A Holistic Student Experience – promoting engagement and resilience

Professor James Arvanitakis1

1Pro Vice Chancellor (Research and Graduate Studies), Western Sydney University

The many wicked and grand challenges we confront today range from climate change to mass migration. To achieve a holistic student experience as well as build resilience within the student cohort, we must create a new educational environment embracing curiosity, uncertainty, mistakability and problem definition. Such skills prepare our students for disruption and the resilience needed to confront a rapidly changing world.


Professor James Arvanitakis is the Pro Vice Chancellor (Research and Graduate Studies) at Western Sydney University. A lecturer in the Humanities and a member of the University’s Institute for Cultural and Society, he founded The Academy at Western Sydney University that received an Australian Financial Review Higher Education Excellence Award (2016).

James is internationally recognised for his innovative teaching style and was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s University Teacher of the Year Award in 2012 and an Eminent Researcher Award from the Australia India Education Council in 2015.

A former economist and free market advocate, James changed his position after witnessing child and indentured labour.

His research areas include citizenship, data ethics trust and the future of universities. In 2017, James launched a co-edited book on Property, Place and Piracy and continues his high level of community engagement as a regular media commentator, researcher (having published having over 100 academic and non-academic publications) and work with artists. A founding member of the University’s Ally program, he is the Chair of Diversity Arts Australia, a board member of the Public Education Foundation, a research fellow with the Centre for Policy Development and an academic fellow of the Australian India Institute. He has just been appointed as the Associate Vice Chair, Global Listening Centre.

A collection of his work can be found at www.jamesarvanitakis.net and on twitter @jarvanitakis


ISANA International Education Association is the representative body for professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education. For more information, please visit the ISANA website.

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