'Huge coup': World renowned Finnish education expert heads to UNSW

Finland's leading education expert Pasi Sahlberg will move to Australia next year to take up a role at the University of NSW in a move described as a "huge coup" for the university and education research.

The world renowned educator, who is the former director general of the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland and a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has been appointed professor of educational policy at UNSW.

Dr Sahlberg's research on education policy, especially around equity, is highly regarded in Australia and overseas, according to UNSW vice-chancellor Ian Jacobs.

"The appointment of Professor Sahlberg is a huge coup for the university and the Gonski Institute but more importantly it is a huge coup for education research in Australia," Professor Jacobs said.

Professor of practice at UNSW and the institute's director, Adrian Piccoli, said Dr Sahlberg's research leadership would be invaluable in establishing the Gonski Institute as an "education powerhouse".

"Dr Sahlberg's work on enhancing our understanding of international education has helped shift education policy focus around the world, including in Australia, from standardisation and educational segregation to equity and inclusion," Mr Piccoli said.

Dr Sahlberg is a sought-after public speaker around the world on education and has published widely on schools and education reforms.

His book, Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland, won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for an idea that has potential to change the world.

Dr Sahlberg said he was "looking forward to growing professionally together with colleagues and students at UNSW".

"I am very excited about this opportunity to be part of the UNSW community," Dr Sahlberg said.

"Australia is one of the leading education systems in the world and the opportunity to enhance equity of education here through research and using the expertise of UNSW is an opportunity not to be missed."

This story 'Huge coup': World renowned Finnish education expert heads to UNSW first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.