Dr Sally Baker

Dr Sally Baker

Senior Lecturer


MRes (Education)

MA, Applied Linguistics

PGCE (Post-Compulsory)


Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Education

Sally Baker is a Senior Lecturer of Language and Literacies in the School of Education. She is the Education focal point in the Forced Migration Research Network (FMRN@UNSW) and is the Chair of the Refugee Education Special Interest Group (http://refugee-education.org).

Sally's research explores issues of equity in higher education, with her research and advocacy interests including refugee education higher education equity and language policy, the educational experiences of students from culturally and linguistically diverse migrant and refugee (CALDMR) backgrounds, academic language and literacies (ALL), transitions, methodological + ethical issues with research in 'fragile contexts', and qualitative longitudinal research.



G30 Morven Brown
  • Books | 2018
    Stevenson J; Baker S, 2018, Refugees in Higher Education Debate, Discourse and Practice, Emerald Group Publishing
  • Book Chapters | 2019
    2019, 'Is there any appetite for "linguistic hospitality" in monolingual educational spaces?: the case for translanguaging in Australian higher education', in Anderson V; Johnson H (ed.), Migration, Education, and Translation Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on Human Mobility and Cultural Encounters in Education Settings, Routledge, LondonA, pp. 145 - 160
    Book Chapters | 2019
    2019, 'Systemic policy barriers to meaningful participation of students from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds in Australian higher education: Neoliberal settlement and language policies and (deliberate?) challenges for meaningful participation', in McBrien J (ed.), Educational Policies and Practices of English-Speaking Refugee Resettlement Countries, Brill / Sense, pp. 88 - 109, https://brill.com/view/book/edcoll/9789004401891/front-10.xml
    Book Chapters | 2018
    2018, 'Transition in Students’ Reading and Writing: The Case of A-Levels to University in the UK', in Spelman Miller K; Stevenson M (ed.), Transitions in Writing, Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, pp. 11 - 46, http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004348905-003
    Book Chapters | 2016
    Baker S; Cremin T, 2016, 'Teachers' identities as writers: Teacher, support staff and pupil accounts of the role of emotion in the writing classroom', in Writer Identity and the Teaching and Learning of Writing, pp. 98 - 114, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315669373
  • Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Developing trauma-informed university supports for refugee background students in Australia: Refocusing through an ethics of care lens', Australian Educational Researcher, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13384-023-00625-9
    Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Disrupting assumptions about graduate employability: exploring culturally and linguistically diverse university students’ graduate capitals in Australia', Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, pp. 1 - 18, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2023.2180165
    Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Durable supports for refugees in higher education through resisting short-termism and organisational memory loss: illustrative cases from Australia and Germany', Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 45, pp. 36 - 52, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2022.2129316
    Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Researching in fragile contexts: Exploring and responding to layered responsibility for researcher care', Women's Studies International Forum, 98, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2023.102700
    Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'Scoping academic oracy in higher education: knotting together forgotten connections to equity and academic literacies', Higher Education Research and Development, 42, pp. 62 - 77, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2022.2048635
    Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'The Australian Research on Refugee Integration Database (ARRID): a Platform and Conceptual Framework to Map, Connect and Share Knowledge', Journal of International Migration and Integration, 24, pp. 403 - 423, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12134-022-00949-y
    Journal articles | 2023
    2023, 'What do we know about how women with forced migration experiences access tertiary education in resettlement contexts? A scoping study', Gender and Education, 35, pp. 215 - 233, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540253.2022.2147488
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Equitable teaching for cultural and linguistic diversity: exploring the possibilities for engaged pedagogy in post-COVID-19 higher education', Educational Review, 74, pp. 444 - 459, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2021.2015293
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Expanding durable solutions for refugees: possibilities for developing education pathways in Australia', Australian Journal of Human Rights, 28, pp. 308 - 328, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1323238X.2022.2131506
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Refugees are a valuable but overlooked economic resource, and it is time to update our approach to migration', The Australian Economic Review, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8462.12467
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Supporting (or not) the career development of culturally and linguistically diverse migrants and refugees in universities: insights from Australia', International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 22, pp. 467 - 490, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10775-021-09506-y
