Australian universities continue to undergo upheaval in their governance and management due to a reform agenda driven by a Liberal Federal Government. The reform agenda drives numerous processes throughout the sector such as, the ‘Research Quality Framework’ process, the ‘Academic Renewal’ process, wide-scale organizational restructuring and changes to the working conditions of employees. The paper undertakes a review of the continuing debates between various stakeholders involved in university governance and management in Australia. These groups include; the Federal Government; various government ‘think tanks’; academics; university managers; and the National Tertiary Education Union. The analysis shows that a complex, contradictory and adversarial debate continues amongst the stakeholders concerning the ‘hidden costs’ to the sector of the reform agenda. The paper concludes that these hidden costs are unmanageable and lead to unclear goals and outcomes for universities in Australia. The implications of such hidden costs threaten the global competitiveness of a sector that is of critical importance to a healthy future for Australia in the global economy. Further research needs to identify mechanisms that build consensus and cohesion between the stakeholders in order to secure the global competitiveness of the sector.
|Keywords:||Knowledge Management, Australian Federal Government Reform Agenda, Higher Education, Global Competitiveness|
Senior Lecturer, School of Business, Economics and Public Policy, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia
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