Insights Blog

Women and work in Australia

28 February 2012, by Mary Leahy

In Australian universities women continue to be under-represented in senior academic roles (level D and above). This is despite more than 20 years of equal opportunity policies and programs and anti-discrimination legislation. Over this period there has been an increase in the numbers of women employed in academic positions. The proportions of men and women are roughly equal at levels A and B and approaching equality at level C. However, far fewer women are making the transition into the professoriate.

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New survey adds to our knowledge of qualifications and work

28 February 2012, by Dr Nick Fredman

A recent report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Learning and Work, provides some very useful information on the extent and nature of qualifications among working-age people and the links between people’s qualifications and their working lives. It shows the broadening of tertiary education but also its problematic interaction with the world of work, and has an illuminating focus on migrants. It is a welcome addition to our data relating to tertiary education, although our sources of data are still inadequate.

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Assuring the quality of New Zealand universities

27 February 2012, by Penny Fenwick & Dr Jan Cameron

New Zealand’s eight universities enjoy a well-established and robust peer-based quality assurance system that is independently operated, internationally recognised and founded on self-review. In a somewhat unique model in international higher education, New Zealand universities proactively cooperate to maintain standards, both for universities individually and for the sector as a whole, and have done so for more than four decades.

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How should academic staffing trends be analysed?

27 February 2012, by Professor Emeritus Frank Larkins

In an article published on the Group of Eight (Go8) Universities website concerning academic staffing trends, it is claimed that an analysis by this author was ‘wrong in fact and in interpretation’. This assertion is categorically rejected. The approach adopted was appropriate because it is the number of full and fractional academic staff in departments and faculties (excluding casuals), rather than FTE staff data with casuals, that more accurately represents the professional workload responsibilities that need to be discharged by staff for quality assurance, curriculum development, academic course co-ordination and assessment, bidding for research funding, research supervision and student mentoring. The use of various academic staff data sets are examined in this paper to demonstrate that the major findings reported in the earlier paper are correct.

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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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