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CONTACT: Dr. Watson Scott Swail,, 540.288.2322
Dr. Ian R. Dobson,, 61 419 514 232

EPI Welcomes EPI Australasia

Washington, DC (May 9, 2005). The Educational Policy Institute (EPI International), a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of educational opportunity, officially launched its second affiliate office in Melbourne, Australia. EPI Australasia joins EPI Canada (Toronto) and EPI International (Washington, DC) to study global issues in education.


“We are very pleased to open up an office in Australia,” says EPI president Watson Scott Swail. “EPI Australasia immediately broadens our efforts to study education and provide policymakers around the world with information that can make a difference in the lives of youth. The Melbourne office will provide direct focus to elementary, secondary, and tertiary education in Australia, New Zealand, and Asian nations.”


EPI Australasia will be headed up by Dr. Ian R. Dobson, whose experience is drawn from a long career in Australian higher education. Dr. Dobson comes to EPI from Monash University, Australia’s largest tertiary institution, following lengthy periods of service with the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He will continue to operate as an honorary Senior Research Fellow with Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research, a Centre with whom he has had a research relationship for the past decade.


“I’m excited about the opportunity to work directly with EPI,” says Dr. Dobson. “I’ve had a long professional relationship with Dr. Swail and Mr. Usher (EPI Canada Director) and this arrangement provides us the opportunity to work together on projects of global significance.”


Much of Dr. Dobson’s career has been spent in university management and administration. He has held posts in university planning offices at all three of the institutions he has worked, filling the role of manager at the University of Melbourne and Monash University. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Dobson became a policy advisor to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and then the Vice-Chancellor of Monash University. During this period he was concurrently Monash’s Director of Institutional Research.


According to Dr. Swail, expansion to Australia is important because of Australia’s role as a global innovator in global higher education funding and expansion, which is a key EPI research area. “Dr. Dobson brings with him an Australian perspective of higher education systems that will be of immediate use to us. Much of our recent research in North American and the EU relates to expanding opportunity through changes in education and financial aid policies; Ian’s additional expertise will give us one more important perspective into the challenges of tertiary education expansion and funding.”


As with other EPI Affiliates, EPI Australasia will conduct research supported by grants and contracts from government, philanthropic, and other organizations. In addition, EPI Australasia will publish a regular newsletter, EPICentre, that is also a staple in EPI International and EPI Canada. EPI International will unveil a new website with separate access portals to the global affiliates in June 2005.


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The Educational Policy Institute (, a non-partisan research organization with offices in Washington, Toronto, and Melbourne, is dedicated to policy-based research on educational opportunity for all students. The mission of EPI is to expand educational opportunity for low-income and other historically-underrepresented students through high-level research and analysis.


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Dr. Ian R. Dobson Biography
Ian R. Dobson holds a Ph.D. from Monash University (2004), with a dissertation entitled Equity, Social Mobility and Australian Higher Education Policy. He also earned a BCom (1970) from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma in Librarianship (1974) from RMIT. He worked in higher education institutions from 1971 until 2005, and continues to hold an honorary research appointment with Monash University.


Aside from his formal employment posts, Dr. Dobson has operated as a consultant, author, and editor. Since 1993, he has published over 40 papers in scholarly refereed journals and has undertaken consultancies for a range of bodies, including several universities, the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, government departments and the Australian Council of Deans of Science. He was editor of the Journal of Institutional Research from 1997 to 2002, and currently edits the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management.


Dr. Dobson lives in Melbourne, capital of the State of Victoria, about 6km from the central business district. His hobbies include running, watching Australian Rules football, drinking Australian red wine, reading, and listening to and playing music (drums).