Improving tertiary pathways by improving support for prospective students

Professor Martin Westwell, Chief Executive, SACE Board

After completing his degree and PhD at Cambridge University, Martin moved to Oxford University as a Fellow of Lincoln College. A winding career path through the biotech industry and a number of science innovation and education organisations returned him to Oxford University as the Deputy Director of the Institute for the Future of the Mind. He and his family moved to South Australia in 2007 where he took up the position of Director of the Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century and then Strategic Professor in the Science of Learning at Flinders University. His children attended public schools in South Australia.

Martin was a Chief Investigator in the national ARC Science of Learning Research Centre, collaborating with classroom teachers to use principals from cognitive science in the development of pedagogical approaches and assessment practices. He was one of only two recipients of a $1M education grant from the Australian Space Research Program, collaborating with schools to develop ways to use earth observation technologies in students’ SACE Research Projects. His research has included the development of electronic assessment items, using machine learning to interrogate large education data sets, and the use of mobile eye-tracking technology to better understand how students allocate their attention. He has worked with UNESCO using evidence to inform strategic planning of education in the Asia-Pacific region and has been a member of the steering group of their research network.

Martin has worked extensively with education systems and other organisations to use evidence to inform policy, practice, innovation and impact in education. He was a Board Member of the SACE Board for five years before taking on the role of Chief Executive.


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