AUR 53 02
Australian Universities' Review, vol. 53, no. 2, September 2011.
vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Published by NTEU ISSN 0818–8068 AUR Australian Universities’Review AUR Editor Dr Ian R Dobson, University of Helsinki AUR Editorial Board Dr Jeannie Rea, NTEU National President Dr Timo Aarrevaara, University of Helsinki Professor Walter Bloom, Murdoch University Dr Anita Devos, Monash University Dr Jamie Doughney, Victoria University Dr Leo Goedegebuure, University of Melbourne Professor Ralph Hall, University of New South Wales Professor Dr Simon Marginson, University of Melbourne Mr Grahame McCulloch, NTEU General Secretary Dr Alex Millmow, University of Ballarat Dr Neil Mudford, UNSW@ADFA Professor Paul Rodan, CQUniversity Dr Leesa Wheelahan, Griffith University Production Design & layout: Paul Clifton Editorial support: Anastasia Kotaidis Cover photograph: Library, James Cook University, Townsville. Photo by Dey Alexander, www.flickr.com/people/dey ©2006. Creative Commons Licence: Attribution-NonCommercialShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Contact Details Australian Universities’ Review, c/- NTEU National Office, PO Box 1323, South Melbourne VIC Australia 3205 Editorial Policy Book Reviews The Australian Universities’ Review (AUR, formerly Vestes) is published by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) to encourage debate and discussion about issues in higher education and its contribution to Australian public life, with an emphasis on those matters of concern to NTEU members. Books for review should be sent to the Editor. Our policy is to review books dealing either with tertiary education or with matters pertinent to issues in tertiary education. Book reviews should be between 200 and 1200 words; review essays may be longer. Editorial decisions are made by the Editor, assisted by the AUR Editorial Board. The views expressed in articles in this publication, unless otherwise stated, are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the Editorial Board or the publisher. 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In accordance with NTEU policy to reduce our impact on the natural environment, this journal is printed on a 30% recycled stock, manufactured by a PEFC Certified mill, which is ECF Certified Chlorine Free. AUR is also available online as an e-book and PDF. Visit www.aur.org.au for details. NTEU members may opt for ‘soft delivery’ (email notification rather than printed copy) for all NTEU magazines. To access your membership details, login to the members’ area at www.nteu.org.au. Markwell, D. (2007). The challenge of student engagement. http://www.catl.uwa.edu.au/__data/page/95565/Student_ engagement_-_Don_Markwell_-_30_Jan_2007.pdf For URLs, do not include retrieval dates unless the source material may change over time (e.g. wikis). Sub-headings should be typed in lower case, ranged left, with relative importance indicated by A, B etc. Page references should be used for direct quotations. Single quotation marks only should be used, except for quotes within quotes. All quotes of more than 50 words should be indented and placed in a separate paragraph. The reference list should be placed in alphabetical order at the end of the paper, utilising the author-date system. Dates thus: 30 June 2010. For a reference to a book: ‘ise’ should be used rather than ‘ize’, e.g. organise not organize. Gall, M., Gall, J. & Borg, W. (2003). Education Research: An introduction (7th ed.), Allyn and Bacon, New York For a journal reference: King, D.A. (2004). What different countries get for their research spending. Nature 430, pp. 311-316. For a reference to a chapter in a collection: McCollow, J. & Knight, J. (2005). Higher Education in Australia: An Historical Overview, in Bella, M., McCollow, J. & Knight, J. (eds), Higher Education in Transition, University of Queensland, Brisbane. ‘per cent’ should be used rather than ‘%’ in the text. Abbreviations should be avoided, but if their use is necessary, they should be explained at their first use. Neither male nor female pronouns should be used to refer to groups containing persons of both sexes. Figures, photographs and illustrations should be provided in high resolution (300dpi) EPS, PDF, JPEG or TIFF format, numbered consecutively in the order in which they appear (or are cited). Figures should be drawn precisely and boldly. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Published by NTEU ISSN 0818–8068 Australian Universities’ Review 3 Letter from the editor 59 Ian R. Dobson Enlightening Evaluation: from perception to proof in higher education social policy Jennifer Oriel ARTICLES 5 In the new era of accountability for publicly funded programmes between universities and disadvantaged schools, the qualitative research methods and formative analysis that dominate evaluation research in this field will need to be augmented by quantitative research that enables summative evaluation against public policy objectives. Children as Citizens: Not on Campus Louise Phillips Most Australian universities have a policy that stipulates responsibilities and protocol for situations when children are on campus. In recent times children have begun to be seen as agentic with rights to participation in society. 11 68 Jenny Wilson Monitoring international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia The majority of tertiary practice-led creative arts disciplines became part of the Australian university system in 1988. Over the past two decades, research has grown as the yardstick by which academic performance in the Australian university sector is recognised and rewarded. John L. Hopkins This research examines the issue of transnational academic mobility of academic staff looking at potential moves to higher education institutions in Australia. 21 It’s a long way down: the underlying tensions in the education export industry 77 34 Through a survey of academics in a field of policy-relevant research – employment and industrial relations – this paper analyses the impact on their discipline and working environments of the journal rankings ERA processes. 88 Staying or going? Australian early career researchers’ narratives of academic work, exit options and coping strategies 43 Flexible Work Arrangements: Accessibility in a University Environment Fleur Sharafizad, Megan Paull & Maryam Omari Attraction and retention of highly qualified employees has become an area of concern for Australian universities. It has been suggested that flexible work arrangements can be utilised to achieve this goal once the factors affecting their uptake have been identified. 