Drivers for diversity in HE

“Institutional diversity could be described as the holy grail of Australian higher education” Kerri-Lee Krause suggests. So how goes the quest?

In a new paper (Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management), Professor Krause  (Avondale U) suggests providers “mimic and imitate the behaviour of others, thus considerably reducing the possibilities of diversity, variety and innovation.”

But, she adds, the pandemic-caused closing of borders and pivot to on-line learning and the new provider category standards may mean the times are ripe for change.

Professor Krause proposes three drivers

student and community needs drive diversity: this will require “values-driven government policy” and HE leaders “equipped to think and operate outside the square,” plus “innovative institutional policies” for teaching excellence, civic leadership and translational research

an “ecosystemic” approach: a “boundary-spanning mind-set” among leaders, policy-makers and the community to “traverse traditional siloes.”

a paradigm shift from aspiration to action: public funding for “a wider variety of institutional types”  and differential funding, “according to mission and mandate.”

“How to achieve parity of esteem within a traditionally binary higher education system, represents a rich vein of further investigation,” she concludes.