Professor Marcia Devlin

Professor Marcia Devlin Deputy Vice-Chancellor

(Learning and Quality)

Professor Marcia Devlin is a Professor of Learning Enhancement and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Quality) at Federation University Australia. Reporting to the Vice-Chancellor, this position contributes to the achievement of the strategic goals of Federation University Australia by providing executive leadership in the following areas:

  • The Centre for Learning Innovation and Professional Practice (CLIPP);
  • Library Services;
  • The Registrar’s Directorate;
  • Policy development and management;
  • Quality assurance and enhancement;
  • Women in Leadership;
  • The Council-endorsed Student Retention and Success strategic initiative; and
  • Transformation of the university’s teaching and learning through the implementation of the Blended, On-Line and Digital (BOLD) Learning strategy.

Professor Devlin is a strong and vocal advocate for the transformative role of tertiary education, as both a mechanism for social justice and a driver for regional and national innovation. An internationally recognised thought leader and expert in higher education, she has particular expertise in digital education, the student experience, student retention and success, and leadership. She also has extensive experience in governance, strategy development and implementation, risk, human resource and financial management and marketing, media and communications.

Actively engaged in the sector nationally and internationally, Professor Devlin has held or holds numerous editorial board and other external appointments. She is a member of the TEQSA Register of Experts; a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management; an elected Lifelong Fellow of the UK-based Society for Research into Higher Education; a Specialist with the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications and was appointed to advise the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in Ireland. An active researcher with a long history of Commonwealth and other grants, her research informs and produces new higher education policy and practice and she is widely read and cited.

At Federation University Australia, Professor Devlin has:

  • Led the successful re-registration of the university with TEQSA;
  • Co-led the successful re-registration of FedUni TAFE with ASQA;
  • Led the conceptualisation and development of, and is successfully leading implementation of the:
  • 2015-2017 Blended On-Line and Digital (BOLD) Learning Plan;
  • 2015-2017 Student Retention and Success Plan;
  • ‘Student HQ’, bringing together virtual and face-to-face administration for students; and was instrumental in leading the development and endorsement by Reconciliation Australia of the 2015-2017 Reconciliation Action Plan.

Professor Devlin holds a PhD in higher education and psychology (University of Melbourne); a Master of Education (Macquarie University); a Graduate Diploma in Applied Psychology (Swinburne University of Technology); a Diploma in Education (La Trobe University) and a Bachelor of Arts (Australian National University). She is also a qualified teacher, a registered psychologist and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Recent publications

Recent refereed journal articles

Devlin, M. and Sabo, E. (In press). The Student Futures Program: Making higher education genuinely inclusive. Staff and Educational Development Association.

Devlin, M. and McKay, J. (2016). Teaching students using technology: Facilitating success for students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds in Australian higher education. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 32(1) 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(4) 347-363.

McKay, J. and Devlin, M. (2014). Demystifying higher education culture for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Higher Education Research and Development. 33(5) 949-961

Devlin, M. (2013). Bridging socio-cultural incongruity: Conceptualising students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds in Australian higher education. Studies in Higher Education. 38(6) 939-949.

Recent Book chapters

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.

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).

Larkin, H.,Nihill, C. and Devlin, M. (2014). Inclusive practices in academia and beyond. In K. Fraser (Ed.). The Future of Learning and Teaching in Next Generation Learning Spaces. Emerald Group Publishing: UK. (147-172).

Recent major research reports

Wood, D., McLeod, M., Viragh, K., Devlin, M. Hill, A., Harvey, A., Bennett, A., Hanley, J., Whitty, G. and Nelson, K. (2017, forthcoming). 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.

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.

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. Major report from ARC grant no. LP0990875:

Recent research projects/grants

2016-2017 – National Priorities Pool (DET, $146 500) Title: Facilitating success for students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds at regional universities. Project Members: FedUni (Devlin, M. (lead) McKay, J.) CQU (Wood, D.), USQ (Lawrence, J.) USC (Nelson, K.), SCU (McAuley, A.) and UNE (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' approachProject Members: CQU (Wood), FedUni (Devlin, M., Barnhouse, A.), USC (Nelson, K.) CSU (Coyle, J.) and JCU (Sheppard, K.).

2016-2017 – National Priorities Pool (DET, $156 686)
Title: A comparative evaluation of the efficacy of the equity strategies employed by Australian universities. Project Members: CQU (Wood, D.), FedUni (Devlin, M.) SCU (Nelson, K.), JCU (Hill, A.) La Trobe (Harvey, A.) and Newcastle (Whitty, G. Bennet, A.).

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. Project Members: USC (Nelson, K. (lead), Martin, K. Picton, C.); ACER (McMillan, J. Edwards, D.); FedUni (Devlin, M.) and RUN (Perkins, C.).

2015-2016 – National Priorities Pool (DET, $156, 000) Title: Enabling Programmes for Disadvantaged Students. Project Members: Curtin (Trinidad, S. (Lead), Pitman, T.); FedUni (Devlin, M.); La Trobe (Harvey, A. and Brett, M.) and Deakin (McKay, J.)


Gippsland Campus

Building 1W


Professor Marcia Devlin
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Quality)
Federation University Australia
PO Box 3191
Gippsland Mail Centre VIC 3841 Australia

Ph: +61 3 51226571