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Book part
Publication date: 28 October 2005

Grant Harman

Australia has made impressive efforts over the past two decades in the internationalisation of higher education. Particularly impressive has been the expansion of…

Abstract

Australia has made impressive efforts over the past two decades in the internationalisation of higher education. Particularly impressive has been the expansion of fee-paying international students. Australia today is the third largest exporter of higher education services internationally, with international students comprising well over 20% of total student enrolments in Australian universities. Expansion of international student enrolments has had major impacts on Australian universities and Australia. On balance, the effects have been strongly positive, producing substantial financial benefits and export income, attracting large number of well-qualified undergraduate and postgraduate students, and leading to a more international orientation for Australia's universities.

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International Relations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-244-3

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2019

Helen Irvine and Christine Ryan

In the context of the Australian Government’s attempts to impose budget austerity measures on publicly funded universities in its higher education sector, the purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of the Australian Government’s attempts to impose budget austerity measures on publicly funded universities in its higher education sector, the purpose of this paper is to assess the sector’s financial health.

Design/methodology/approach

The multi-dimensional study is based on seven years of government financial data from all 39 publicly funded Australian universities, supplemented by information from universities’ annual reports. Using a financial health model that reflects vulnerability, viability and resilience, the authors examine sector data using a suite of metrics. The authors analyse differences between those universities in the Top 10 and Bottom 10 by revenue, as a window into the financial health of the sector at large.

Findings

While mostly financially viable, the sector shows signs of financial vulnerability, particularly in the areas of expense control and financial sustainability. Possibly in response to an uncertain funding environment, universities are managing long-term liquidity by growing reserves. Debt represents largely untapped potential for universities, while differences between the Top 10 and Bottom 10 universities were most evident in the area of revenue diversity, a strong predictor of financial viability.

Research limitations/implications

Focussing on a specific set of financial metrics limits the scope of the study, but highlights further research possibilities. These include more detailed statistical analysis of data, financial case studies of individual universities and the implications of revenue diversification on academic standards.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to higher education literature, providing empirical evidence of universities’ finances. It highlights the importance of universities’ financial resilience in an uncertain funding environment.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2009

Diana Day and Rachel Nolde

The purpose of this paper is to reveal the success factors for retention of first year special entry Aboriginal students at an Australian metropolitan university. A…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reveal the success factors for retention of first year special entry Aboriginal students at an Australian metropolitan university. A retention model is proposed for minority students.

Design/methodology/approach

A grounded theory approach was taken to a longitudinal study of the first year experience of 12 indigenous tertiary students, the majority being second generation undergraduates. A qualitative methodology features in‐depth interviews conducted three times over one year to ascertain impacts of schooling, teaching and learning, life experience, career aspirations, relationships and racial identity on academic success.

Findings

Positive or negative prior life experience had little impact on first year academic performance. Indigenous students as an equity group were found to have similar learning and life issues to non‐indigenous students such as studying to improve job prospects and needing part‐time employment to survive. They did not see themselves as different, and had no close relationship to indigenous knowledge or culture. Yet factors influencing academic success were related to indigeneity. Such as close friendships and dependence on each other, mentoring care of staff, and rewards of giving back through mentoring local indigenous school students. Private schools provided a dominant pipeline to university. Participants had a very early career focus but little career support. Students adopted both indigenous and non‐indigenous world perspectives and displayed robust resilience in the face of challenging family and educational experiences. In‐depth interviews across the year well demonstrated student evolutions. Further longitudinal study of student progress will extend this first Australian study.

Originality/value

This is the first in‐depth analysis and benchmark model for development of success factors for retaining special entry indigenous Australian students in higher education. It provides a one‐year baseline for a unique longitudinal assessment of student success. The paper newly explores the role of career and indigeneity as well as life and academic support systems in student retention. Findings apply to minority retention programs.

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Equal Opportunities International, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2018

Ann Martin-Sardesai and James Guthrie

This chapter explores the development and the role of accounting for research quality in Australia’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment exercise. It…

Abstract

This chapter explores the development and the role of accounting for research quality in Australia’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment exercise. It tracks the progress of performance measurement systems from quantitative to qualitative measurement within the Australian higher education sector since 1970, leading up to the implementation of a formal ERA in 2010, and its subsequent iterations in 2012, 2015, and 2018. Although only a part of the ERA submissions, now certain published research outputs provide the primary evidence for research quality to most ERA panels and are a significant driver of the final rating awarded. Before the authors assess the 2018 exercise, they will examine the ever-changing role of journal publications as a vehicle for academic research output.

