Understanding Higher Education

Subject EDUC90518 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 contact hours (120 hours total commitment)
Total Time Commitment:

Attendance at all classes (tutorial/seminars/practical classes/lectures/labs) is obligatory. Failure to attend 80% of classes will normally result in failure in the subject.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Education Student Centre
234 Queensberry Street
Phone: +61 3 8344 8285

Subject Overview:

This subject is designed to provide an overview of the current context of higher education in Australia, in particular the issues and trends that affect university managers. The subject will examine the structure and purpose of the modern university, changing relationships between universities and government, the market orientation of contemporary higher education, changing patterns of academic and administrative work and the new relationships between academic and administrative leaders and managers.


At the completion of the subject, participants will be able to:

  • describe the changing structures and roles of universities;
  • describe some of the factors that affect universities and influence approaches to university management;
  • analyse the implications of changing patterns of academic and administrative work;
  • relate personal workplace experiences to the broader higher education context of change.

A review of a contemporary issue in higher education and the implications for the local context, drawing on international literature and analysis as appropriate. (4,000 words, 100 per cent)

Prescribed Texts:

Readings are provided.

Recommended Texts:

Baldwin, G.& James, R. (2000) The market in Australian higher education and the concept of student as informed consumer Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 22, 2:pp.139 - 148

Clark, B. (1998) Creating Entrepreneurail Universitties: Organisational Pathwyas of Transformation Oxford: Pergamon Press

James, R. (2002) Students' changing expectations of higher education and the consequences of mismatches with reality, in Coaldrake, P. (ed) Responding to Student Expectations Paris:OECD

Marginson, S. and Considine, M. (2000) The Enterprise University:Power, Governance and Reinvention in Australia Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completing this subject, participants should be able to:

  • apply theories and principles to specific contexts;
  • access, evaluate and utilise relevant resource materials;
  • reflect upon and analyse the effectiveness of their activities.
Links to further information: www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in University Management

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