Er-Kai Wang

Associate Lecturer, Sub-Dean, Graduate Certificate Migration Law
+61 2 6125 9235
Room 6.2.11

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Er-Kai Wang’s employment at the ANU College of Law began in 2010, being appointed as an Associate Lecturer a year later and contributing her expertise as Sub-Dean in the College’s Migration Law Program between 2017 and 2018. Er-kai’s focus on disability, human rights, anti-discrimination and employment law is a reflection of her strong background and previous experience in these areas in various capacities. 

Er-kai has been teaching and convening in the Migration Law Program since 2011 in the Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice and the Master of Laws (Migration) courses.

Er-kai’s broad work experience has been in a variety of work environments, including experience in the Australian Government, and as a lawyer in various Commonwealth, State and Territory Government Departments, and community organisations, provides her with a strong understanding of Government and non-government processes.

In addition to her academic and legal obligations, Er-kai undertakes volunteer migration advice and other legal work for Legal Aid and community organisations. She supervises law students and volunteer migration agents at the Legal Aid Commission Migration Clinic in Canberra. She has also represented clients before the Department of Home Affairs and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Er-kai’s research interest focuses on the cross-section between migration law and criminal law, administrative decision making in migration law, merits review and judicial review of migration decisions.


Past events

Event Image
6.00PM to 9.00PM Careers
  • Garth Tinsley
  • Leanne Ho
  • Jennifer Wyborn
  • Er-Kai Wang

The evening will involve professional legal panelists in attendance exploring and sharing their path through law and discussing how they have successfully incorporated pro bono in their career and work, currently managing top pro bono practices at Top Australian law firms including Ashurst, and Colin, Biggers & Paisely.


Conference papers & presentations

  • Presented a conference paper on Australian migration law at Globalisation and Imagination: the 13th International Conference of Australian Studies in China held on 6 – 8 July 2012 in Xihua University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.
  • Presented a conference paper on teaching Australian migration law online at the International Conference on Education, Economic, Psychology and Society (ICEEPS conference) held in July 2013, Beijing, China.

Philosophy & approach

'The secret of education lies in respecting the student' - Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 – 1882, American essayist, lecturer and poet.

Learning and teaching is about living. For most of my life, education has been an essential part of what I did – whether it is being a student or a teacher – and respect travels both ways. As a student, I respect my teachers’ dedication, commitment and willingness to share knowledge. As a teacher, I respect my students’ enthusiasms, discipline and willingness to learn. Teaching law is my passion. In many ways, teaching law is no different from teaching any other discipline. It is about bringing out the best qualities of every student and take them on a journey of wonder and fascination. Teaching ought to start with respecting the student, for who they are, what they are, the life experiences they have had and what they aspire to for the future. I value knowledge. I challenge students to obtain and develop the breadth and depth of their knowledge through vigorous discussions, critical analysis, independent and collaborative research in the highly specialised and complex area of migration law. This is important because Australian migration law is at the heart of nation building for this country. What I am doing is training migration law professionals who will be at the forefront of everyday practice, law reform, policy making and even law making.

I currently teach the Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law program. Newly enrolled students often underestimate the fast pace and intensity of the courses. They need to apply a great deal of discipline, commitment, diligence and persistence in order to succeed in this program. Knowing the legal rules and what is in the legislation or case law is only part of the challenge. Understanding the connection and relationship, between provisions within the migration legislation and between migration law and other areas of law such as employment law, criminal law, family law, taxation, etc is also vitally important and it takes time and practice to develop this understanding. That is why I take students through steps of critical analysis and problem solving where, they identify the issues, identify relevant law and then apply the law.

I value building a strong learning community in which students are supported, nurtured and encouraged. Learning is inherently a human experience and needs to be crafted as such. The physical distances created by online learning should not be seen as a barrier of productive learning, rather it should be an open door for more innovative ways of learning. In the beginning, some students may feel alienated or disoriented in an online environment simply because they are not familiar with it. In this student-centred learning model (constructivist approach), I am always responsive and supportive to student needs – guiding and leading students to explore learning themselves.

I value the practice of reflective and critical analysis of my teaching and learning experience. By reflecting and close examination of positive and negative experiences, I am able to identify areas which require improvement, strengthening or a complete re-evaluation of focus, purpose and/or approach. This reflective process can be for short term or long term, it can also be an independent survey by teachers and students or be built as part of course review or re-evaluation process. I have actively participated in a number of formal and informal review processes. The annual or half yearly performance review, teacher review days, end of session student survey etc provide opportunity for this to occur.

Teaching and learning is also a life-long experience. What we teach now will have a long lasting effect on the student and be taken into the future one way or the other – just as the famous American historian Henry Adams (1838 – 1918) once told us ‘A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops’.

Past courses

2017 - now
Co-ordinator / supervisor for LAWS4284 Public Interest Law Clinical Program - Legal Aid ACT Migration Clinic

2016 - now
Course convenor and lecturer in LLM (Migration), School of Legal Practice, ANU College of Law
Courses convened:
LAWS8652 Administrative Decision Making in Australian Migration Law
LAWS8653 Contemporary Issues in Australian Migration Law
LAWS8656 Refugee Law and Practice in Australia
LAWS8659 The Family in Australian Migration Law

2010 – 2017
Course convenor and lecturer in Australian Migration Law and Practice program for postgraduate courses, ANU College of Law

How my works connects with public policy

Er-kai Wang, Submission to Joint Parliamentary Standing Committee on Migration,  Inquiry into the review processes associated with visa cancellation made on criminal grounds, 27 April 2018.

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team