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Australian Universities' Review, v49 n1-2 p25-27 Jul 2007

Ever since the radical reforms of the Dawkins years of the late 1980s and early 1990s, change has been a constant for university administrators, as well as for university staff. In the earlier years, change was driven directly by Government, as witnessed by the huge expansion of student numbers, the introduction of tuition fees and the first real venture into the then nascent international student market. These were powerful transformative years. It was in the 1990s that "the market" gained leverage within higher education funding decisions, and Australia became an international case study for its unique student financing system, the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS). Following the election of a new conservative government in 1996, the market moved from its supporting role to become the major driver of higher education policy, and the role of business models and the appointment of business leaders to government reviews of higher education increased significantly. Over the last decade, change has been driven directly by the Government using its funding levers to ensure compliance, especially in the areas of governance and staffing and employment matters. In this article, the author contends that as in the past, government policy continued to favour the promotion of market mechanisms as key policy drivers, as long as they have been consistent with the ideological and policy agenda of the Government. On balance, from the perspective of 2006, one would have to argue that the market has become sub-servient to the ideological policies of the Government. It could not be said that current government policy is essentially market-driven when universities have seen a massive intervention into their policies and practices and are currently weighed down by the compliance requirements of government-funded activities, even activities that are only partially publicly-subsidised. (Contains 3 endnotes.)

Descriptors: Foreign Students, Higher Education, Foreign Countries, Public Policy, Tuition, Administrators

National Tertiary Education Union. PO Box 1323, South Melbourne 3205, Australia. Tel: +61-3-92541910; Fax: +61-3-92541915; e-mail: editor[at]aur.org.au; Web site: http://www.aur.org.au





Author: Allport, Carolyn

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=5303&id=EJ802273







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