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DipTch, BEd, PGDipArts, PhD

Senior Lecturer & Postgraduate Co-ordinator

Phone: +64 3 479 5360

About Vivienne

Vivienne Anderson Photo 2

I research questions relating to policy and practice in higher education. Specifically, I am interested in educational mobilities, including the internationalisation of higher education, migration and education, and postgraduate pathways. My research draws attention to issues of identity, belonging and affect; how policies and practices in specific contexts shape people’s everyday lives; and how people make sense of the contexts in which they live, study and work. I am a former primary school teacher with an interdisciplinary research background, having completed PhD study in Education and Anthropology, and having worked since then in dental and teacher education contexts.


I teach in the areas of educational sociology; intercultural education; gender and education; critical theoretical perspectives; and qualitative research methods.


I welcome proposals from suitable candidates from any discipline who are interested in researching questions relating to education policy and practice. In particular, I am interested in supervising students whose work explores questions relating to internationalisation; higher education and social justice; global citizenship; and gender, culture and ‘difference’. Ideally, prospective candidates should have a background in critical theoretical perspectives, and be comfortable utilising qualitative methodologies, however, research training will be given. I am happy to co-supervise students with staff from other departments.

For scholarship information, please see the University of Otago website:

Current students

  • Emma Osborne (PhD) - The experiences, motivations and needs of students who are studying or researching aspects of their lived experience
  • Salmah Kassim (PhD) - The Impact of International Experiences on Women's Career Development
  • Charmaine Kwan (PhD) – A study of the Fiji higher education sector
  • Carla Thomson (PhD) - Navigating this hall of mirrors: gaining clarity on teaching and learning reflection in dietetics/food science education
  • Jill Turner (DBA) - Exploring structural gender discrimination through the experiences of academic women at the University of Otago
  • Lien Trinh (PhD) - The provision of sexual health information to international students in the New Zealand homestay environment

Past students

  • Naoko Inoue (PhD 2019) - The experiences of native English speaking teachers who work and live in Japan
  • Farhana Binti Abu Bakar (PhD 2018) - The use of humour in teaching and learning in higher education
  • Rafaela Rabello (PhD 2018) - An exploration of the Oil and Gas sector’s social investment in host countries
  • Tracy Rogers (PhD 2018) - Exploring educational persistence: What factors support girls to remain in secondary school in Cambodia?
  • Mary Furnari (PhD 2018) - Medical students' reflective thinking and intercultural learning in online discussions
  • Lee Adam (PhD 2015) - University students' understandings of plagiarism
  • Shona Waterhouse (MEd 2013) - Young mothers at high school in New Zealand
  • Jayaram Subramanian (MHealthSci 2012) - Student and graduate perceptions of the DClinDent programme: a qualitative research project

Research Grants

  • 2018-2019 – ‘Improving university processes, practices and pedagogies through attention to the narratives of international women students and former refugees’. Funded through a University of Otago Quality Improvement Grant (Principal Investigator).
  • 2016-2017 – ‘How do successful university students conceptualise “good teaching” and “effective learning”? Funded through an Ako Aotearoa Regional Hub Grant (Principal Investigator).
  • 2014-2015 - ‘Internationalised higher education in place: beginning teacher journeys in Malaysia and New Zealand’. Funded through a University of Otago Research Grant (Principal Investigator).
  • 2012-2013 - ‘How effective is Facebook as a research tool for examining pre-service teachers' future thinking?’. Funded through a Humanities Research Grant (Associate Investigator, with Associate Professor Karen Nairn).
  • 2012-2013 - ‘How is the term “secular” understood in a New Zealand context?’. Funded through a University of Otago Research Grant (Associate Investigator, with Professor Andrew Bradstock).
  • 2012-2013 - ‘Oranga niho me nga tangata whaiora’. Funded through Health Research Council Maori Health Joint Venture Maori Oral Health Research funding (Associate Investigator, with Professor John Broughton, Mr Martin Steinmann, Dr Rudi Downs, Ms Minnie McGibbon, and Dr Mark Lawrence).
  • 2011-2015 - ‘Oranga niho, oranga tinana, oranga whanau: What are the implications of final-year dental student outplacements with Maori Oral Health Providers for students, hosts and whanau?’. Funded through a Ministry of Health Oral Health Research Fund grant (Principal Investigator).
  • 2010 - ‘Collaborative studies of people on the move: Transitions, connections and mobilities’. Funded through a BRCSS Seeding Social Science Research Initiatives Grant (joint Principal Investigator, with Dr Martha Bell and Dr Tara Duncan).
  • 2010 - ‘Supporting students’ study-work transition in Oral Health and Dental Technology’. Funded through a University of Otago Quality Advancement Improvement Grant (Principal Investigator).
  • 2008-2011- ‘Tracking Study on Asian Business Graduates from New Zealand’. Funded through the Asia NZ Foundation (Associate Investigator, with Mr Terry McGrath, Mr Chze Pheng Ching, Mr Akira Doi, and Mr Paul Stock).