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Do higher education institutions make a difference in competence development?: a model of competence production at university

This paper proposes a model of competence development required of graduates at work which suggests that universities make a difference when they add value to their students. They add value by ensuring that their modes of teaching and learning, and assessment positively enhance the competencies of their students which are important in the labor market. [The] results have clear implications for policy in the Bologna process. One of the main challenges facing higher education institutions in Europe is to transform their current pedagogical practices - the lecture continues to be the dominant teaching method - into competence-based teaching as a response of universities to labor market needs. In this paper, econometric evidence shows that innovative methodologies used by Spanish universities play a key role in competence development. This is consistent with the view that education raises productivity; a finding that refutes some theories which suggest that education may be no more than a screening device which allows employers to identify the more able potential employees from the rest. Besides the importance of formal academic institutions, firms appear to be sources of learning and skill formation as well.

This paper proposes a model of competence development required of graduates at work which suggests that universities make a ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Velasco, Manuel Salas
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Spain; Europe
Journal title: Higher education
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Skills and knowledge; Employment; Research;

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Commonwealth controls over Australian schools, TAFEs and universities via tied funding: time for Constitutional reform?

A matter of some controversy in schools, TAFEs and universities has been the advent of significant controls over these state and territory law bodies by the Commonwealth Government, based on the supply of grants linked to conditions. Under the previous Howard Government the conditions required significant workplace reforms (including Australian Workplace Agreements) at the university and TAFE level. Commonwealth grants for state and private schools contain conditions relating to curriculum, school reports, statements of learning, and various school performance targets. Such controls were never envisaged for the Commonwealth in the Constitution. This paper examines in some detail the conditions imposed on schools, TAFE and universities, describes the constitutional position relating to regulation of education by the Commonwealth, including the potential use of the corporations power, and makes suggestions for reform.

A matter of some controversy in schools, TAFEs and universities has been the advent of significant controls over these state ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Jackson, Jim
Date: 2008
Geographic subjects: Australia; Oceania
Journal title: Australia and New Zealand journal of law and education
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Finance; Governance; Providers of education and training;

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Critical interactions shaping early academic career development in two higher education institutions

This study was aimed at identifying the critical interactions within work environments that support the development of early career academics as researchers in institutions with lower order research profiles, that is, environments that differ from research-intensive universities. Ten early career academics, five from Australia and five from the UK, were recruited. Multiple sources of data were subjected to a qualitative analysis from which five interrelated themes identified the features of the research journeys: institutional environment, individual attributes, postgraduate and other research training, supportive interactions with others, and outcomes from the research process. A key finding was that individuals differ in their need for redirection, support, challenge, and inspiration which may be important at any time but especially at turning points in their career. Actions that might be taken by those responsible for implementing plans and programs in professional learning and development for early career academics are outlined. This study offers empirical evidence of the changes that are significant for individual neophyte researchers, and the environments and interactions that influence these changes.

This study was aimed at identifying the critical interactions within work environments that support the development of early ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Hemmings, Brian; Hill, Doug; Sharp, John
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: Australia; Oceania; Great Britain;
Journal title: Issues in educational research
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Providers of education and training; Career development; Research;

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Not a waste of space: professional development for staff teaching in New Generation Learning Spaces

The project responded to the critical need to focus on improving teaching in [Next] Generation Learning Spaces, since billions of dollars have been spent on designing or retrofitting these spaces. Next Generation Learning Spaces are specifically designed to increase active learning and to support a more student-centred approach to teaching and learning. While these spaces vary in their exact characteristics, they typically are: carefully planned to facilitate interactions between students and promote active learning; designed to allow for flexible use and arrangement of furniture; constructed without a lectern or single whiteboard/screen at the front of the space to enable teaching from anywhere in the room; and technology-enabled to encourage active, connected and collaborative learning. Despite considerable investment, there is evidence that their full potential has not yet been fully realised. Additionally, there is limited evidence that current approaches to professional development for academic staff teaching in these spaces are effective. The project has made a difference in a number of ways. It has contributed to the substantive body of literature on how to engage academic staff in professional learning to enhance their teaching. It has identified why current practice is not working and proposed a way forward. Over 200 academic staff at RMIT found the professional learning activities useful and indicated that they would trial a change to their teaching as a result. The project has supported a change in the way universities involved in the trials will provide professional learning for academic staff teaching in New Generation Learning Spaces using the innovative and an alternative approach to traditional professional development.

The project responded to the critical need to focus on improving teaching in [Next] Generation Learning Spaces, since ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: De la Harpe, Barbara; Mason, Thembi; McPherson, Megan;
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Victoria; Australia; Oceania
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Workforce development; Providers of education and training; Higher education;

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Community college student mental health: a comparative analysis

This study explores community college student mental health by comparing the responses of California community college and traditional university students on the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II (ACHA-NCHA II). Using [multivariate analysis of variance] MANOVA, [the authors] compared community college and traditional university students, examining overall group differences on four multicomponent questions; pairwise comparisons also were used to examine individual survey items. This study found significant differences in reported mental health issues and needs between the students. More specifically, a pattern of difference in psychological concerns, available resources, and resource utilization emerged, with community college students having more severe psychological concerns and less institutional mental health resources than traditional university students. Findings suggest that both community colleges and traditional universities would benefit from increased mental health resources, though community colleges are particularly in need.

