UniSA’s David Lloyd will point out the policy elephants in the higher education room in a speech at the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency conference this morning including;
The merger that did not happen: “University mergers are very expensive and complicated undertakings and if you’re not going to get them absolutely right and fully geared for the benefit of all concerned, taking into account community, cultural and collateral matters, you shouldn’t attempt them.”
As for the speculation that it was all due to egos pursuing power, “don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers.”
Teaching-only universities and why we don’t need them: “A university for the future must continue to advance both teaching and research. … Right now, while information is everywhere – knowledge is not. The institution of the future has to work harder to transfer that knowledge not only through the education of our students, but to wider society through partnership, through informing policy, through public discourse and leading by example.”
Origins aren’t important: “If you’ve come from an institute of technology or college of advance education background, you’re institutionally at risk of being pigeon-holed as being somehow ‘lesser’ in the eyes of the establishment. ‘Good at teaching’ – as if that’s a bad thing.”
But, elephants aside, getting on with it is: “Must we wait for some future policy change or funding crisis or public opinion sea change before we set out to create the higher education system of the future? No. The foundations for this future are in all of our institutions already. The leaders here in this forum have to take on the responsibility to realise the full potential of our organisations, to eat the elephants one bite at a time, not in the future, but now – and build this Australian higher education system for the future, today.