50 Performance related pay in Australian universities: The case of Swinburne University Peter Harkness & Mark Schier Swinburne University of Technology has chosen, contrary to the wishes of many of its staff, to be a path-breaker and has introduced a performance related pay scheme. FoR codes pendulum: Publishing choices within Australian research assessment Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow This paper reports on an exploratory case study that considered the impacts of journal ranking and Fields of Research codes on the publishing decisions of Australian authors. Eva Bendix Petersen Australian universities will lose a substantial proportion of their staff through retirement over the next decade. A recent study has indicated that attrition of academic staff that are not at the end of the career may exacerbate the problem. The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research: A case study Suzanne Young, David Peetz & Magalie Marais Simon Marginson The stellar rise of the education export industry in Australian higher education, and the even more spectacular downturn now occurring, mask underlying tensions that have long dogged the industry and prevented it from improving quality or achieving long-term sustainability. Creative Arts Research: A long path to acceptance OPINION 99 ERA: adverse consequences Brian Martin By focusing on measurement and emphasising competition, ERA may actually undermine the cooperation and intrinsic motivation that underpins research performance. 103 Painting monkey or painting elephant? Some comments on measuring research in the creative arts Ron Elliott In the ERA evidence gathering process, the measurement of creative work as research output as part of this process has raised a number of issues for a creative scholar. 110 News flash: 149 ERA reviewers located in inner city compound Joseph Gora A U S T R A L I A N U N I REVIEWS 112 Life at the top? Lessons Learned: Reflections of a University President by William G. Bowen Review by Bernard O’Meara 114 Who you know and where you know! Educational Opportunity: The Geography of Access to Higher Education by Alexander D. Singleton Review by Jennifer Oriel 116 Do they like it plain and simple in Europe? Higher Education Management and Development: Compendium for Managers by Jeroen Huisman and Attila Pausits (eds) Review by Maree Conway 118 Lifting the curtain on the land of the rising sun Reimagining Japanese education – borders, transfers, circulations and the comparative by David Blake Willis and Jeremy Rappleye V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W 125 Carpe Diem Frontiers in Higher Education by Tom Claes and David Seth Preston (eds) Review by Patricia Kerslake 127 It will all end in tiers! Rankings and reshaping of higher education: the battle for world-class excellence by Ellen Hazelkorn Review by Guy Redden 129 Making a case for equity initiatives Travelling towards a mirage? gender, leadership and higher education by Tanya Fitzgerald and Jane Wilkinson Review by Patricia Kerslake 131 Active or passive? Student activism and curricular change in higher education by Mikaila Mariel Lemonik Arthur Review by Georgina Tsolidis Review by Damien J Rivers 122 A Foresight Saga Facing the Fold: Essays on scenario planning by Jay Ogilvy Review by Maree Conway 2 , vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Letter from the editor Ian R Dobson Welcome to Round 2 of 2011. This is proving to be a rich, full year for Australian higher education, but if you are a journal editor, the nonsense of the Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA) journal ranking was something of a distraction for much of the first half of the year. In a rare moment of good sense at the end of May, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Research and Science decided to announce several ‘improvements’ to the Excellence in Research for Australia, including scrapping journal ranking. Of course, the Australian Research Council will replace the now defunct journal ranking with something else, but this time we’ll be watching right from the start! This issue is bulging at the seams. The number of submissions and article quality are on the rise, it would seem. This issue also covers a diverse range of material in ten articles and three opinion pieces.Topics covered include the aforementioned journal ranking scheme (RIP), professional staff, flexible work arrangements and performance related pay schemes. Two papers are concerned with research and the creative arts. The ERA journal ranking system might be dead in the water, but that is no reason to forget that Australian higher education, through its timid universities, nearly allowed subjectivity and self-interest to define aspects of research quality. We accepted three papers that outline consequences of ERA journal ranking before the Minister’s ‘improvements’ announcement. Young, Peetz and Marais conclude that ‘the ERA journal ranking system is strongly and negatively affecting the field [of industrial relations] and could lead to the diminution of...Australian journals, researchers and the amount of Australian research...’. Meanwhile, Western Australian colleagues Dawn Bennett, Paul Genomi and Gaby Haddow from Curtin University examine music vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 education journals and the impact of research assessment on authors’ publication choices. Wollongong’s Brian Martin then examines ERA’s ‘adverse consequences’. Limitations include, he says, counting inputs as outputs, wasting time, favouring discipline-specific research and discouraging public engagement. He notes that the journal ranking component of ERA was seen by academics as the most objectionable feature, but he hopes that the fact that this section has been dropped won’t give the impression that all is acceptable with the rest of ERA. International issues are considered, first in John Hopkins’ paper about transnational mobility, and AUR editorial board member Simon Marginson’s examination of Australia’s education export industry. The Hopkins study discusses a web-based portal and identifying the regions that have demonstrated the most interest in academic mobility. Marginson identifies tensions within international education, and the drive for revenue at any cost. Research in the creative arts is little written about, but in this issue we have two papers on this topic. Jenny Wilson writes about academics in artistic disciplines and the under-valuing of their research, and comments on the ERA process, which she says continues to see the process of research outcomes ‘framed by measures that work against creative arts researchers’. Ron Elliott also writes about his experiences with ERA, and contemplates the meaning of research in the creative arts. Elliott’s paper has an intriguing title, but