Insights Blog

Overseas students help boost Australian universities research profile

30 November 2011, by Professor Emeritus Frank Larkins

Higher degree research student numbers in Australian universities have grown very strongly over the period 2000 to 2010 enhancing university research profiles. The contribution from overseas higher degree research students has increased very significantly. In 2010 one in 3.5 of the enrolled doctoral research students and one in four of the doctoral completing students were from overseas. By comparison in 2000 the numbers were one in eight and one in six respectively. The situation for Masters by Research students shows a similar trend. More domestic students are now part time compared with overseas students, such that on a full time equivalent student basis the dependence by universities on the research output of overseas students is even greater than reported above. Any downturn in overseas student demand for research places in Australia could have serious consequences for university research performance and the national benefits that follow. Australian higher education research will come under increased competitive pressure when the financial situation in Europe and the US improves. New policy initiatives are required to secure an innovative future involving talented research students.

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New Ways of Education Management: Y Wait?

29 November 2011, by Jan Stevenson

Trying to select which applicant would make the best new lecturer or staff member? As you search hopefully through the stack of CVs, consider this: recent research by the Queensland Government found that by 2012 (that’s in a month or so!) 40% of the Australian population will belong to the group dubbed Gen Y - those born between 1978 and 1994. Some of them have already been in jobs in education for a few years. Have they stayed? Are they happy with the status quo? Are they happy with receiving a small incremental reward each year? Are they proving to be resolute researchers? Are they clever and resourceful academics? Are they excellent communicators?
 

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The NZ University System Shifts Gear

28 November 2011, by Prof Pat Walsh

Though not accompanied by banner headlines, or even especially noticed by the broader populous, the last few years have seen the tertiary sector in New Zealand embark on a distinctly new policy direction.

The move from one system to another has thrown up a range of challenges, exacerbated by the degree to which previous ways had become entrenched. The new challenges cannot go unaddressed.
 

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Is the quality assurance role of university academic boards symbolic or real?

17 November 2011, by Julie Rowlands

Quality assurance is everywhere in higher education, reflecting trends of the last 30 years towards external accountability and managerial modes of governance. As opposed to the more internally focused quality enhancement activities traditionally practiced by universities, quality assurance involves the collection and reporting of performance data, enabling comparative judgements both within and between institutions. In so doing, quality assurance has enabled universities to compete internationally, particularly for fee-paying students, and has provided a means by which governments can hold their respective higher education sectors accountable. Within Australia, as universities prepare for and contemplate the implications of a new risk-based quality assurance and regulatory regime under TEQSA, quality assurance is particularly topical at present. As a result, universities are keen not only to be doing ‘the right thing’ but to be seen to be doing it.

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About Insights

Insights is a regular feature of the LH Martin Institute e-Newsletter, presenting opinion pieces from tertiary education's leaders and experts. Subscribe to the e-newsletter.

* The views and comments expressed in 'Insights' belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of LH Martin Institute.

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