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Disruptive education: technology-enabled universities

This report examines technology-enabled higher education in general, with a focus on massive open online courses (MOOCs) in particular. Australia's successful export model of international education has come under stress since the global financial crisis, with improved quality in overseas universities and a high Australian dollar diminishing Australia's advantages over universities in other English-speaking countries. Changing technology may offer other opportunities for Australian universities to grow and engage with clients.

This report examines technology-enabled higher education in general, with a focus on massive open online courses (MOOCs) in ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Gallagher, Sean; Garrett, Geoffrey
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: Australia; Oceania
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Technology; Higher education; Teaching and learning;

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The role of universities in the regions

The existence of regional universities offers students in the regions the opportunity to study within easy access of their families and support structures. The opportunities and the employment these institutions create help to keep the regions alive. Some have suggested that regional universities should be teaching only institutions, or outposts of metropolitan universities. There are equally strong views advocating that research is essential in the regions, as is the maintenance of independence of such institutions so that regional focus and benefits can be assured. A downgrading by stealth or neglect of universities in regional and rural Australia would be economically disastrous, politically problematic to any party seeking government in this country and counter the bipartisan pursuit of equity through education that has traditionally characterised and inspired Australian advances.

The existence of regional universities offers students in the regions the opportunity to study within easy access of their ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Winchester, Hilary; Glenn, Andrew; Thomas, Paul;
Date: 2000
Geographic subjects: Australia; Oceania
Resource type: Paper
Subjects: Demographics; Higher education; Providers of education and training

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Building research supervision and training across Australian universities: final report

'Building research supervision and training in Australian universities' was undertaken with the aims of identifying existing higher degree research supervisor training provisions; identifying current and future needs of supervisors and making recommendations that assist universities in their ongoing development of effective higher degree research supervisor training. The project provides evidence that pressures within universities for increasing professionalisation and formalisation of research education have resulted in supervision of research students becoming more transparent and accountable, and supervisory practices becoming increasingly subject to scrutiny. A major finding from the project is that, with these changes, there is a need for increasingly sophisticated and constructive conversations about supervision pedagogy that engage all supervisors, both new and more experienced. Such conversations need to go beyond issues of compliance to address quality of supervision and good supervisory practices. A further finding from the project is that there is a need in many universities for greater emphasis on professional leadership in research education.

'Building research supervision and training in Australian universities' was undertaken with the aims of identifying existing ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Hammond, Jennifer; Ryland, Kevin; Tennant, Mark;
Date: 2010
Geographic subjects: Australia; Oceania
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Higher education; Providers of education and training; Qualifications;

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Do National Senior Certificate results predict first-year optometry students’ academic performance at university?

Matriculation results have previously been used as reasonable predictors of first-year students’ academic performance at university. Although there have been some improvements in access to education for many South Africans, the quality of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) introduced in 2008 remains uncertain. The purpose of the study reported on was to determine whether matriculation subjects’ scores can be predictors of students’ academic success in the first year of the Bachelor of Optometry (BOptom) programme. The files of 84 first-year optometry students who wrote the NSC examination from 2009-2011 were reviewed and their matriculation scores were recorded. These scores were compared to their results in modules in their first-year BOptom programme. There was a weak correlation between students’ matriculation and first-year optometry results. Overall, the matriculation scores showed a weak correlation between the first semester average and overall first-year marks. Thus, the study found that NSC scores cannot be used as sole predictors of students’ academic success in the first year of the BOptom programme.

Matriculation results have previously been used as reasonable predictors of first-year students’ academic performance at ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Mashige, Khathutshelo P.; Rampersad, Nish; Venkatas, Irene S.
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: South Africa; Africa
Journal title: South African journal of higher education
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Participation; Outcomes; Providers of education and training;

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World university rankings: ambiguous signals

Australia's universities are doing reasonably well on the published world rankings. That is a cause to celebrate because it signals to the world that [Australia has] several high quality universities whose presence underpins a national system of generally good quality higher education. Being placed among the top universities in the world on a range of rankings has reputational and strategic positioning advantages for individual universities and their home countries, and status benefits for the students and alumni of institutions. While the specific positions of universities on the rankings may vary, the clustering of the same institutions within the top band on multiple measures cross-validates a leading group of Australian universities.

Australia's universities are doing reasonably well on the published world rankings. That is a cause to celebrate because it ...  Show Full Abstract  

Corporate authors: Group of Eight Australia (Firm) (Go8)
Date: 2012
Geographic subjects: Australia; Oceania
Resource type: Paper
Series name: Go8 backgrounder
Subjects: Higher education; Providers of education and training; Statistics;

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The National Graduate Attributes Project: integration and assessment of graduate attributes in curriculum

The National Graduate Attributes Project (National GAP) explored why Australian universities have on the whole, been unable to achieve the sort of significant systematic changes to student learning experiences, required to achieve their stated aims of fostering graduate attributes. Graduate attributes are an orienting statement of education outcomes used to inform curriculum design and the provision of learning experiences at a university. They are descriptions of the core abilities and values a university community agrees all its graduates should develop as a result of successfully completing their university studies. While all Australian universities make such claims in policy, few can provide convincing evidence of curricula that comprehensively and systematically develop these abilities.