a little way into the paper, he provides URLs for two short videos that provided the title for this piece. Three papers concern staff issues of various types. Two of these papers consider (respectively) flexible work arrangements and performance-related pay Letter from the editor, Ian R Dobson 3 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V schemes. The third looks at early researchers and the often tenuous employment in higher education and their survival (and exit) strategies. Aspects of all three of these papers brings to mind some of the results of the 2007-2008 Changing Academic Profession (CAP) survey of academic staff in 25 nations, that inter alia showed that along with their British colleagues, Australian academics were amongst the least satisfied in the world. Last word again goes to Joseph Gora. This could be Joseph’s last piece, because I hear from a reliable source that he will write no more. I hope this isn’t true, but who can be sure? Perhaps the only thing to look forward to is the past! 4 Letter from the editor, Ian R Dobson E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Australian Universities’ Review also seeks to keep its readers apprised of work published in the higher education sphere. To this end, the book reviews section in this issue includes reviews of nine recently published books. Buy or borrow some of them! The next issue of AUR (February 2012) will be a special edition on PhD education. It will be produced under the watchful eyes of guest editors Anita Devos and Catherine Manathunga. The call for papers closed recently and the review process is under way.This will be the first AUR ‘special’ for a number of years, but not the last. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Children as Citizens: Not on Campus Louise Phillips University of Southern Queensland Most Australian universities have a policy that stipulates responsibilities and protocol for situations when children are on campus. In recent times children have begun to be seen as possessing rights to participation in society. Ideas of children as citizens, that is, as active members of the public sphere, have been theorised, discussed and investigated. University campuses have also been defined as sites of citizenship (e.g. Harkavy, 2006). This paper examines the positioning of children as citizens on university campuses through analysis of how children are defined in children on campus policies from three Australian universities. Poststructuralist readings make visible irony at play, and a case is argued for the reworking of children on campus policies to be built on language that positions children as welcome participants of universities as democratic sites. At most Australian universities, approval for children to enter a campus needs to be sought beforehand.The existence of a ‘children on campus’ policy was brought to my attention when I visited campus as a doctoral student with two of my children without seeking prior approval. Children do not require approval before entering most other social spaces aside from chambers of parliament. For example, in 2009 Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young had her two-year-old child removed from the parliamentary chamber by a President of the Senate ruling (Rodrigues, 2009). The underlying premise for ‘children on campus’ policies is university legal responsibility for the health and safety of all people on site. This paper examines how deficit views of children in ‘children on campus’ policies impinge on children’s inclusion and participation at university campuses as social spaces and in turn discriminate against staff and students with children. Children have been defined and understood in numerous ways throughout history and across cultures. The concept of childhood is a relatively recent construction (Aries, 1962; DeMause, 1976) and is generally agreed to have developed with the establishment of schooling for children (Postman, 1982/1994; Luke, vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 1989). Aries argues that modern times have witnessed a widening separation between children and adults. In western societies, children are typically seen to belong to the ‘private worlds of play, domesticity and school’ (Roche, 1999, p. 479), whereas adults have full access to all domains of society. Social policy on, for, or about children typically focuses on protection, thereby supporting this seclusion of children to private worlds (Woodhead, 1997; Wyness, 2000). Theories of childhood inform the ways that people think about children and speak and interact with them. James, Jencks and Prout (1998) refer to varying concepts of childhood as theoretical models of childhood and identify two categories: presociological and sociological. The identification of presociological and sociological categories signalled a distinction between earlier theories of children from disciplines other than sociology and contemporary sociological theories. Presociological theories of children and childhood were drawn from disciplines such as philosophy and psychology, which view children in terms of becoming adults. Sociological theories of children and childhood developed over recent decades acknowledge children Children as Citizens: Not on Campus, Louise Phillips 5 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V as agentic in the here and now. These two distinctly different theoretical views of children shape notions of children’s citizenship as either a future status or as a current status respectively. Presociological theoretical models of children identified by James et al. (1998) include: the evil child, the immanent child, the innocent child, the naturally developing child, and the unconscious child.While this is not a definitive list of the ways of viewing children, these five major presociological theories have informed and continue to inform conceptions about children and adult interactions with children from the 1600s to the present.These models were shaped by theories that do not acknowledge the social context and ‘have become part of conventional wisdom surrounding the child’ (James et al., 1998 p. 3). These theories continue to influence possibilities for children’s citizenship. The theoretical models of children as evil and impulsive are most relevant to this paper. A theoretical model of children as evil rests on a view of children as demonic, which ‘finds its lasting mythological foundation in the doctrine of Adamic original sin’ (James et al., 1998, p. 10). The Christian Old Testament and the theories of philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1660/1996) shaped the thinking that children are born evil, so much so that adults beat the evil out through discipline