• Higher Education Consultant

  • Director, Education, Practice and Employability Network

  • Emeritus Professor, Charles Sturt University, Australia
  • Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows

  • Principal Fellow, Higher Education Academy, UK

  • Adjunct Professor, University of New South Wales, Australia

  • Adjunct Professor,  Southern Cross University, Australia


Emeritus Professor Higgs AM, PhD, PFHEA, ALTF  is a scholar, change agent and higher education consultant. She has worked for over 35 years in higher education and has published extensively with 40 books and over 400 papers and chapters in the fields of professional practice, research and higher education.

Joy is a Higher Education Consultant, Emeritus Professor  in the fields of professional practice and higher education at Charles Sturt University, Adjunct Professor at The University of New South Wales, Adjunct Professor at Southern Cross University and  Director, Education, Practice and Employability Network, Australia.


She has worked in several universities in Australia (Sydney University, University of New South Wales, Charles Sturt University) and has held adjunct, honorary, consultancy and visiting appointments in numerous universities and institutions in Australia and overseas.

In 2004 Professor Higgs received a Member of the Order of Australia award for services to health sciences education in recognition of her contributions to course development, scholarship, research and academic leadership.


She has received numerous awards and citations for excellence in higher education. In 2010 she was awarded an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Fellowship. In 2015 she was appointed as a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK. Joy is a member of the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows Network.

Professor Higgs worked for over 20 years at the University of Sydney where she held positions of of ProDean, Associate Dean Education, Head of School of Physiotherapy. She was appointed as professor in 1996.


In 2007 Professor Higgs was invited to take on the role of Strategic Research Professor in Professional Practice in the Research Institute for Professional Practice Learning and Education (RIPPLE) at Charles Sturt University, a position she held until December 2016.  Concurrently, in 2007 Professor Higgs was invited to establish the Education For Practice Institute at Charles Sturt University. This Institute successfully completed its 10 year mission (concluding in February 2017) of enhancing professional and practice-based education at Charles Sturt University and contributing to international scholarship and practice in these fields through research and education collaborations, leadership roles and networking.

In 2017-18 Professor Higgs has held the position of Professor in Higher Education at Charles Sturt University and worked on projects aimed at enhancing quality insurance practices and outcomes.

Joy's research interests have been linked to employability, practice futures, professional practice (the nature of practice across professions, practice wisdom, professionalism, the changing shape of professions in work and society, professional decision making), higher education (quality and innovations), professional education (pedagogies, socialisation, expectations of graduates), practice-based education (pedagogy, curriculum frameworks) and qualitative research strategies.  Current foci are employability, practice futures and practice wisdom.

Professor Higgs has supervised to completion 40 postgraduate research students. Many of these graduates have become supervisors and leaders in higher education and professional practice. Her students' topics have included: professional education, clinical reasoning,  employability and professional practice.