Social exclusion and the remaking of social networks, Ashgate: London.

Lauder, H., Hughes, D., Watson, S., Waslander, S., Thrupp, M., Strathdee, R., Simiyu, I., Dupuis, A., McGlinn, J. and Hamlin, J. (1999).Trading in futures: Why markets in education don’t work, Open University Press: Buckingham.

Refereed book chapters

Cooper, Barkatsas  and Strathdee (2016) Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour in Education Research Global Learning in the 21st Century, Sense

Strathdee, R. (2010) Vocational Education and Training in New Zealand, in Thrupp, M. & Irwin, R. (Eds.) Another decade of New Zealand education policy: Where to now? Hamilton, New Zealand: Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, pp. 111-118.

Strathdee, R. (2008) Social Networks and Social Exclusion: The case of Biotechnology in New Zealand, in Doyle, l., Adams, D., Tibbit, J. and Welsh, P. (Eds.) Building stronger communities: Connecting research, policy and practice, NIACE, UK.

Conference presentations

Strathdee, R. (2010) Markets in Education and Graduate Earnings in New Zealand, Paper presented at the XIV World Congress of Comparative Education Societies, Istanbul, June.

Strathdee, R. (2008) Local Tertiary Education Reform and Legitimation in New Zealand: the case of Adult and Community Education as a ‘local state of emergency’, Paper presented at the British Education Association Conference, Edinburgh, September.

Strathdee, R. (2008) Reputation in the Sociology of Education, Paper presented at the British Education Association Conference, Edinburgh, September.

Jones, D., O’Leary, C., Proctor-Thomson, S. and Strathdee, R. (2007) Production Of Culture/ Cultures Of Production, Panel Presentation to the Media New Zealand Conference, Victoria University, July.