and control. Children are seen to be wilful with potential to disturb adult social order. The classic literary work Lord of the Flies (Golding, 1954) portrays a cautionary tale of children descending to barbaric acts in the absence of adult discipline and control. Such a view of children actively denies children exercising positive constructive agency. A theoretical model of children as unconscious was shaped by psychoanalytic theorists, such as Freud (1923). To Freud, childhood was seen as a time of impulsivity. Children viewed according to this theoretical model are highly ego-focused; consciousness and therefore consideration of others is minimal. Adults have the role of managing children’s free expressions of instincts and impulses with the purpose of integrating them into the adult world. This view of children as impulsive and/or irrational has been identified by Arneil (2002), Kulnych (2001), and Stasiulis (2002) as an argument used against children’s recognition and participation as citizens. The prevalence of views of children as negatively impulsive actively impinges possibilities for children’s civic engagement. Growing sociological interest and attention to children and childhood in recent times has resulted 6 Children as Citizens: Not on Campus, Louise Phillips E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W in a shift away from the influence of the individualistic doctrine of presociological theories (James et al., 1998). Socialisation from a sociological perspective is seen as ‘a process of appropriation, reinvention, and reproduction’ in which ‘children negotiate, share and create culture with adults and each other’ (Corsaro, 2005, p. 18). Sociological understandings acknowledge children as agentic with ‘social, political and economic status as contemporary subjects’ (James et al., 1998 p. 26), that is, as citizens of today. James et al. identified four major sociological theoretical models: the socially constructed child, the tribal child, the minority group child, and the social-structural child. Acknowledgment of children as competent and capable social actors, and the influence of social structures are common to each of these models, yet they are conceptualised in different ways. The theoretical models of children as socially constructed and a minority group have greatest applicability to this paper. The idea of children as socially constructed draws from social constructionism in which taken-for-granted meanings are suspended (James et al., 1998). For example, the concept of a universal child as proposed in each of the presociological theoretical models of children is not accepted. Instead, plurality and diversity are welcomed. In social constructionism, participation for children is understood to be influenced by context. Children construct meaning agentically through interactions with others, including peers and/or adults. Adults question, analyse, and reflect on the influence of social constructions of children’s participation. Such a view of children enables identification of social structures that shape the possibilities for children’s citizenship. A theoretical model of children as a minority group recognises that children as a group are positioned as powerless, disadvantaged and oppressed (Oakley, 1994). This theoretical model draws from critical theory with theorists such as Giroux (1983) viewing the social demarcation of childhood as justifying ongoing adult domination of children. Children in this model are viewed as deserving the same rights as adults, yet they rarely receive these rights. Children’s differences to adults are seen as imposed disadvantages. If children are viewed as a minority group their citizenship participation is recognised as limited and constrained by social constructions. The United Nations General Assembly (1989) Convention on the Rights of the Child and its application in social policy have incited current interest in the vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W concept of children’s citizenship, that is, the inclusion tan universities though located in different cities. This of children’s participation in society. Contemporary paper discusses this small yet cross spectrum sample social theory has positioned children as competent to provide detailed readings of policies from differing and capable of being citizens of today whereas precontexts with differing positions ascribed to children sociological views of children position them as not and universities as social spaces.The policies were anayet capable (James et al., 1998). Recent support for lysed according to the theory of discourse espoused by children’s participation however is typically high in Laclau and Mouffe (1985) and the methods proposed rhetoric and low in practical application (Prout, 2002). by Jorgensen and Phillips (2002). According to Laclau Support for the actualisation of children’s participaand Mouffe, discourse is understood as a ‘structured tion is troubled by discourses of children as evil and totality resulting from articulatory practice’ (p.105), needing control, as innocent and requiring cocoonthat is, how a defined way of understanding and talking in private worlds, as impulsive and necessitating ing about the world is communicated. Discourse analymanagement, or as developing so that participation is sis involved firstly reading the policies to identify key oriented to the future. Further to this, embedded social signifiers, sites of fixed meaning that are so convenstructures and practices (e.g. children’s limited access tionalised that they are considered natural. Meaning to civic institutions) exclude children’s access to parof each signifier is determined by its relation to other ticipation. signs, what Jorgensen and With the progressive Phillips refer to as chains Child labour regulations and compulsory widening between adultof equivalence. Discourses schooling from the beginning of the hood and childhood, social of children and childhood twentieth century saw schools as the social spaces for adults and chiland how they shape the space demarcation for children, leaving dren have become more language and intent of the workplaces for adults only. demarcated. Child labour policies were then identiregulations and compulsory fied. On the basis of these schooling from the beginreadings, meanings for ning of the twentieth century saw schools as the social identities of children and campuses as social spaces space demarcation for children, leaving workplaces were made visible and the social consequences of one for adults only. More recently with the increase in the discourse hegemonically pinning down the meaning number of women in the workforce, family friendly of a signifier explored. legislation and