Edited by Simon Marginson
Written and published by the
Centre for the Study of Higher Education
University of Melbourne
When ideas for long-term nation-building run up against the limitations imposed by a low tax-and-spend polity, in the short-term low tax wins every time. And the long-term in Australian politics and policy consists of the sum of all the short-terms. We are now seeing cuts to public funding without increases in private funding. The international student market, which provides almost one university dollar in every five, has been in the doldrums since 2009. The Opposition implies a worse outcome, as its reading of the fiscal position is likely to result in large-scale spending reductions in many areas, including higher education.
When the political parties will not talk about the substance of higher education and research, we depend on civil society, the media, the public in all its forms, and the institutions of higher education and research themselves, to define and advance the issues.
This book is designed to stimulate and contribute to such a process of discussion. It has been prepared by academic staff associated with Australia’s principal research centre focused on higher education: the Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) at the University of Melbourne. The chapters focus on the big policy issues facing tertiary education in Australia. They are research-based but prepared in a reader-friendly style to enhance discussion. They do not form a unified whole: there is no party line and some authors differ from others. The value of these chapters lies in their expertise: the authors are at the cutting edge of the issues they discuss.
By treating the issues seriously here, perhaps other voices (lay and expert) will be encouraged and knowledge will advance, enabling better policies. Discussion alone does not achieve good government, but it provides better conditions for that objective.
Creating a demand-driven system Conor King and Richard James
Monitoring and improving student engagement Alexandra Radloff and Hamish Coates
Assessing higher education outcomes and performance Hamish Coates
Assessing academic standards in Australian higher education Scott Thompson-Whiteside
TEQSA and the holy grail of outcomes-based quality assessment Vin Massaro
Labor’s failure to ground public funding Simon Marginson
The Base Funding Review, Graduate Winners and undergraduate fee Geoff Sharrock
Research training in Australia Nigel Palmer
On the fragmentation and decline of academic work Emmaline Bexley
Towards a model for professionalising VET teaching Leesa Wheelahan
Internationalisation: Where to from here? Dennis Murray
English language standards and claims of soft marking Sophie Arkoudis
Internationalising the student experience Chi Baik
Australia and world university rankings Simon Marginson