Martin Forsey

Associate Professor, BSc BA PhD W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M431), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Martin Forsey is an educational sociologist/anthropologist with particular interests in the social and cultural effects of schooling and the internationalisation of tertiary education. He has also published several articles on qualitative research methodology. He is an award-winning teacher, with experience across all levels of university education, from first year to postgraduate. His interests embrace many aspects of Australian society. Acknowledged as an educational innovator, Dr Forsey has been breaking new ground recently in the incorporation of his locally taught unit in Australian sociology into an open, online environment – better known as a massive open online course (MOOC). Dr Forsey was the first academic at UWA to develop a MOOC and among the very first in Australia to do so. He has published 30 books and articles. His book, Challenging the System? A Dramatic Tale of Neoliberal Reform in an Australian High School, was published in 2007 to strong acclaim, while a number of papers have been drawing significant attention across the range of his research interests. Martin is a member of the editorial board of three international research journals, he also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Centre for Anthropological Research on Childhood, Youth and Education, at Brunel University. In 2010 Dr Forsey was elected to a fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Studies, The University of Edinburgh. He will soon take up a consultancy at Martin Luther University in Halle, Germany as an expert adviser on a project focused on school choice and elitism. As part of this project he is also an invited speaker at the Elite and Excellence in Education conference to be held in Wittenberg in July 2013.

Roles and responsibilities

Associate Professor of Anthropology & Sociology.
Editorial Board Member of

Board of Advisors, Centre for Anthropological Research on Childhood, Youth and Education, Brunel University

Funding overview

Australian College of Educators Equity project 2 - Equity in Education: Drawing on perspectives and understandings outside education (with Drs Elaine Sharplin, Colleen Fischer and Tess Lea)
Northwest Shelf Education Initiative Impact Assessment, Funded by St Luke’s College from a Schools First Award (see
Schools and Sustainable Rural Communities, UWA Research Collaboration Awards (With Prof Matthew Tonts, Dr Elaine Sharplin from UWA and Prof Carl Bagley U.Durham)
Student Exchange as Experiential Learning. Learning and Teaching Performance Fund Initiative in the Faculty of Arts Learning and Teaching Competitive Grant Scheme, UWA.
School Choice and Private Education: A comparative study of contemporary cultural practices in Canada and Australia. A joint project with Karen Mundy (OISE, Toronto) and Scott Davies (McMaster). International Research Linkages (PIRL) Foreign Affairs Canada.
UWA Teaching Fellowship Scheme “Transitions to fourth year honours research programmes within the humanities and social sciences: Strengthening the Teaching/Research Nexus”
The Perceptions and Realities of Public and Private Education in Australia. UWA Research Grants Scheme
International Perspectives on the Perceptions and Realities of Schooling. UWA Faculty of Arts Program: Strengthening International Collaboration.
Faculty of Arts, Publication Grant – to assist with publication of thesis.

Industrial relevance

A report titled The Karratha Education Initiative offers a published case study of, and a model for, school industry partnerships.

Teaching overview

I currently teach units in Australian Studies and the Anthropology of business and enterprise. I also teach in first year and coordinate the unit titled 'Global Change Local Responses'.


Sociology and Anthropology of Education


English and Melanesian Tok Pisin

Research expertise keywords

  • Anthropology and sociology of education
  • Anthropology and sociology of organisations
  • Australian society and culture
  • Qualitative research methods


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