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'What do we know about enabling education as an alternative pathway into Australian higher education, and what more do we need to know? A meta-scoping study', Research Papers in Education, 37, pp. 321 - 343, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02671522.2020.1849369
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'A viable equity mechanism for all? Exploring the diversity of entry requirements and supports in Australian enabling education', Higher Education Research and Development, 40, pp. 932 - 946, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1801600
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Discursive constructions of equity in Australian higher education: Imagined worlds and the case of people seeking asylum', British Educational Research Journal, 47, pp. 836 - 854, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/berj.3691
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Disrupting the dominance of ‘linear pathways’: how institutional assumptions create ‘stuck places’ for refugee students’ transitions into higher education', Research Papers in Education, 36, pp. 75 - 95, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02671522.2019.1633561
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Equity and STEM in elite contexts: challenging institutional assumptions and critiquing student support', International Journal of Inclusive Education, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2021.1904016
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Supporting students’ academic literacies in post-covid-19 times: Developing digital videos to develop students’ critical academic reading practices', Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 18, https://ro.uow.edu.au/jutlp/vol18/iss4/5/
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Teaching for diversity: university educators’ accounts of care work and emotional labour with CALD students', Teaching in Higher Education, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2021.2015751
    Journal articles | 2021
    2021, 'Transitions from education to employment for culturally and linguistically diverse migrants and refugees in settlement contexts: what do we know?', Studies in Continuing Education, 43, pp. 1 - 15, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0158037X.2019.1683533
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Ethics-in-practice in fragile contexts: Research in education for displaced persons, refugees and asylum seekers', British Educational Research Journal, 46, pp. 829 - 847, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/berj.3618
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Facilitating access to higher education for people seeking asylum in Australia: Institutional and community responses', Refuge, 36, pp. 58 - 68, http://dx.doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.40658
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Reflections on COVID-19 and impacts on equitable participation: the case of culturally and linguistically diverse migrant and/or refugee (CALDM/R) students in Australian higher education', Higher Education Research and Development, 39, pp. 1337 - 1341, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1824991
    Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Wasted, manipulated and compressed time: adult refugee students’ experiences of transitioning into Australian higher education', Journal of Further and Higher Education, 44, pp. 528 - 541, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2019.1586849
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, ''My study is the purpose of continuing my life': The experience of accessing university for people seeking asylum in Australia', Australian Universities Review, 61, pp. 4 - 13, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1228238.pdf
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Ethics and consent in settlement service delivery', Forced Migration Review, 61, pp. 26 - 27, https://www.fmreview.org/sites/fmr/files/FMRdownloads/en/ethics/nayton-baker.pdf
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Higher education and students from refugee backgrounds: A meta-scoping study', Refugee Survey Quarterly, 38, pp. 55 - 82, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rsq/hdy018
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Literacy autobiographies in pre-service teacher education: opportunities for therapeutic writing in widening participation contexts', Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 21, pp. 151 - 161, http://dx.doi.org/10.5456/wpll.21.3.151
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Students from Refugee and Asylum Seeker Backgrounds and Meaningful Participation in Higher Education: From Peripheral to Fundamental Concern', Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 21, pp. 4 - 19, http://dx.doi.org/10.5456/wpll.21.2.4
    Journal articles | 2018
    Baker S; Irwin E; Dantas J; Taiwo M; Gower S; Singh S, 2018, 'Context and Implications Document for: Methodological diversity as an asset for transition-focused higher education research with students from refugee backgrounds', British E, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rev3.3142
    Journal articles | 2018
    Baker S; Irwin E; Dantas J; Taiwo M; Gower S; Singh S, 2018, 'Methodological diversity as an asset for transition-focused higher education research with students from refugee backgrounds', British Educational Research Journal, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rev3.3133
    Journal articles | 2018
