Beyond Appearances

Unveiling the Hidden Biases in Hiring Academics in Australian Universities


  • Kashmira Dave University of New England



academic recruitment, hiring biases, cultural biases, age discrimination, minority groups


This paper presents preliminary findings from research investigating the influence of selection panel biases on recruiting academic positions in Australian higher education. Emphasising the need for cultural diversity and inclusivity among students, the study argues that these goals should also be reflected in the selection of academics within higher education institutions. Notably, this research addresses a significant gap, as no prior studies in Australia have explored how selection panel members' personal and organisational characteristics and belief systems shape university academic selection. Data for this study were collected through surveys and optional semi-structured interviews with university staff who have participated in academic interviews or served on academic selection panels. Descriptive and thematic analysis techniques were applied to both survey and interview data, with verbal data analysis used for the interview transcripts. While the research is ongoing, this paper reports preliminary findings based on 45 surveys only from the participants interviewed. This paper does not report the findings from participants who were in interview panels. This research does not report on semi-structured interview data collected as a part of this project. The results highlight intense feelings of discrimination due to the race, age, gender, and cultural background of the candidates in the academic recruitment process in Australian universities.

Author Biography

Kashmira Dave, University of New England