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Australia: Reclaiming the Public University?

Batterbury, S and Byrne, J ORCID: 0000-0001-8733-0333 2017 , 'Australia: Reclaiming the Public University?' , Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, no. Specia , pp. 23-32 .

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Abstract

In their provocative article, Halffman and Radder discuss the Kafkaesque worlds thatacademics in the Netherlands now find themselves in, as an underfunded university sectorpredates upon itself and its workforce (2015, 165-166). Their Academic Manifesto observesthat many universities in the Netherlands have been ‘taken over’ by an ‘army of professionaladministrators’, who use managerialist approaches to drive performance-based objectives.The country’s tertiary institutions, they write, have become obsessively focused on‘accountability’ and pursue neoliberal-style imperatives of ‘efficiency and excellence’. Theypaint a portrait of academics under siege, untrusted, and constantly micro-managed. Thepursuit of so-called efficiency has involved accountability systems that are themselveswasteful, driving seemingly endless institutional restructuring. Moreover, institutions, theauthors claim, have become obsessed with star-performers in research, driven bycompetitive targets that undergird global rankings. Metrics—publication outputs, journalquality, citations, impact and grant revenue—produce a culture of competition andsometimes, mercenary behaviours, on the part of academics and managers.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Batterbury, S and Byrne, J
Keywords: higher education, Australia, bibliometrics, university policy, research publishing
Journal or Publication Title: Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective
ISSN: 2471-9560
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