Prof Melanie Walker
Higher Education and Development Studies
Chair: Higher Education and Human Development 2023-2027 [Tier 1]

Prof Melanie Walker is a graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Cape Town, where she completed her PhD after teaching at disadvantaged secondary schools for a number of years. She joined the University of the Free State in February 2012 as Senior Research Professor in Higher Education and Human Development. In 2013, she was appointed as NRF Chair in Higher Education and Human Development. She is an A1-rated NRF researcher.

Before joining the UFS, she was Professor of Higher Education at the University of Nottingham in the UK, where she was Director of the PhD in Higher Education, Director of Postgraduate Students, and Director of Research in the Faculty of Social Sciences. She retains her link to Nottingham as an Honorary Professor. Prof Walker was also Vice-President of the Human Development and Capability Association (2014-2017) and is a fellow of ASSAf. She has delivered numerous international keynotes and seminars, written more than 140 book chapters and refereed journal articles, and authored or edited 13 books, including two highly regarded volumes on doctoral education. Her two most recent books focus on higher education and human development, as well as educating ‘public-good’ professionals.

Her extensive editorial experience has included editing roles on Teaching in Higher Education, Educational Action Research, and the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. In addition, she currently holds editorial board memberships on the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Journal of Professional Development, and Power and Education, undertakes refereeing for a number of international journals and book publishers, and referees proposals for various research councils.

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