policies have led workplaces to begin to consider the practice of children visiting their parResearch findings ents’/ guardians’ workplace.These shifts in social practices have led to the formation of ‘children on campus’ Each ‘children on campus’ policy was read to identify policies, yet historical discourses have shaped the posikey signifiers associated with children. The identificationing of children in some policies as the following tion of other signifiers in each document determined analysis demonstrates. meaning and identity assigned to children. Other key signifiers identified in policy one were protect/ion, Analytical and conceptual frameworks health and safety, disturbance, disruption, and inconvenience. These words were identified as significant From a critical theory position, children are seen as based on their frequency and direct association with shaped by historical and social forces (Hoy & McArthy, children in the text. 1994). This paper investigates how historical and There were six citations of ‘protect’ or ‘protection’ social forces shape constructs of children, and through with the initial emphasis being ‘to protect the study poststructuralist understandings (Derrida, 1993, 1996, and work environment of others at the University, and 1997, 2008) proposes possibilities for welcoming pluto protect the University’s assets and reputation’ as rality. ‘Children on campus’ policies from three unistated in the purpose of the policy. There were thirversities were analysed through discourse analysis to teen references to ‘health and safety’ that indicated identify meanings regarding the place and position of responsibility to the health and safety of children but children at university campuses. One policy was from also attention to the health and safety risks to others a regional university, the other two were metropolicreated by children being brought on campus. In three vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Children as Citizens: Not on Campus, Louise Phillips 7 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V places the policy stipulated provisions to reduce disturbance caused by children (e.g. ‘the child does not cause significant disturbance to the integrity of the work or study environment’). ‘Disruption’ was also linked to children on campus five times, e.g. ‘The workplace or class will not be unduly disrupted by the presence of the child’. The presence of children on campus was also associated with ‘inconvenience’ in conjunction with derivatives of ‘disturb’ or ‘disrupt’ bringing greater emphasis to a view that children will negatively impinge on work and study environments. By reading the chains of equivalence between the above signifiers, it becomes apparent that children are ascribed an identity of being risky, disruptive, and an inconvenience and disturbance. Identification of these signifiers in this specific policy and their relation to one another position the university as a social space for adult work and study that requires protection from child disturbance, inconvenience and disruption. The above interpretation is suggestive of policy as one being shaped by discourses that view children as evil (or uncontrollable and destructive) and impulsive.The policy positions university campuses as spaces that privilege adult usage and an adult right to be free of child disturbances. For policy two, a supporting document on the approval process was also included in the analysis. Identified key signifiers associated with children included health and safety, risk, disruption, and wilful damage. ‘Health and safety’ was referred to four times following from the policy guiding principle of ensuring ‘the health and safety of all, including children’. Children are positioned as different from others, by stating explicitly that children are included in ‘all’. ‘Risk’ was identified as a signifier in the contexts of supervisors being required to assess potential risks created by the presence of children on campus; and that children are not permitted to enter high risk areas. Across the policy there were five mentions of ‘disrupt’ and derivatives signalling that the presence of children should not disrupt the work of others and work area. There were also two references to ‘wilful damage’ explaining litigation implications ‘if a child is responsible for causing wilful damage’. By linking the chains of equivalence between these signifiers the identity of children is mapped as disruptive and destructive, and the social space of a university campus is depicted as requiring guarding against the disruption and destruction of children. Like policy one, policy two is suggestive of being shaped by discourses 8 Children as Citizens: Not on Campus, Louise Phillips E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W that view children as evil and impulsive, and that privilege and guard university spaces as adult spaces not to be interfered by child disturbances. In policy three the signifier of children is associated with signifiers of requests, care and responsibility. The term ‘request’ implies a space where both the parent or carer of a child and the university representative have agency, as opposed to the terms ‘approval’ and ‘permission’ employed in policies one and two that indicate that the power rests with the university representative alone. ‘Care’ was noted as significant because this policy (as different to policy one and two) acknowledged that ‘care of children is not confined to the social and private realms of life’. In the other two policies emphasis was on the parent or carer being responsible for the care of the child. Meaning associated with ‘responsibility’ also differed in policy three. Emphasis is on acknowledgement of the demands of family responsibility, which may require staff and students to bring children on campus (e.g.