×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 824

Education

Kim Rubenstein’s biography of Joan Montgomery, the venerable former principal of Melbourne’s Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC), has been thirty years in the making and is the definition of a labour of love. It involves Rubenstein, a distinguished and worldly legal scholar and human rights campaigner, revisiting scenes from her own life. She was a pupil at Montgomery’s PLC. As a first-year law student, she addressed the remarkable public meeting in April 1984 that opposed Montgomery’s defenestration by Presbyterian reactionaries, who were avenging the formation of the Uniting Church seven years earlier by asserting control over the school. Rubenstein’s subsequent career has been that of a distinguished old girl following the tenets of a liberal education.

... (read more)

International education, we are told, is Australia’s third-largest export industry; in 2019 it was valued at more than $32 billion annually. But it is now also one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. The publication of Gwilym Croucher and James Waghorne’s history of Australia’s universities, one of the principal institutional drivers and beneficiaries of that industry, is thus timely, even if it went to press before Covid-19 was detected. Government policymakers and higher-education institutions alike will need to respond to the present crisis not only with fresh thinking but also with a clear understanding of how the university sector got itself into such a vulnerable position in the first place.

... (read more)

During the 1960s and 1970s, student radicals protested that their places of learning were getting too close to industry and government. In 1970, Monash University students occupied the university’s Careers and Appointments Office to oppose the use of the university as a recruiting ground for companies ...

... (read more)

The idea that academia is a meritocracy in which intelligence and hard work will inevitably result in a long and storied career sounds these days like the foundation myth of a dead religion. Inger Mewburn’s How to Be an Academic is a salve for people such as myself who were silly enough to pursue a research career anyway ...

... (read more)

Ever since Henry VIII plundered the monasteries, relations between those in seats of power and learning have tended to be fraught, since political administrators do not take kindly to scholars thinking they know best how to run their own affairs, and vice versa ...

... (read more)

Required Reading: Literature in Australian schools since 1945 edited by Tim Dolin, Joanne Jones, and Patricia Dowsett

by
October 2017, no. 395

At the heart of Required Reading is a database called ALIAS (Analysis of Literature in Australian Schools). It includes all the reading material prescribed for senior secondary English and Literature courses in most of the states from 1945 to 2005. Like all electronic databases, ALIAS comprises a structured collection of items ...

... (read more)

It stands to reason, apparently, that universities are inefficient creatures that need ever more market discipline and corporate responsiveness to fulfil their potential. After all, what is education but an industry, and British industry is plainly more successful than British universities. Or perhaps not. Stefan Collini points acerbically to the fact that British i ...

Hannah Forsyth, a lecturer in history at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney, begins her first chapter with the words: ‘In 1857 all of the Arts students at the University of Sydney could fit into a single photograph.’ Some neo-liberal critics of universities would argue that it has been downhill ever since. By World War II, Forsyth estimates that there were still only about 10,000 university students in Australia. Forsyth succinctly highlights the historical changes from a small élite higher education system, dominated by white male ‘god’ professors, to the current complex system, where more than one million students face major changes in higher education funding and settings.

... (read more)

Notwithstanding occasional media focus on misbehaving students or senior members, the residential colleges and halls dotted around or about most Australian university campuses keep a low profile. Their influence has undoubtedly declined since the early twentieth century, when as many as one quarter of Melbourne’s enrolled undergraduate population, and a much higher proportion of full-time students, were attached to Trinity and Janet Clarke Hall, Ormond or Queen’s. But the collegiate ideal to which all these institutions aspire, more or less, still provides a vital alternative to the regrettably prevailing view of higher education as mere vocational training – especially now, when the future viability of universities themselves is called increasingly into question.

... (read more)

Christopher Hilliard’s meticulously researched and richly detailed English as a Vocation: The Scrutiny Movement opens with a historical anecdote regarding an after-hours, postwar negotiation ‘between literary analysis and popular culture’ undertaken in that most evocative of English holiday destinations: Scarborough. In these opening lines, Hilliard describes how the founder and director of Birmingham University’s renowned Centre of Cultural Studies, Richard Hoggart, working in an earlier capacity as an adult education tutor in North Yorkshire, spent his evenings in the late 1940s combining classes on Shakespeare with sessions scrutinising advertising rhetoric and the language of newspaper articles.

... (read more)
Page 1 of 3