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Putting proportionality into practice A call for a more nuanced and mutual approach to university regulation Michael Gallagher.

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Presentation on theme: "Putting proportionality into practice A call for a more nuanced and mutual approach to university regulation Michael Gallagher."— Presentation transcript:

1 Putting proportionality into practice A call for a more nuanced and mutual approach to university regulation Michael Gallagher

2 1. The imperative for tighter and more consistent regulation of higher education provision. 2. The special nature of universities and their role in contemporary society. 3. Concerns about the treatment of universities in the draft TEQSA legislation. 4. Concerns about the determination and application of standards pursuant to the TEQSA legislation. 5. The changing nature of the relationship between universities and the nation-state. 6. The need for more nuanced policy framework and a more mutual process of policy development.

3 The imperative for tighter and more consistent regulation of higher education provision The probity threshold The effectiveness imperative The transparency requirement The comparability challenge Benefits for universities

4 The special nature of universities and their role in contemporary society Developing intellectual talent Making knowledge discoveries Generating new ideas Contributing to problem solving Preserving knowledge Discerning truth Challenging orthodoxy

5 Concerns about the treatment of universities in draft TEQSA legislation Failure to appreciate the distinctive nature of universities - as distinct from HEPS Lack of explicit recognition of the self- accrediting authority of universities Australian universities less self- determining than international counterparts

6 Concerns about the determination and application of standards pursuant to the TEQSA legislation What does a ‘standards-based framework’ mean? What are ‘Threshold’ Standards? What ‘other’ standards are envisaged? Who should have power to set standards and through what processes? Is it appropriate for legislation to give open powers for one Minister to set undefined standards?

7 “Standards can stifle diversity and innovation and convey a false positivist assurance that we know what quality is and how to identify it.” [Sursock, 2006]

8 The changing nature of the relationship between universities and the nation-state A ‘nationalisation’ of Australia’s universities The shift from (a) central regulation linked to funding to (b) central regulation linked to licensing

9 The need for a more nuanced policy framework and a more mutual process of policy development The complexity of the matters involved The responsibility not to take the lazy way The importance of buy-in and professional contributions


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