Preserving the Past

Preserving the Past : The University of Sydney and the Unified National System of Higher Education, 1987-96

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The Dawkins reforms of the late 1980s and the creation of the Unified National System roused passions at many universities across the nation over fears for the academic enterprise and Australia's system of free, public university education. With much at stake, the Dawkins reforms became a hot topic of discussion across university campuses, and even between vice-chancellors and state education ministers. Vice-chancellors were threatened with motions of no-confidence, staff argued furiously against change and students protested against fees, yet mostly to no avail. The reforms were introduced and universities became subject to new ways of funding by the Commonwealth that changed the way higher education was organized in Australia.This volume tells the story of the Dawkins reforms at Australia's oldest university, the University of Sydney, and the unlikely alliance between the University's vice-chancellor and the New South Wales government in the scramble for more students. Between 1988 and 1996, the University grew exponentially. At the same time it strove to preserve its honoured past despite profound change. Did this desire to preserve an older tradition compromise its effort to master the future?show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 277 pages
  • 152 x 229mm
  • Melbourne University Press
  • Academic Monographs
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • 0522871429
  • 9780522871425

About Julia Horne

Julia Horne is University Historian at the University of Sydney. She has written extensively on the history of universities and the history of landscape and travel. She is the author of The Pursuit of Wonder (2005), Not an Ivory Tower (1997) and Jenolan Caves: When the Tourists Came (1994).Geoffrey Sherington is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney. Author of numerous books on the history of education and the history of migration, for the past two decades he has studied aspects of the public university in Australia.Roderic Campbell is a poet and writer with interests in historical travel-writing, and a researcher in History at Sydney University. He has published a biography of former NSW State Governor, Gordon Samuels Looking Back: A university chancellor reflects, UNSW Archives (2005).show more