New International head appointed at University of Adelaide

Thursday, 29 January 2015

The University of Adelaide announced today leading academic, Professor Shane Thomas, as its new Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) ahead of what is expected to be a record intake of international students in 2015.

“This appointment represents a critical aspect of our strategic agenda in both education and research,” said Professor Pascale Quester, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic), University of Adelaide.  “Professor Thomas was an exceptional candidate from a very competitive international field and we’re fortunate that he will soon be joining the executive leadership team here at Adelaide.”

Professor Thomas is currently Associate President and Executive Director in International Academic Development at Monash University, having previously held a number of senior posts at Latrobe University and the University of Sydney.  He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and Harvard University and is recognised as both an innovative researcher and educator.

“Professor Thomas brings the outstanding knowledge and experience of a senior Group of Eight university, coupled with the particular insights of working closely on higher education policy with foreign countries, especially in Asia,” said Professor Quester. “China is enormously important to us and I look forward to working with him to take forward our unique internationalisation strategy as part of the University's strategic plan, Beacon of Enlightenment.”

Professor Thomas said he was looking forward to taking up the new role and relocating to Adelaide.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to be part of genuine university-wide transformation,” he said. “The University of Adelaide has outlined a bold vision for internationalisation that truly permeates every part of its business.   There is a strong commitment to creating an experience for all students that is high-quality and distinctive—one that enshrines education and research without borders.

“I am keen to share my experiences from working in Australia and China, to help generate even greater and more sustainable returns for the University in the long term,” said Professor Thomas.  “The possibilities are really very exciting.”

Professor Thomas has been instrumental in helping Monash University lift its international student’s numbers to record levels, the pursuit of commercial opportunities including curriculum licensing and the pursuit of international research collaborations. He is the special advisor to the Vice-Chancellor on the University’s China relations. He has also worked extensively in China in the fields of Behavioural Health Sciences and Public Health and holds an Honorary Professorship at Peking University. Professor Thomas is also a foreign advisor for Chinese health reform and development.

He has successfully supervised over 50 doctoral students, 100 honours and postgraduate diploma student research projects and examined over 50 doctoral theses.  His recent research interests include chronic illness, intervention research and clinical trials and health services research.  Professor Thomas is widely published with 250 book chapters and journal articles in addition to authoring eight books. 

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and PhD in Psychology from the University of Melbourne and completed the prestigious Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School.

The incoming Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) will commence in the position in March 2015.


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