Reshaping the undergraduate business curriculum and scholarship experiences in Australia to support whole‐person outcomes

Alan Fish (International Business School, Yunnan University of Finance and Economics, Kunming, People's Republic of China)

Asian Education and Development Studies

ISSN: 2046-3162

Publication date: 4 January 2013



In the face of continued criticism from Australian higher education stakeholders regarding problems with undergraduate business education outcomes; it is notable that little change has occurred to the philosophy, and the learning and scholarship activity underpinning Australian undergraduate business education since the early 1970s. Exceptions of recent times though include The Universities of Melbourne (UM) and Western Australia (UWA), Macquarie University (MU) and The Australian Catholic University (ACU). The purpose of this paper is to comment on this criticism and critique existing Australian curriculums and scholarship practices, and offer a potentially more informed and improved pathway.


The paper expresses a viewpoint in critiquing Australian undergraduate business practices; including external stakeholder commentary, and supports a renewed curriculum focusing on personal growth and the early career needs of business undergraduates.


The paper argues for a more informed foundation to the undergraduate business curriculum; to wit, the traditional Aristotelian classical liberal approach, including scholarship aspects which assist in enhancing student values.

Research limitations/implications

Whilst the paper is limited to Australia, implications exist for other Western and Asian higher education environments. The paper is also limited to undergraduate business education, but also has implications for other undergraduate disciplines.


Whilst not entirely original in its approach; the paper seeks a more informed balance of teaching, learning and scholarship approaches away from the traditional studia divinitatis approach based in skills and specialised knowledge, in favour increased attention to a studia humanitatis perspective, in pursuit of three principles: intellectual enhancement, moral behaviour and aesthetic appreciation.



Fish, A. (2013), "Reshaping the undergraduate business curriculum and scholarship experiences in Australia to support whole‐person outcomes", Asian Education and Development Studies, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 53-69.

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