‘family responsibility may be the concern of any adult’). In policies one and two responsibility is punitively assigned to parents and carers for the behaviour of a child on campus (e.g. the supervising adult is responsible for the behaviour and supervision of the child’). The chains of equivalence between identified signifiers in policy three map children as a group who may require care across a range of social contexts and domains, of which university campuses are one such context. The university campus is depicted as a social space where members have opportunity for voice and negotiation. Such identities and social spaces are indicative of discourses that welcome plurality and diversity. This way of understanding the world acknowledges that the care of children may occur across multiple and broad domains of life, and no one person is responsible for children. Discussion From a critical theory position, children are seen as a minority group who are disadvantaged as citizens because they do not have the same rights as adults (see Cannella & Viruru, 2004; Oakley, 1994). James, Curtis, and Birch (2008) declare that children lack political rights but also many social and civic rights. Some of the civic rights that James et al. identified as being denied to children include: access to courts, avenues to challenge decisions that have been made on their behalf, decision-making about their education, and a formal vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W voice in society.Young children have no formal avenues sion for children to enter a university campus being for their opinions to be heard by civic institutions (Kulrequired also opposes the Derridian view of democnych, 2001; Lister, 2007). The above policy documents racy as openness. Interestingly, ‘children on campus’ demonstrate that the presence of children on university policies are not commonplace in the US. To Derrida campuses discriminates against children as a minority (1996) conventions, regulations, rules and institutions group and sees conditions applied to the civic right of stabilise chaos or potential chaos and control or block access to a public space, based on a view of university the flow of possibilities for democracy as openness. On campuses as public spaces and sites of citizenship. Spethe basis of this understanding, ‘children on campus’ cial permission needs to be sought for children to be policies act as stabilisers to the fear of chaos cultivated on campus and children are largely positioned from a through discourses of children as uncontrollable and deficit view. The meanings associated with children in impulsive. Possibilities for children to be citizens in policy one and two suggest that children are uncontrolthe public sphere of campus life is then blocked or lable and impulsive, and that university campuses need limited. Children’s rights to participation on university to be guarded from such behaviour. campuses are infringed. Citizenship and democracy are inextricably linked. The formation of ‘children on campus’ policies has Derrida (1997) proposed that democracy could been driven by recognition of modern family needs occur if others’ secrets and framed by legislation were respected. To Derthat states that the responThe formation of children on campus rida (1993), the secret is sibility for all persons on policies has been driven by recognition the individual experience. campus resides with the of modern family needs and framed In some ways then it is the university. Such responsibilby legislation that states that the right to say anything, yet the ities can still be addressed responsibility for all persons on campus secret never allows itself in a way that presents a resides with the university. to be captured, revealed respectful view of children, or covered over by the honours children’s rights relation to the other (Derto participation and does rida, 1993). Instead the individual tells her or his own not discriminate against staff and students who are secret, which does not answer to others or need to responsible for the care of children as demonstrated correspond to others (Derrida, 1993, 2008).The secret in policy three. Policies one and two project univeris synonymous with the private world of individuals, sal views of children as uncontrollable and impulsive. for as Derrida (1996) declares,‘the secret remains inacThe voice of children has not been included in the cessible and heterogeneous to the public realm’ (p. 83). formation of these policies. The singularity of experiWith the public realm being largely a space for univerence, or what Derrida (1993) refers to, as the secret salism, secrets do not fit or are not welcome. Public has not been considered. There are many ways chilpolicies and practices produced from discourses built dren can experience and contribute to campus life. on universalism disregard the diversity of the secret. Some children at times may be impulsive and express Respect for others’ secrets involves infinite responsithemselves in dynamic ways. These ways of being bility for the other and ethical conduct with regard are another way of being that can bring joy, wonder, for others. Policy one and two do not convey such delight, laughter and alternative understandings. Such respect, responsibility or ethical conduct toward chilas the suggestion offered by one of my children when dren. To Derrida (1997), when differences or secrets I shared with them that I needed to seek permission are respected, democracy occurs. for them to enter the campus: ‘Do you think we could A democratic relationship with the other to Derrida get away with being midget adults?’ Deficit views of is an experience of openness, where respect for the children as causing disturbance, disruption or inconsecrets (or singularity) of the Other is practised. Policy venience block and deny opportunities for children one and two are not suggestive of democracy as opento be active citizens and contribute to universities as ness that Derrida describes, as they do not respect the democratic sites. singularity of experience of being a child, but instead In addition, the above readings of ‘children on project universal views of children. The common precampus’ policies make visible the irony at play for scribed practice for Australian universities of permisacademic departments that conduct research with vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Children as Citizens: Not on Campus, Louise Phillips 9 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V children espousing the rhetoric of children as active citizens. Children are not welcomed on university campuses; conditions apply. It is hoped that this paper draws attention to the deficit view of children portrayed in many ‘children on campus’ policies and cultivates dialogue and action at Australian universities to produce policies and practices that welcome children’s participation on university campuses as citizens. To reform Australian university policies and practices regarding children on campus requires a shift away from seeing children as dangerous, to a welcoming of the different ways of being and understanding children can bring to academic life. Louise Phillips is a lecturer in early childhood and literacy education at University of Southern Queensland. References Aries, P. (1962). Centuries of Childhood. London: Jonathan Cape. Arneil, B. (2002). Becoming versus being: A critical analysis of the child in liberal theory. In D. Archard & C. M. McLeod (eds), The moral and political status of children (pp. 70-96). