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Research and Innovation

Dr Nicola Rolls

Higher Degree by Research
Dr Nicola Rolls

Dr Rolls has significant experience in managing, researching and developing higher education and transition programs in response to the climate of diversity, the academic challenges faced by university students and approaches to overcoming these from a systemic functional linguistic and socio-cultural perspective. She is the principal editor and author of two books on Higher Education Teaching and Learning and Academic Language and Learning and has developed numerous courses for students and staff relating to academic literacy development and successful first-year learning and teaching. She has led two successful national teaching and learning awards for excellence in first-year pedagogy and support. Her recent research focus has been on understanding the complexities of student engagement, retention and success in higher education, especially for non-traditional, First Nations and EALD students. She is particularly interested in projects that address equity, access and empowerment of marginalised communities.

Research Interests

  • Applied Linguistics
  • Language, communication and learning
  • Equity and access for marginalized groups
  • Academic literacies
  • Sustainability
  • Transition Pedagogies
  • First Year University Experience
  • Learning and empowerment for remote Indigenous communities


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