This study explores community college student mental health by comparing the responses of California community college and ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Katz, Daniel Seth; Davison, Karen
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: United States; North America
Journal title: Community college review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Students; Outcomes; Providers of education and training;

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Pathways to social inclusion: the participation of refugee students in higher education

The Australian higher education sector is increasingly culturally diverse. Apart from recent school leavers and mature aged adults from various equity groups, there is a growing trend in the participation of students from refugee/humanitarian entrant backgrounds. This group of students come from a position of social disadvantage and have experienced enormous challenges and adverse events in their countries of birth and in their transit countries. Education in Australia represents the promise of a better life but also encompasses multiple factors which impact on their successful transition through university. Effective enabling and support programs not only help individual students and their families but may also impact on broader engagement in the wider community. It forms an important part of the University's policy framework about issues of diversity and social inclusion. This paper outlines the growth of refugee student participation in enabling programs at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales. It includes a discussion of the educational and cultural barriers to learning faced by such students, the range of support currently provided, and the challenges to effectively support students in their educational endeavours and participation in the broader community.

The Australian higher education sector is increasingly culturally diverse. Apart from recent school leavers and mature aged ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Gray, Kim; Irwin, Evonne
Conference name: National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia Conference
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: New South Wales; Australia; Oceania
Resource type: Conference
Subjects: Migration; Higher education; Students;

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The Bradley challenge: a sea change for Australian universities?

This paper begins with a focus on the problematic nature of one key term in the 'Bradley report'. Socioeconomic status, or SES as commonly used, lacks clear definition leading to ongoing debates about its measurement. A working consensus on SES and its measurement is necessary for the report's recommendations to proceed effectively. Next [the authors] analyse research on university culture and practice relating to non-traditional students in order to develop the case for cultural transformation at the same time as broader recruitment if the new enrolment strategies are to deliver real change. [The authors] conclude with comments on the likely success of the Bradley recommendations in terms of the future of Australian universities and the broader culture.

This paper begins with a focus on the problematic nature of one key term in the 'Bradley report'. Socioeconomic status, or ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Putnam, Thomas; Gill, Judith
Date: 2011
Geographic subjects: Australia; Oceania
Journal title: Issues in educational research
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Higher education; Governance; Students;

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Performance indicators: a report on where we are and where we are going

This performance indicator report reviews the performance of the Ontario postsecondary education system. There is a new generation of quality measures emerging in the form of learning outcomes and informed perspectives on employer needs. This report reinforces the importance of better alignment between postsecondary skills and labour market needs, as well as a greater focus on defining and measuring learning outcomes. With new and improved data, more will be known about quality in Ontario's postsecondary system. This report speaks equally to what can be measured successfully and what cannot and it proposes a way forward to enhance the understanding and measurement of performance in Ontario's postsecondary system.

This performance indicator report reviews the performance of the Ontario postsecondary education system. There is a new ...  Show Full Abstract  

Corporate authors: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO)
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: Canada; North America
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Performance; Teaching and learning; Higher education;

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Expanding opportunities for graduate studies: the recent experience of Ontario

Focusing on graduate enrolment in Ontario's master's and doctoral programs from 1999-2000 to 2008-2009, this paper explores the recent growth in master's and doctoral degree programs in the province, the demographic characteristics of graduate students, where the growth took place; examining growth in universities, and in fields of study. The report utilizes data from three sources: the 2006 Census to provide overall measures of degree holders in Ontario; the Postsecondary Information System (PSIS) for current enrolments; and the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS) for data on new programs. The research shows that there has been a huge growth in enrolments from students who are 22 to 29 years of age and that more graduate students are studying full time. The research also indicates that Ontario universities responded to the enrolment growth by creating new programs and broadening field of study choices.

Focusing on graduate enrolment in Ontario's master's and doctoral programs from 1999-2000 to 2008-2009, this paper explores ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Wiggers, Richard Dominic; Lennon, Mary Catharine; Frank, Kristyn
Date: 2011
Geographic subjects: Canada; North America
Resource type: Paper
Series name: @ issue paper (Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario)
Subjects: Participation; Teaching and learning; Students;

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Community college men and women: a test of three widely held beliefs about who pursues computer science

Efforts to increase the number of women who pursue and complete advanced degrees in computer and information sciences (CIS) have been limited, in part, by a lack of research on pathways into and out of community college CIS classes. This longitudinal study tests three widely held beliefs about how to increase the number of CIS majors at four-year universities, particularly among females. Data were collected from 741 women and men from 15 community colleges in California who enrolled in an introductory programming class. The results highlight the importance of preparation and interactions with professors for male students, and of motivational, relational, and behavioral factors for female students, specifically peer support, expectations for success in computing, and computer gaming.

Efforts to increase the number of women who pursue and complete advanced degrees in computer and information sciences (CIS) ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Denner, Jill; Werner, Linda; O'Connor, Lisa;
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: United States; North America
Journal title: Community college review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Gender; Pathways; Higher education;

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