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Performance Measurement and Management Control: The Relevance of Performance Measurement and Management Control Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-469-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1983

RAY OVER

This article analyzes the sex ratio, national origin, age distribution, and levels of qualification of academics in the education departments of Australian universities

Abstract

This article analyzes the sex ratio, national origin, age distribution, and levels of qualification of academics in the education departments of Australian universities. The limited turnover in university positions that can be expected in the 1980s and 1990s will adversely affect the career prospects of recent and future graduates in education. The present underrepresentation of women in university appointments seems likely to be perpetuated. The many academics recruited by education departments in the 1960s and 1970s were mostly relatively young men. As the age distribution of academics shifts, the Australian education departments may be faced with problems of obsolescence and rigidity.

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Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Book part
Publication date: 30 October 2019

Thomas O'Donoghue and Keith Moore

Abstract

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Teacher Preparation in Australia: History, Policy and Future Directions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-772-2

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Book part
Publication date: 10 July 2014

Anthony Potts

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…

Abstract

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.

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Academic Mobility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-853-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1987

D.W. SLOPER

This paper presents base‐line data about the incumbency or length of time spent in office by Australian vice‐chancellors who held appointments in the years 1963 to 1983…

Abstract

This paper presents base‐line data about the incumbency or length of time spent in office by Australian vice‐chancellors who held appointments in the years 1963 to 1983. Principal findings of the analysis are that the average length of incumbency has declined from 13.6 years for 1963 to 8.0 years for 1983 vice‐chancellors, that the period 1983 to 1987 will witness an unprecedentedly high rate of turnover among vice‐chancellors, and that an increasing proportion of vice‐chancellors no longer regard their incumbency as their final full‐time professional appointment. The conclusions are related to apparent stratification and ranking among Australian universities in an emerging system of higher education which is becoming more complex.

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Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2019

Sophia Xiaoxia Duan

Public universities worldwide are under growing pressure to increase efficiency. Understanding how teaching and research contribute to the overall efficiency of university

Abstract

Purpose

Public universities worldwide are under growing pressure to increase efficiency. Understanding how teaching and research contribute to the overall efficiency of university operations is of great importance for universities to improve their performance. This paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts a holistic approach to evaluate university efficiency from three perspectives including overall university operations efficiency, university teaching efficiency and university research efficiency. It applies the technique of data envelopment analysis to 36 Australian universities during the period 2011–2015 to evaluate their relative efficiency from these three perspectives. A strategic group analysis is further conducted for exploring the source of inefficiency of an individual university in its respective strategic group.

Findings

This study reveals that Australian universities maintain a comparatively high level of efficiency in terms of overall operations and research during the period 2011–2015. Teaching efficiency, however, is underwhelming during this period. It further shows that universities with low efficiency seeking to improve their overall operations efficiency can allocate the limited resource to teaching instead of research.

Practical implications

This study is crucial to both Australian government and Australian universities. The government is provided with the information about the optimum performance levels for universities under certain fixed resource. As a result, resources or funding can be allocated based on the performance ranking. The efficiency information is also in demand among Australian universities. In order to successfully strive for more funding from the federal government in an environment of increased competition, universities need to not only know their relative position among their peers, but also get guidelines on how to improve their performance.

Originality/value

The novelty of this study lies in the decomposing of efficiency models to identify inefficiencies in university operations. Such a study provides individual universities with valuable information on how they can make full use of their resources to improve their efficiency in an increasingly competitive environment.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Hannah Forsyth

The purpose of this paper is to consider the national and international political-economic environment in which Australian university research grew. It considers the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the national and international political-economic environment in which Australian university research grew. It considers the implications of the growing significance of knowledge to the government and capital, looking past institutional developments to also historicise the systems that fed and were fed by the universities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on the extensive archival research in the National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial on the formation and funding of a wide range of research programmes in the immediate post-war period after the Second World War. These include the Australian Atomic Energy Commission, the NHMRC, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Australian Pacific Territories Research Council, the Commonwealth Office of Education, the Universities Commission and the Murray review. This research was conducted under the Margaret George Award for emerging scholars for a project entitled “Knowledge, Nation and Democracy in Post-War Australia”.

Findings

After the Second World War, the Australian Government invested heavily in research: funding that continued to expand in subsequent decades. In the USA, similar government expenditure affected the trajectory of capitalist democracy for the remainder of the twentieth century, leading to a “military-industrial complex”. The outcome in Australia looked quite different, though still connected to the structure and character of Australian political economics.

Originality/value

The discussion of the spectacular growth of universities after the Second World War ordinarily rests on the growth in enrolments. This paper draws on a very large literature review as well as primary research to offer new insights into the connections between research and post-war political and economic development, which also explain university growth.

Details

History of Education Review, vol. 46 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

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