    Baker S; Irwin E; Freeman H; Nance S; Coleman J, 2018, 'Building cultural and linguistic bridges: Reflections on a program designed to support adult students from refugee backgrounds’ transitions into university', Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 12, pp. A64 - A80, http://journal.aall.org.au/index.php/jall/article/view/521/287
    Journal articles | 2018
    Baker S; Ramsay G; Irwin E; Miles L, 2018, '’Hot’, ’Cold’ and ’Warm’ supports: Towards theorising where refugee students go for assistance at university', Teaching in Higher Education, 23, pp. 1 - 16, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2017.1332028
    Journal articles | 2018
    Burke R; Thapliyal N; Baker S, 2018, 'The weaponisation of language: English proficiency, citizenship and the politics of belonging in Australia', Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, 7, pp. 84 - 102, http://dx.doi.org/10.31274/jctp-180810-107
    Journal articles | 2018
    Irwin E; Baker S; Carter B, 2018, 'What ‘counts’ as numeracy preparation in enabling education programs? Results of a national audit', Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 12, pp. A141 - A155, http://journal.aall.org.au/index.php/jall/article/view/520/292
    Journal articles | 2018
    Journal articles | 2018
    2018, 'Shifts in the treatment of knowledge in academic reading and writing: adding complexity to students’ transitions between A-levels and university in the UK', Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 17, pp. 388 - 409, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1474022217722433
    Journal articles | 2018
    2018, 'The invisibility of academic reading as social practice and its implications for equity in higher education: a scoping study', Higher Education Research and Development, 38, pp. 142 - 156, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2018.1540554
    Journal articles | 2016
    Baker S; Irwin E, 2016, 'Core or periphery? The positioning of language and literacies in enabling programs in Australia', Australian Educational Researcher, 43, pp. 487 - 503, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13384-016-0211-x
    Journal articles | 2016
    Baker S, 2016, 'Students’ writing ‘in transition’ from A-levels to university: how assessment drives students’ understandings, practices and discourses', Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 42, pp. 18 - 36, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2015.1082174
    Journal articles | 2016
    2016, 'Liminal spaces, resources and networks Facebook as a shaping force for students' transitions into higher education', LEARNING AND TEACHING-THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES, 9, pp. 42 - 65, http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/latiss.2016.090203
    Journal articles | 2014
    Cremin T; Baker S, 2014, 'Exploring the discursively constructed identities of a teacher-writer teaching writing', English Teaching, 13, pp. 30 - 55
    Journal articles | 2013
    Baker S, 2013, 'Conceptualising the use of Facebook in ethnographic research: As tool, as data and as context', Ethnography and Education, 8, pp. 131 - 145, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2013.792504
    Journal articles | 2013
    Baker S, 2013, 'Transitions and shifting understandings of writing: building rich pictures of how moving from school to university is experienced through exploration of students’ discourses of writing', Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 7, pp. A-35 - A-49, http://journal.aall.org.au/index.php/jall/article/viewArticle/265
    Journal articles | 2010
    Cremin T; Baker S, 2010, 'Exploring teacher-writer identities in the classroom: Conceptualising the struggle', English Teaching, 9, pp. 8 - 25
  • Reports | 2022
    2022, COVID-19 online learning landscapes and CALDMR students: Opportunities and challenges, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, Perth, https://www.ncsehe.edu.au/publications/covid-19-online-learning-caldmr-students/
    Reports | 2022
    2022, Career Guidance for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Migrants and/or Refugees, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, https://www.ncsehe.edu.au/publications/career-guidance-culturally-linguistically-diverse-migrants-refugees/
    Reports | 2019
    2019, Australian OUR forum (Project Eucalyptus) Collaborate, Create & Change: Post-Forum Report, https://apo.org.au/node/222161
    Reports | 2018
    Irwin E; Baker S; Carter B, 2018, A national stocktake of numeracy provision in enabling courses in Australian Higher Education: Final Report, Association for Academic Language and Learning, ID: 15/3)
    Reports | 2018
    2018, People seeking asylum in Australia: Access & support in higher education, Curtin University, Perth, https://www.ncsehe.edu.au/publications/people-seeking-asylum-in-australia-access-and-support-in-higher-education/
    Conference Papers | 2015
    Baker S; Irwin E, 2015, 'Students’ reading and writing ‘in transition’: what lessons can be learnt from a case study of A-levels to university transitions to help enabling educators to ‘bridge the gap’ into undergraduate study?', in Nelson K; Field R (ed.), UniSTARS 2015: Students Transitions Achievement Retention & Success, UniSTARS 2015: Students Transitions Achievement Retention & Success, Melbourne, pp. 1 - 11, presented at UniSTARS 2015: Students Transitions Achievement Retention & Success, Melbourne, 01 July 2015 - 04 July 2015, http://unistars.org/papers/STARS2015.pdf
    Reports | 2015
    Baker S; Irwin E, 2015, A national audit of academic literacies provision in enabling courses in Australian Higher Education (HE) Report compiled for the Association of Academic Language & Learning, Association for Academic Language & Learning, Association for Academic Language and Learning, http://www.aall.org.au/sites/default/files/Baker-Irwin_AALL-report-final_project_2014-2-1.pdf

