This chapter explores the migration decisions and motives of a group of academics who were recruited to three Australian higher education institutions during the period…
This chapter explores the migration decisions and motives of a group of academics who were recruited to three Australian higher education institutions during the period 1965–2003. The chapter furthers our understanding of historical patterns of academic mobility and the experience of academic mobility and adds to our understanding of the academic profession. The research used a micro approach to migration history and focussed on academic migrants’ decision-making processes. The research used semi-structured interviews with three groups of academics who were interviewed in 1982 and 2003. The academic migrants in this research were not committed to any particular institution or curriculum. What was most important in their migration decision was simply obtaining any academic position. Many, if not most of them, owed their academic careers to the growth in Australian higher education caused by its transition from an elite to a mass system. They obtained their academic posts because of the global nature of academic work. The question that arises from this study is what Australian universities will need to do to attract a new generation of academics as they compete in a global market for academic personnel.
The purpose of this paper is to examine an aspect of the working lives of a group of Australian college of advanced education academic staff who worked at Bendigo College of Advanced Education, one of Australia's oldest colleges, during the period 1965‐1982.
Using extended interviews that were conducted with academic staff in 1982 this paper examines these academic staff's perspectives on the influence of their own tertiary education and previous employment on their then academic roles.
The academic staff in this study reported that their previous employment was more important in carrying out their academic roles than were other factors such as their tertiary education. Interestingly, current Australian university students, according to university commissioned research, by one research intensive Australian university, also attach more importance to the prior industrial and work experiences of university lecturers as opposed to their research excellence and productivity.
Using the perspectives from these academic staff of almost 50 years ago, this paper questions the direction of current Australian higher education policies and practices with respect to university staffing and its directives and emphases. This paper provides an important insight into current academic careers and the tension in current academic roles as a result of current higher education policy and practice, by using these voices from the past.
Currently a number of countries around the world grapple with the alleged issues of “brain drain” and “brain gain”. These twin areas are especially felt in smaller nations…
Currently a number of countries around the world grapple with the alleged issues of “brain drain” and “brain gain”. These twin areas are especially felt in smaller nations such as Australia. They are particularly the subject of analysis with respect to the academic profession, which seeks to recruit the next generation of academics in an increasingly global and competitive world. Academic migration itself is not a new issue being as old as the profession itself. What perhaps is novel is that in a mass system of higher education with a great diversity of institutional types migration and migration decisions are even less one-dimensional than perhaps they once, if ever, were. If ever academic migrants were motivated only by academic decisions in making their migration choices does this also apply to those who work in newer and less traditional universities. This study using life history methods examines academic migrants and their migration choices with reference to two new Australian universities. The data is related to the wider literature on recent migration studies and academic migration. Questions are posed and conclusions drawn for academic recruitment by universities facing the challenges posed by imminent large-scale retirement of academic staff.
Christine Asmar works in the Institute for Teaching and Learning at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her current research considers questions of difference, internationalisation and globalisation in higher education, with particular reference to Muslim and Indigenous issues.