Leading educator honoured in Launceston
Prof Rupert Maclean awarded Distinguished Alumni Award
Professor Rupert Maclean AO, a former UTAS Launceston student who went on to become a world-renowned educator, author and lecturer, has been awarded the UTAS Distinguished Alumni Award at a gala event at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston.
The outstanding achievements of this UTAS alumnus are evident. He gained his PhD in Launceston in 1988 and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne, Diploma of Education and Bachelor of Education from Monash University, and Master of Education from the University of Bristol.
UTAS Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen said the Foundation dinners are very special events.
“It’s not often we have the scholarship winners en masse in the same room as those who generously endow the scholarships.
“Many scholarship donors may not realise the impact their generosity has on a student’s academic achievements, their wellbeing and their future success - this is a wonderful chance for students to meet those who are helping to facilitate their studies,” Prof Rathjen said.
“This event also lets us celebrate those who have gone on to achieve national and international recognition, with the presentation of our Distinguished Alumni Award.”
Dean of the UTAS Faculty of Education Professor Ian Hay said that Prof Maclean had made a significant contribution not only to issues around poverty and education in developing countries but also within Australia.
“The same issues pertaining to poverty and access and equity in education that are a problem overseas happen in our own backyard – in parts of Australia and even in pockets within our own State,” he said.
“The range of complex issues Prof Maclean deals with is a common theme and it also echoes the Gonski Report which aligns education growth with the local economy.
“Despite his overseas appointments, Rupert has maintained close ties with Tasmania, through regular visits and as a visiting lecturer in the UTAS Faculty of Education’s Masters program in global education,” Prof Hay said.
Professor Rupert Maclean has enjoyed – and continues to enjoy – a stellar career in education, both locally and internationally.
After teaching in Australia and the UK, he lectured in the Centre for Education at the University of Tasmania while gaining his PhD.
Prof Maclean then embarked on a highly distinguished 20-year international career with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Since 1990, he has held several significant and prestigious appointments in Yangon, Bangkok, Paris and finally Bonn, where he was the Foundation Director of the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Education. His roles with UNESCO were linked by a common purpose of improving education, particularly in developing countries.
His work has included a wide range of challenges, such as creating training models for former Afghani and Liberian child soldiers, improving the education of girls and woman in rural areas in China, and strengthening and upgrading teacher education in Myanmar.
After his sojourn in Bonn, Prof Maclean moved to his current home, Hong Kong, where he now holds three concurrent professorial positions at the Hong Kong Institute of Education: Chair Professor of International Education; UNESCO Chair in Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Lifelong Education; and Director of the Centre for Lifelong Learning Research and Development.
In addition, he holds academic positions in Melbourne, China, the Philippines and as a Visiting Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford.
Prof Maclean has published widely in his areas of expertise, and is author or co-author of 17 books, numerous chapters in books, research reports, journal articles and papers.
His significant contribution to education internationally was recognised in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday honours list with an Officer of the Order of Australia award for distinguished service to technical and vocational education, particularly through UNESCO.