Dr. Diana L. Amundsen

Diana Amundsen


Qualifications: PhD; M.A. (Hons); B.A. Grad Dip Tchg. (Sec).

About Diana

I began my academic career here at The University of Waikato, where I completed my Bachelors degree majoring in psychology and Japanese. In 2000 I was offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work and study at the University of Hawai'i where I completed my Master's degree in communication in education.  After returning from Hawai'i in 2005, I worked in a range of higher education contexts in Aotearoa New Zealand and then took up my doctoral study at the University of Waikato in 2015. My PhD was completed in early 2019. My current role is a lecturer in Adult Development & Adult Learning, with research interests in transitions in higher education, transitions in the lives and attitudes of older adults, anti-ageism, and ageing vibrantly.

Papers Taught

Research Supervised


Nicolina Newcombe - Doctor of Philosophy (Chief Supervisor)
The literacy experiences of adults with intellectual disability: A participatory exploration
Co-supervisors: Associate Professor Patsie Frawley; Associate Professor Sonja Ellis

Yu Yuan - Doctor of Philosophy (Co-Supervisor)
Learning to be: Acculturation as a learning process-A Case Study of International Chinese PhD Students in a New Zealand University
Chief Supervisor: Professor Don Klinger

Kelvin Mills - Doctor of Philosophy  (Co-Supervisor)
Mathematics in workplace settings: Numeracy in the mechanical engineering trades
Chief supervisor: Associate Professor Nigel Calder
Co-supervisor: Dr Katrina McChesney

Qidi Yang - Master of Social Sciences in Education (Sole Supervisor)
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): What are the Opinions from Older Adults?

Tiruni John - Master of Education (Sole Supervisor)
Transition experiences of undergraduate students at university


Tracey Gillingham - Master of Education (Sole Supervisor)
Climbing into Assessment in a World of Examination: Assessment Practices in Tanzania

Jismi Mathew - Master of Education (Sole Supervisor)
Despite higher importance of universalisation of primary education in Kerala, India, why is the state of tertiary education still under developed?:Influences and impacts of the negligence of Kerala tertiary education on the students and the society. 

Anthony Campbell - Master of Education (Sole Supervisor)
Did it work? A Review of the Framework for Youth and Transitions


Chantal Stopford - Directed Study (Sole Supervisor)
Do innovative learning environments increase success for Māori learners?

Research Interests

Diana Amundsen on ResearchGate

My research interests span adult learning and development and lifespan development with a particular focus on transitions to higher education of those from marginalised groups. I have published widely in the field of higher education; most recently, in the area of the role of identity in life transitions and in intercultural research ethics. I have recently completed a longitudinal research project about Māori transitions to tertiary education environments such as university, polytechnic and wānanga. My current research focus is around working with transitions in the lives of older adults, positive ageing and longevity issues, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic context. I am also a trustee of the Third Age Foundation, an organisation that seeks to enhance the wellbeing of older people and their communities and organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Recent Publications

  • Amundsen, D. (2021). Digital technologies as a panacea for social isolation and loneliness among older adults: An intervention model for flourishing and wellbeing. Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy, 5(1), 1-14. doi:10.1163/23644583-00501008 Open Access version:

  • Amundsen, D. (2020). Sixty years of adult learning in Aotearoa New Zealand: Looking back to the 1960s and beyond the 2020s. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 60(3), 444-466.

  • Amundsen, D., & Msoroka, M. (2019). Responsive Ethics: navigating the fluid research space between HREC ethics, researcher ethics and participant ethics. Educational Review. doi:10.1080/00131911.2019.1655392

  • Amundsen, D., Ballam, N., & Cosgriff, M. (2019). The ABCs of collaboration in academia. Waikato Journal of Education, 24(2), 39-53. doi:10.15663/wje.v24i2.667 Open Access version:

Find more research publications by Diana Amundsen


Adult Education; Human Development and Education; Inclusive Education; Indigenous Education; Tertiary Education

Adult Education/Learning
Adult Development
Adulthood and Identity
Indigenous Education
Tertiary Education
Transitions in Tertiary Education
Research Ethics

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Amundsen, Dr Diana 3583 damundse TCBD.4.03 Education, School of (SOE)

You can contact staff by:
  • Calling +64 7 838 4466  select option 1, then enter the extension
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension  e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123
  • Emailing
  • Using the campus map to locate their room