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Changing accountability and autonomy at the 'coal-face' of academic work in Australia

Vidovich, L. and Currie, J. (1998) Changing accountability and autonomy at the 'coal-face' of academic work in Australia. In: Currie, J. and Newson, J., (eds.) Universities and globalization: Critical perspectives. Sage publications, Inc, Thousand Oaks, California, pp. 193-211.


The chapter focuses on the implementation of accountability practices in Australia since the Dawkins' educational reforms of the mid 1980s. The Dawkins' approach represented an aggressive, government-led strategy that proposed to tie the funding of institutions to performance-based quantitative measures or on using funding as a lever for securing the desired institutional changes, whereas the Baldwin approach that followed was subtler and shrewder in its attempts to make accountability practices more palatable to tertiary teachers who were concerned about maintaining professional autonomy. The chapter shows how members of an elite group of university administrators can attempt to secure the compliance and cooperation of academics by being placed strategically on committees that are advisory to the government, thus serving as bona fide members of the academic community yet fundamentally advancing the government's position. Three case studies of universities are provided.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Sage publications, Inc
Copyright: 1998 SAGE
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