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Australia: Reclaiming the Public University?


Batterbury, S and Byrne, J, Australia: Reclaiming the Public University?, Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, (Special Report) pp. 23-32. ISSN 2471-9560 (2017) [Refereed Article]

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In their provocative article, Halffman and Radder discuss the Kafkaesque worlds that academics in the Netherlands now find themselves in, as an underfunded university sector predates upon itself and its workforce (2015, 165-166). Their Academic Manifesto observes that many universities in the Netherlands have been ‘taken over’ by an ‘army of professional administrators’, who use managerialist approaches to drive performance-based objectives. The country’s tertiary institutions, they write, have become obsessively focused on ‘accountability’ and pursue neoliberal-style imperatives of ‘efficiency and excellence’. They paint a portrait of academics under siege, untrusted, and constantly micro-managed. The pursuit of so-called efficiency has involved accountability systems that are themselves wasteful, driving seemingly endless institutional restructuring. Moreover, institutions, the authors claim, have become obsessed with star-performers in research, driven by competitive targets that undergird global rankings. Metrics—publication outputs, journal quality, citations, impact and grant revenue—produce a culture of competition and sometimes, mercenary behaviours, on the part of academics and managers.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:higher education, Australia, bibliometrics, university policy, research publishing
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Policy and administration not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Byrne, J (Professor Jason Byrne)
ID Code:126790
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2018-06-25
Last Modified:2018-08-27

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