The National Graduate Attributes Project (National GAP) explored why Australian universities have on the whole, been unable ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Barrie, Simon; Hughes, Clair; Smith, Calvin
Date: 2009
Geographic subjects: Australia; Oceania
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Students; Skills and knowledge; Employment;

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The social inclusion meme in higher education: are universities doing enough?

Universities in the developed world have engaged in many attempts to transform unequal social relations, inherited from the past, through restructuring their tertiary education systems. On the whole, this endeavour has been generated by national governments. Discourses about 'diversity' and 'social inclusion' have driven this policy drive, and they present as a moral imperative whilst obscuring the socio-cultural dynamics which generate both academic success and failure. Whilst all universities are required to embrace social inclusion rhetorically, their practices vary enormously. This paper examines the foundation of the arguments which employ both social and individual benefits of mass tertiary education, and discusses the impact of massification on universities themselves. It explores the ways in which low socio-economic status (LSES) students experience universities, and argues that a socio-cultural impasse has generated a strongly stratified tertiary sector where non-elite institutions cater for disproportionally high numbers of LSES students. Finally, the paper makes a judgement about the collective responsibility universities should have for increasing the participation of LSES students.

Universities in the developed world have engaged in many attempts to transform unequal social relations, inherited from the ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Hughes, Katie
Date: 2014
Journal title: International journal of inclusive education
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Providers of education and training; Economics; Policy;

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Educated reform: striving for higher quality of education at Ontario universities

While few would characterize Ontario's economic situation as ideal to facilitate quality improvement at universities, students believe that this time should be conceived of as an opportunity to innovate, not stagnate. 'Quality' means many things to many different stakeholders, but broadly it can be agreed that successful students should graduate as informed, engaged citizens with the ability to approach problems critically. Many students attend school in the hope that they will be able to apply their skills to the labour market. In both cases, [the] university system could be doing better than it is now. While Ontario is quite competitive on the world-stage with regards to higher education, the maintenance of [this] leadership will depend not only on how well the sector [is financed], but also how efficient it is. An oft forgotten fact is that both public and private spending on higher education in Canada, including Ontario, leads the world.

While few would characterize Ontario's economic situation as ideal to facilitate quality improvement at universities, ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Martin, Chris
Date: 2012
Geographic subjects: Canada; North America
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Higher education; Quality; Providers of education and training;

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Academic staffing trends in Go8 and other Australian universities, 2000-2010

This paper presents an analysis of trends in actual full-time equivalent (FTE) university staff over 2000-2010 for [Group of Eight] Go8 and non-Go8 universities. Staff are classified by function as 'academic' or 'other'. Academic staff are classified as Research Only (RO) or Teaching and Research (T&R) or Teaching Only (TO). Key findings include: (1) the coursework student to teaching staff ratio in 2010 was 21.7 for Australia’s universities in aggregate; (2) academic staff with a teaching only function have increased as student enrolments have grown; (3) academic staff with a research only function have increased as research funding has grown; (4) academic staff with a teaching and research function have increased but at a lower rate than teaching only and research only staff; (5) the proportion of casual staff rose only modestly over the decade; and (6) non-academic staff have increasing at a slightly higher rate than academic staff.

This paper presents an analysis of trends in actual full-time equivalent (FTE) university staff over 2000-2010 for [Group of ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Gallagher, Michael
Date: 2011
Geographic subjects: Australia; Oceania
Resource type: Paper
Series name: Go8 backgrounder
Subjects: Providers of education and training; Employment

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Oxford review of education, vol. 40, no. 4. August 2014

This special issue entitled 'Contributions to the sociology of education: past, present and future: a festschrift for John Furlong' is guest edited by Ingrid Lunt and Geoffrey Walford. It includes the following feature articles: Anansi's still at school: John Furlong's contribution to school and classroom ethnography / Sara Delamont (pages 415-429); The study of talk between teachers and students, from the 1970s until the 2010s / Neil Mercer and Lyn Dawes (pages 430-445); Evolving theories of student disengagement: a new job for Durkheim's children? / Roger Slee (pages 446-465); Recent developments in teacher training and their consequences for the 'university project' in education / Geoff Whitty (pages 466-481); The sociology of education and digital technology: past, present and future / Neil Selwyn and Keri Facer (pages 482-496); Teachers' professional knowledge and state-funded teacher education: a (hi)story of critiques and silences / Alis Oancea (pages 497-519); John Furlong and the 'university project' / David Watson (pages 520-524).

This special issue entitled 'Contributions to the sociology of education: past, present and future: a festschrift for John ...  Show Full Abstract  

Date: 2014
Resource type: Journal issue
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Culture and society; Students;

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