Professor Kim Beswick has been appointed the Director of the Gonski Institute for Education at UNSW Sydney.
The education professor will lead the Institute in its mission to fix equity problems in education through research with impact and change advocacy.
The new director says she is proud and honoured to take on the role and lead the Institute forward into an exciting new phase with a clear focus on addressing education inequality.
“The most important and most intractable problems in education concern equity,” Professor Beswick says. “Unequal access to quality education and inequitable outcomes are evident in relation to rurality, socio-economic status, race, disability, and gender across schools, school systems, and countries.”
Founded in 2018, the Gonski Institute for Education works to provide educators, communities, policy-makers and government with the knowledge and tools to transform educational outcomes. Based in UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture, the Institute works across disciplines on problems at the intersections of education with health, justice, business, and economics to address and advance educational equity. It brings together scholars, policy-makers and practitioners to conduct research that will help improve academic and wellbeing outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged students.
“Since UNSW established the Gonski Institute in 2018, it has made an important contribution to addressing issues of inequity in education,” UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs says. “I am delighted that Professor Beswick has agreed to lead the Institute as it continues to deliver on this important mission.”
Professor Beswick has been the Head of the School of Education since joining UNSW in January 2019. The new appointment adds to her distinguished career as an educator and educational researcher, having published more than 110 peer-reviewed publications and served on a range of national and international committees in mathematics education and teacher education.
Building on important work already undertaken by the Institute, including ‘Growing Up Digital’ the recent report delivered by Gonski Institute Professor Pasi Sahlberg, Professor Beswick says she plans to continue to enhance the quality of educational opportunities for all students, especially those in low socio-economic communities and rural and remote areas.
“We often talk about education in terms of needing to raise scores on international tests and in other performance benchmarks, but the most effective thing we could do to address this is to provide more equitable educational opportunities.
“If we solve equity, we will solve almost everything.”