Volume:6, Issue: 2

Sep. 1, 2014

Articles by #getArticle.ind_name#
Australian Tertiary Sector Reform: Credentials for Cash
Meyers, Donald [about]
What is the Purpose of a University? Public debate about the purpose of universities is a relatively recent phenomenon in Australia. As Gaita (2012) points out, universities are always vulnerable to “hijack” by the ideology of the day. Thus, while Gaita (2012) argues eloquently that the purpose of universities is to protect and nourish the “life of the mind”, the rise of free market ideology in the early 1990s and its subsequent dominance in public policy has made it is much easier to find others who believe that the role of universities is to dispense private utilitarian goods on a user-pays basis. Universities have been with us since the 1100s, making them one of the most enduring institutions created by humans. None could argue that the benefits they have delivered to humanity are out of all proportion to their size and funding. Hitherto, their success can be attributed to the provision of an environment in which highly intelligent, imaginative and motivated individuals have the resources and freedom to pursue rational truths and educate the next generation of thinkers, untrammelled by the exploitative and inevitably destructive interventions of ephemeral cultural and political demands.

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