Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia

The Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia is a scholarly society for people committed to the advancement of higher and tertiary education. It was established in 1972 to promote the development of higher education policy, practice and the study of teaching and learning. HERDSA encourages and disseminates research on teaching and learning and higher education development. It also works to build strong academic communities. The current HERDSA Constitution was adopted in 2017.

HERDSA works to

  • advance educational policy and practice in the higher education and tertiary sector
  • facilitate and promote the enhancement of teaching and learning
  • encourage and disseminate research on higher education and tertiary teaching, learning, development, research, leadership and policy matters
  • recognise and reward outstanding contributions to higher and tertiary education
  • encourage collaboration and the development of professional communities in higher and tertiary education and
  • assist its members in their ongoing professional development.

An Executive Committee is elected every two years and is supported by an administrative office and a number of Officers of HERDSA.


50 years of HERDSA

HERDSA was born in 1972, from conversations at a conference between like-minded academics from Melbourne University’s Centre for the Study of Higher Education. Its strong embrace by those involved in all aspects of learning and teaching throughout Australasia led to the formation of local branches during the1980s, with that of the SIGs (special interest groups) following apace.

HERDSA’s well-respected publications include the scholarly journal HERD, which hit our mailboxes in 1981 and is still going strong. HERDSA’s published Guides and newsletters have evolved in parallel with the issues and needs of learning and teaching and remain relevant and useful today.  Inaugural HERDSA Fellowships were awarded in 2003 and the program continues to grow with new Fellows inducted each year. The annual conference is a highlight of HERDSA’s calendar, but branches are busy year-round: the first Visiting Scholar in 1985 set the scene for relevant, accessible and enjoyable events, local and national, which HERDSA hopes to continue indefinitely, with your input and involvement!

HERDSA 50 years.