Dr Stefan Popenici

Honorary Fellow

Melbourne CSHE

Stefan specialises in teaching and learning development. He has extensive international experience as designer of teaching and learning workshops and seminars.

He first joined the CSHE in 2013 as a Senior Lecturer after working as a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education at Learning and Teaching Centre at Macquarie University in Sydney. Stefan was also working for Manukau Institute of Technology in New Zealand, as Learning and Teaching Designer at the Academic Development Centre. He previously worked as Senior Consultant for the Minister at the Ministry of Education and Research in Romania and for the President of De La Salle University System in the Philippines. Stefan was also working as a Senior Researcher in Education and The Institute of Education Sciences and. For his work in educational reform and research Stefan was awarded by the President of Romania with The Order "Merit of Education" as Knight.  A former consultant for various international institutions (e.g. Council of Europe, Fulbright Commission) Stefan is currently holding the position of Associate Director of the Imaginative Education Research Group at Simon Fraser University in Canada.

Stefan's main research interests lie broadly in topics related to imagination, creativity and innovation in education, student engagement, learning spaces, scholarship and collaborative research in higher education. He developed national and international research projects in education with significant funding and was expert evaluator for projects in education with national and international institutions such as The Ministry of Education, national and international funding bodies or universities.

Stefan brings to the CSHE his extensive international experience in education in various countries, such as USA, UK, Philippines, Israel, Austria, Canada, France, Hungary, Serbia, Republic of Moldova, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Romania, Italy, Georgia and others. He is experienced in developing teaching and learning solutions for staff and students in higher education contexts. With an extensive experience as lecturer or designer of teaching and learning workshops and seminars, Stefan is passionate to share his knowledge and conduct collaborative work to facilitate the enhancement of educational experiences with students and academic staff.

Stefan holds a Bachelors degree in Pedagogy, a Masters degree in Educational Management and Administration, all from the University of Bucharest. His Doctoral thesis from the University of Bucharest explores imagination and creativity for alternative pedagogies that are capable to actively engage students in learning and academic work. In 2007 he completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Education at Simon Fraser University in Canada in imagination, creativity and change in education.


Recent books, book chapters, journal articles and conference papers

Popenici, S. (2013). Towards a new vision for university governance, pedagogies and student engagement. In Dunne, E., Owen, E., (Eds.) The Student Engagement Handbook: Practice in Higher Education. Bingley: Emerald Publishing

Popenici, S. & Brew, A. (2013 - under publication). Reading walls on university corridors: transitional learning spaces in campus. In Embodying good research – What Counts and Who Decides? AQR/ DPR Downunder. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Hajdarpasic, A., Brew, A., Popenici, S. (2013 – under publication). The contribution of academics' engagement in research to undergraduate education. Studies in Higher Education

Popenici, S. (2012). Students' imaginations and emergence of creativity through curriculum. Argument for a new educational paradigm for universities. Conference on Creative Education 2012, pp. 885-892. Shanghai: Scientific Research Publishing

Popenici, S. (2011). Students' Engagement, Functional Imagination and Curriculum Design for Creativity and Innovation. Enhancing Curriculum Relevance (pp. 219-235). Bucharest: Ed. Universitara

Popenici, S. (2010). Contemporary Heroes and Students' Motivation for Learning in Egan, K., Madej, K. (Eds.) Engaging imaginations and developing creativity. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Popenici, S., Fartusnic, C. (2009) Motivatia pentru invatare. De ce ar trebui sa le pese copiilor de ea si ce putem face pentru asta. (Motivation for learning. Why should children care about it and what can we do something for it). Bucharest: Didactica Publishing House

Popenici, S., Tarnoveanu, N., Fartusnic, C. (2008). Managementul clasei pentru elevii cu ADHD (Classroom management for ADHD students). Bucharest: Didactica Publishing House

Popenici, S., Tarnoveanu, N., Fartusnic, C., Mantaluta, O. (2008). Strategii didactice pentru elevii cu ADHD (Educational strategies for ADHD students). Bucharest: Didactica Publishing House

Book-length research reports

Parsell, M., Popenici, S., Nicolson, F., and White, S. (2013). Review of Education at the Australian School of Advanced Medicine. Professional Report submitted to The Australian School of Advanced Medicine/Macquarie University

Hajdarpasic, A., Brew, A., Popenici, S. (2011). Report on undergraduate awareness, experiences and perceptions of research at Macquarie University. Sydney: LTC/Macquarie University (Archived at National Library of Australia at http://nla.gov.au/nla.arc-134566 )

Popenici, S. (2005). Motivatia invatarii si reusita sociala. (Motivation for learning and social success). Bucharest: The Institute of Education Sciences.

Popenici, S., Blendea, P., Mantaluta, O. (2003). Culturi organizationale in scoala romaneasca II (Organizational cultures in Romanian education II). Bucharest: The Institute of Education Sciences

Popenici, S. (2001). Ghid de management pentru ┼čcolile din zone defavorizate (Management Guide for Schools within Disadvantaged Areas). Bucharest: The Institute of Education Sciences/CNROP

Badescu, M., Popenici, S. & Pescaru, A., (2000). Baza de date locala privind finantarea
invatamantului (Local database for financing educational system). Bucharest: The
Institute of Education Sciences

Popenici, S., Blendea, P. (1999) Studiul impactului masurilor de reforma la nivelul unitatii scolare (A Study on Reform Impact at School Level). Bucharest: The Institute of Education Sciences

Other recent publications:

Popenici, S., Kerr, S. (2013) What Undermines Higher Education and How This Impacts Employment, Economies and Our Democracies. CreateSpace

Popenici, S. (2013). The Price of Higher Education: Investigating Global Commoditization. The Evolllution, July 24, 2013.


Awards and scholarships

2010: Certificate of Recognition in Appreciation of Service to the Community. Awarded by Hon. Len Brown – Mayor of Auckland (for humanitarian work for underprivileged members of community of Pakuranga, Manukau, South Auckland)

2007: Salzburg Seminar Fellowship – "From Lab to Market: Accelerating Innovation through University, Business, and Government Partnership"; April - May, 2007 (Session 441)

2006/2007: Post-Doctoral Fellowship - coordinated by Dr. Kieran Egan, Canada Research Chair in Education, Member of Royal Society of Canada, Faculty of Education / IERG, Simon Fraser University

2005: Fellowship, Aaharon Ofri International Training Center MASHAV, "Educational Systems – Management and Leadership", Jerusalem, Israel

2004: Knight of Romania – "Merit of Education". Awarded by The President of Romania

2003: EU Fellowship GRUNDTVIG 2 study visit NA Socleo Agencia Nacional para os Programas Comunitarios Socrates e Leonardo da Vinci, (Learning Partnerships) for European Managers – Porto, Portugal

2002: Salzburg Seminar Fellowship – "Universities and Social Transformation"

2001: Salzburg Seminar Fellowship – "The Meanings of Autonomy: University Governance Reconsidered"

2000: Central European University Fellowship: Intercultural Citizenship Program

1999: Fellowship of European Socrates Agency, Central Bureau, U.K., Education for active citizenship, Oxford, U.K.

1999: EU Fellowship ARION study visit "Les Statistiques de l'education", Department of Education – Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

1998: RVP Research Fellowship, Sponsor: The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP), the Center for Narrative Studies and The Catholic University of America/Oblate College