Recent grants

  • (2021) NSW Department of Education: NSW Equity Consortium: Imagined Futures (a whole-of-cohort outreach program with Years 7–10 including post-school transition)

  • (2020) National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education: University responses to enhancing equity in the post-Covid landscape (CI: Mary Teague, UNSW + UTS, WSU, MQ)

  • (2020) National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education: COVID-19 Online Learning Landscapes and CALDMR students: Opportunities and Challenges (CI: Sally Baker, UNSW + ACU, CQU, Curtin, Deakin, MQ, UAdelaide, VU, UQ, UON, WSU)

  • (2019) National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education: Careers guidance for CALDM/R students (CI: Alex Newman, Deakin + UNSW, UAdelaide)

  • Invited speaker in ‘Futuring Education for a Changing World: Challenges, Innovation and Opportunities’ panel at the inaugural Refugee Alternatives conference at UNSW (http://www.refugeealternatives.org.au), February 23 2017. 


  • Recipient of Visiting Fellowship at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (funded by the South African National Research Foundation): February 2017: As recognition of my expertise in the areas of academic literacies, equity and alternative entry education, I was invited to be a visiting researcher at Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa in February 2017. This visit was funded by a National Research Foundation (South Africa) ‘Knowledge Interchange and Collaboration Programme’ grant for the purpose of vising the Fundani Centre for Higher Education and working with Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP) teachers. During this visit, I drew on my experiences of English language teaching to develop a workshop for ECP teachers on issues related to transition and academic literacies, and suggest pedagogical practices and strategies to help foreground language, reading and writing in their classes.


  • Selected Featured Symposium to represent the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference, 5-7 September in Brighton, UK. Baker, S.; Irwin, E.; Ramsay, G.; Fagan, S.; Taiwo, M.; Gower, S. (2017). Researching pathways into higher education with students from refugee backgrounds: Exploring the conceptual, methodological and ethical challenges.

Sally's current projects include:

  • Chief investigator on a project exploring parents' expectations and aspirations for their children's futures in low-resourced and multilingual areas of Sydney
  • Chief investigator on a project exploring oracy and equity in Australian high schools
  • Chief investigator on a National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)-funded project, titled COVID-19 Online Learning Landscapes and CALDMR students: Opportunities and Challenges (2020-2021)
  • Lead researcher on a National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)-funded project, titled University responses to enhancing equity in the post-Covid landscape
  • Chief investigator on a project examining HyFlex teaching and learning and the impact on equity and student engagement
  • Collaborator on the Australian Refugee Integration Research Database (ARRID), with Social Equity Institute at University of Melbourne
  • A book project, asking whether universities are caring institutions


Forced Migration Research Network, UNSW

Kaldor Centre Emerging Scholars Network, UNSW

Chair of the Refugee Education Special Interest Group

My Research Supervision


  • Anna Xavier (Joint-primary): Breaking Barriers or Building Walls? The English Language and Literacy Support for Refugee-Background Students in Regional-Metropolitan NSW: A Collective Case Study of Three Public High Schools
  • Carla Guedes (Joint-primary): Exploring the Pedagogy of Discomfort through Dadirri in Australian higher education: A study that enhances the knowledge of non-Indigenous educators to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ learning
  • Felipe Balotin-Pinto (Joint-primary): Discursive constructions of academic oracy in higher education
  • Tierney Marey (Joint-primary): Embodied Labour: Equity Work in Higher Education
  • Muhammad Zeeshan (Joint): How is English ideologically constructed through the discourses and practices at a private English language institute in a Pakistani context?
  • Arwa AL Thobaiti (Joint): The Spread of English in Saudi Arabia: A Study of Taif University Students’ Attitudes and Language Use
  • Junjun Muhamad Ramdani (Secondary): Language teachers’ professional development in technology-enhanced task-based language teaching (TBLT)
  • Ching Ting Tany Kwee (Secondary): Career Progression of Immigrant Teachers in Australia: A Phenomenological Study of their Decisions and Actions under Social Cognitive Career Theory


  • Michelle Halliday: How did participants in an Aboriginal adult literacy program, in Campbelltown, perceive socio-affective impacts on their lives?
  • Samah Shda: Refugee Access to Higher Education: Bridging the Gap between Settlement Services and Universities


  • Dr Lisa Gilanyi (Secondary; 2020): Transnational sojourners' investment in learning English: a multi case study of partners of international students in Australia
  • Tracey Donahue (Joint-primary; 2021: pending examiner reports): Facilitating desire through education in protracted urban transitory displacement: A collaborative approach to spontaneous teachers’ language teacher identity formation

My Teaching

Currently teaching

  • EDST5454 - Developing Literacies
  • EDST5139 - Language, Literacy and Numeracy
  • EDST5131 - Oracy across the Curriculum