In the world of academia, Dr Daniel Tyler is a renowned name, with an impressive career that spans across leading universities in the UK. He is a literary scholar who specialises in Victorian literature, particularly the works of Charles Dickens. Having served as a lecturer and Vice-Master at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, Daniel recently took on the role of Director of Education at St Andrew’s College. In this blog post, we delve deeper into his background, career path, and current role, as well as his interests outside of work.
Please tell us a bit more about yourself – where are you originally from and where did you grow up?
I grew up in Birmingham, in the UK. I went to Oxford at 18, as an undergraduate, and stayed there for my Masters and Doctorate, subsequently taking up a post as lecturer in English at Balliol College, where I stayed for four years. I moved to Cambridge in 2017 and was College Associate Professor in English at Trinity Hall for five years.
What has been the biggest challenge in moving to Sydney?
My wife is from Sydney so I already knew the city well and we have family here; it has been a relatively smooth transition.
Can you explain your role in 20 words or fewer?
I oversee all the St Andrew’s educational programs and work on the strategic development of the College’s academic ambitions.
What attracted you to the position of Director of Education at Drew’s?
Having spent all my adult life living and/or working in University colleges, I am passionate about the rich opportunities for sports, music, creative arts, and social life that colleges provide, within a community that exists at a human scale. Above all, the small-group teaching that colleges can deliver is profoundly rewarding for students and tutors alike; the close interactions students have with knowledgeable and experienced tutors so often prove to be inspiring, educationally transformative, and enduringly memorable.
As Director of Education, I look forward to contributing to the St Andrew’s community and to its educational mission in particular.
What has been a highlight so far in this role?
I have been impressed by the extent to which students play a role in actively contributing to the community and to a culture of excellence here, in whatever fields of endeavour their talents lie.
Could you tell us about your career path to date? What are some of your recent professional achievements and goals?
After completing my doctorate in Victorian literature, I worked at Oxford and then Cambridge as a lecturer in English, a role which involves teaching and research. I have published essays and books on Victorian poetry, George Eliot, and, most often, Charles Dickens.
At Trinity Hall, I was elected Vice-Master and was Acting Master for a period of two and a half years; in that role, I helped steer the College through the Covid pandemic and other challenges. It was a privilege to lead an historic institution (Trinity Hall was founded in 1350), one that provides a home to first-rate students and academics who, now or in the future, make impactful contributions to the UK and the wider world.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I played a lot of cricket and football (aka soccer) at Oxford. I captained the cricket team at my undergraduate college and the football team at my postgraduate college – ask me about our unbeaten double-winning season!
These days I like to go for a run when I can; I will be looking to improve my City2Surf time this year. We have three young children who enjoy getting a run-around on the Drew’s Oval.
What are you reading/watching or listening to at the moment that you’d recommend?
I am working on an edition of Great Expectations for the Norton Critical Editions series. It is a remarkable novel.
Do you have any advice for young Androvians?
Do your best in whatever opportunities come your way – even if they are unplanned or unanticipated – because you never know what will come of them.
Dr Daniel Tyler replaces Will Cesta, the previous Director of Education and Student Life, and Minami Takahashi, who acted in the role until January 2023. Read more about their farewell here.