Honorary Finnish degree for education professor

June 13, 2011

Professor Simone Volet from Murdoch University’s School of Education has been awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the University of Turku in Finland.

This prestigious award was given to Professor Volet “in recognition of her international contribution to education science, especially in the study of learning and education in the field of educational psychology”.

She is currently a visiting professor at the University of Turku, where she works on research collaborations in theoretical and methodological development, delivers expert lectures and participates in seminars for doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers.

Professor Volet said the highlight of her most recent visit to the University of Turku in May was the conferment ceremony when she received her degree and also an academic hat and sword with the emblem of the university.

The hat symbolises the virtues of erudition and the academic freedom of the doctor to conduct independent research. The sword stands for truth; a weapon of the mind to vigorously defend what is true, right and good.

Professor Volet said she was thrilled to receive such an honour in the oldest university town in Finland.

“What is also gratifying is that it is from a country with one of the best education systems based on international comparisons,” she added.

“It was a wonderful event – very solemn and traditional – a far cry from the more relaxed affairs we have over here, but just as enjoyable. The full celebrations took place over three days.”

Professor Volet arrived at Murdoch University in 1981 and was Dean of the School of Education from 2000 to 2003. Over the years, she has developed a strong research profile nationally and internationally. The collaboration with Finnish scholars has been extremely fruitful and rewarding, she said.

Professor Volet’s current research, funded by the Australian Research Council, investigates ways of fostering graduates’ capacity to learn effectively from and with professional peers.

A long-term collaboration with colleagues from the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences complements her international collaboration as it allows theoretical ideas to be tested against real-life learning situations, leading to a better understanding of professional learning.

Professor Volet is also researching how cultural diversity, in the context of the internationalisation of higher education, creates opportunities for intercultural learning.

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Media contact: Jo Manning
Tel: (08) 9360 2474  |  Mobile: 0408 201 309  |  Email: j.manning@murdoch.edu.au
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