Dr Andrew Lancaster is the founder and director of UniCurve, a web publishing firm.
UniCurve develops internet sites to give university students information about study choices. It has an international outlook, with country-specific sites for Australia and sites under development for New Zealand, the UK, and the USA and Canada.
Andrew moved into the web publishing field after a significant career as a policy advisor for the Commonwealth of Australia. He contributed to the development of carbon pricing policy, energy efficiency programs, science education policy and industry engagement with Asia.
Andrew considers the founding of UniCurve was partly a response to the restrictive culture of the public sector and to his academic experiences as a student. He saw issues with both systems – bureaucracy and education – and an opportunity to force change in the latter. He explained the move this way:
I am always keen on making a difference – it is a constant source of motivation for me. I was lucky to get the opportunity to do that – at times – in the public sector. But there are also many constraints in the public service that make it tough to get things done. The public service culture says that you never make mistakes, even if that means doing nothing. I was doing lots and that was going against the grain.
The issue of helping students has many parallels. Students are required to conform in most learning environments – even though it’s supposed to be their education. Their scope for choice is also restricted – there is a lack of independent information about education options. I thought there was tremendous potential to change some things about university education. My experience in government and academia gave a strong platform for making it happen.
Andrew has a PhD in economics from the Australian National University (2001) and an honours degree from the University of Tasmania (1992). He has several awards for contributions to public policy as a government advisor. Andrew provides strategic direction for UniCurve and the growth of its information services network.