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cannella, G. S., & Viruru, R. (2004). Childhood and Postcolonisation: Power, Education and Contemporary Practice. New York: RoutledgeFalmer. Corsaro, W. (2005). The Sociology of Childhood (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press. DeMause, L. (1976). The history of childhood. London: Souvenir Press. Derrida, J. (1993). On the Name (T. Dutoit, Trans.). Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. Derrida, J. (1996). Remarks on deconstruction and pragmatism. In C. Mouffe (Ed.), Deconstruction and Pragmatism (pp. 79-90). London: Routledge. Derrida, J. (1997). Politics and friendship: A discussion with Jacques Derrida (interview by Geoffrey Bennington) [Electronic Version]. Retrieved from http:// www.hydra.umn.edu/derrida/pol+fr.html. Derrida, J. (2008). The Gift of Death and Literature in Secret (D. Wills, Trans. 2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Freud, S. (1923). The Ego and the Id. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. Giroux, H. (1983). Theory and Resistance in Education: A pedagogy for the opposition. Massachusetts: Bergin & Garvey. E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Harkavy, I. (2006). The role of universities in advancing citizenship and social justice in the 21st century, Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 1(1), 5-37. Hobbes, T. (1660/ 1996). The Leviathan. New York: Oxford University Press. Hoy, D. C., & McCarthy, T. (1994). Critical Theory. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishing. James, A., Curtis, P., & Birch, J. (2008). Care and control in the construction of children’s citizenship. In A. Invernizzi & J. Williams (eds), Children and Citizenship (pp. 85-96). London: Sage Publications Ltd. James, A., Jencks, C., & Prout, A. (1998). Theorizing Childhood. Oxford: Polity Press. Jorgensen, M., & Phillips, L. (2002). Discourse analysis as theory and method. London: Sage. Kulnych, J. (2001). No playing the public sphere: Democratic theory and the exclusion of children. Social Theory and Practice. 27(2), 231-265. Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (1985). Hegemony and socialist strategy: Towards a radical democratic politics. London: Verso. Lister, R. (2007). Why citizenship: Where, when and how children? . Theoretical inquiries in Law, 8(2), 693-718. Luke, C. (1989). Pedagogy, printing and protestantism. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Oakley, A. (1994). Women and children first and last: Parallels and differences between children’s and women’s studies. In B. Myall (Ed.), Children’s childhood observed and experienced (pp. 13-32). London: Falmer Press. Postman, N. (1982/1994). The Disappearance of Childhood. New York: Vintage Books. Roche, J. (1999). Children: Rights, participation and citizenship. Childhood, 6(4), 475-493. Rodrigues, M. (2009). Children in the parliamentary chambers. Parliamentary Library Research Paper, 19 November. Retrieved from www.aph.gov.au/ library/pubs/rp/2009-10/10rp09.pdf Prout, A. (2002). Researching children as social actors: An introduction to the children 5-16 programme. Children & Society, 16, 67-76. Stasiulis, D. (2002). The active child citizen: Lessons from Canadian policy and the children’s movement. Citizenship Studies, 6(4), 507-538. United Nations General Assembly. (1989). Convention on the rights of the child. New York: United Nations. Woodhead, M. (1997). Psychology and cultural construction of children’s needs. In A. James & A. Prout (eds), Constructing and reconstructing childhood: Contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood (2nd ed., pp. 63-84). London: RoutledgeFalmer. Wyness, M. G. (2000). Contesting Childhood. London: Falmer Press. Golding, W. (1954). The Lord of the Flies. London: Faber. 10 Children as Citizens: Not on Campus, Louise Phillips vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Monitoring international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia John L Hopkins Victoria University, Australia This research examines the issue of transnational academic mobility of academic staff looking at potential moves to higher education institutions in Australia. By establishing a web-based portal, attracting interested parties from around the world with information about Australian universities and subsequent career opportunities, web analytics are used as a research mechanism for generating quantitative data that identify the regions of the world from where most interest is being generated. Passive observations are made, leading to commentary on the regions of particular interest, the effectiveness of web analytics as a research tool, and the strengths and limitations of such an experiment. Introduction Universities, like many modern organisations, are operating and competing for business on a global scale. ‘Information technology; the knowledge economy; increased mobility for students, faculty, programs, and providers; and an integrated world economy propel this internationalisation (Altbach & Knight, 2007)’ making it a topic of great focus and debate. The added dimension educational internationalisation brings poses new challenges for academic institutions, and opportunities for staff, where new factors and considerations must be deliberated (Knight, 2003). Students see value in learning about other cultures as part of their university education and believe multicultural communication skills to be very important in a globalising world (Walker, Yecies & Freund, 2009); and as a result universities are working to increase the vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 international exposure of their institutions to meet with this increasing interest from overseas (Yates, 2002). Similarly, academic staff regard living and working overseas, and gaining international experience, as an effective mechanism in developing their knowledge and skill sets. This notion of academics moving between territorial boundaries is called ‘transnational’ academic mobility (Kim, 2009). Over the last 20 years, the level of transnational movement of academic staff, members of staff at universities who undertake teaching, research, a combination of both functions; has steadily continued to increase due to a number of factors. The rise of the global market and globalisation as a whole have obviously been a major influence, as well as the affordability and ease of international travel and improved communication methods, but additionally new recruitment policy strategies and the relaxation of trade Monitoring international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia, John L Hopkins 11 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V policies by many national governments have led to a greater intake of overseas academics. Changes in immigration policy in countries such as the UK, USA, Canada and Australia favour highly skilled workers and academics, especially those specialising in areas such as science and technology (Kuptsch & Pang, 2006; Tremblay, 2005). Mobility in the academic profession is generally presented as something positive and associated with all kinds of benefits (Musselin, 2004). It has been suggested that researchers who show a high level of mobility have been exposed to different schools of thought and could therefore be more likely to pursue new and unexplored research topics (Robken, 2007). Similarly ‘senior academics, whose qualifications enable them to move laterally, as their interests suited them, articulate experience-based knowledge on a wide range of topics (Hoffman, 2009).’ This doesn’t only apply to senior academics. The European Charter for Researchers is a set of general principles and requirements which specifies the roles, responsibilities and entitlements of researchers and recognises the value of all forms of mobility as a means for enhancing the professional development of researchers. ‘Employers and/or funders must recognise the value of geographical, intersectoral, inter- and trans-disciplinary and virtual mobility… as an important means of enhancing scientific knowledge and professional development at any stage of a researcher’s career… they should fully value and acknowledge any mobility experience within their career progression/ appraisal system (ECFR, 2006).’ Academic mobility is, of course, not a new phenomenon, much research was done on this topic as far back as the 1950s and 1960s (Lazarsfeld & Thielens Jnr, 1958; Marshall, 1964); but advances in technology, and the internet in particular, have made the task of advertising and searching for academic positions overseas all that more accessible and achievable. This paper focuses on the issue of the mobility of academic staff, specifically to Australia; and observes the geographic mix of academics interested in migrating to the Australian higher education sector. Higher education in Australia Australia is a country with rich traditions in immigration. Ever since Captain James Cook became the first European to encounter the eastern coastline of Australia in 1770, with the British Government deciding 12 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W to establish a colony at Botany Bay seventeen years later (Baker, 2002), it has continued to attract a steady mix of migrants from around the world; never more so than today. Australia’s population reached an estimated 21.9 million in June 2009, with growth experienced for the period 2008-09 including 285,347 people from net overseas migration (DIAC, 2009). Census data shows that the 23.9 per cent proportion of Australia’s population born overseas is greater than that of any other recognised migration country, with New Zealand ranking second with 22.9 per cent overseas born and Canada third with 19.8 per cent (NCS, 2006). There are 39 universities in Australia (AEN, 2010), most being government owned and largely funded by the Australian Federal Government’s Department of Employment, Education and Training (Abbott & Doucouliagos, 2003), and 17 of which are listed in the top 500 of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) Academic Ranking of World Universities 2009 (SRC, 2009). All higher education providers in Australia must be listed on the Australian Qualifications Framework Register of Recognised Education Institutions and Authorised Accreditation Authorities in Australia - this register being developed under the instruction of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Education and Training Ministers (CSHE & CHEMP, 2008). On average, Australian universities now receive 15 per cent of their annual revenue from international student fees (Sheil, 2010). Indeed, for the tax year 20072008 Australia’s overall education services exports were estimated at $14.2 billion (ABS, 2008). The number of full time, or full time equivalent, members of staff employed at Australian Universities has grown by 27 per cent over the last ten years – from 61192 in 1999 to 77491 in 2009.The number of senior lecturers (Level C) has grown to 9159 from 7673, and lecturers (Level B) from 10277 to 12753, over the same period (DEEWR, 2009). At the same time academic mobility out of Australia is also at record levels, although in numerical terms it is more than counterbalanced by the inflow of immigrant academics. In the field of sciences for instance, ‘more than 2,000 of the science academics (almost one third) in Australia attained their highest qualification from a higher education institution outside Australia’ (Edwards & Smith, 2009), with Hugo (2005) predicting;‘Australian universities over the next decade will be faced by their largest recruitment task for three decades.This task will be addressed in a context of the most competitive inter- Monitoring international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia, John L Hopkins vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V national labour market for the most skilled academics, scientists, technologists, and researchers that has ever existed. If Australian universities are to maintain their current levels of excellence, let alone enhance them, a range of innovative human resource strategies will need to be initiated.’ This level of activity and movement makes Australia a particularly interesting subject upon which to base this study - with such an inflow of immigrant skilled academics, attempting to identify the global regions that are generating the most interest is an important issue for investigation. E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W of those accessing the website, this study negates the influence of observer presence biases (Bordia, 1996). In this instance, an Internet-based approach was seen as the most cost-effective, time-effective mechanism for collecting primary data from very large, diverse population samples (Hewson, Yule, Laurent Vogel, 2003). Methodology There are two primary themes for this research; i. To anonymously observe and record quantitative data on international interest in transnational acaThe internet as a research tool demic mobility to Australia, Data collection via the Internet ‘is one of the most ii. To evaluate the effectiveness of using Web analytics as a research tool. revolutionary changes in the market research indusOne of the emerging trends of the 21st century is try in the past 40 years (Taylor, 1999).’ Its key advanthe use of the Internet as not just a tool for retrievtage being its ability to facilitate access to subjects ing information, but also as a resource for self-help and that would be difficult to reach via other mechanisms guidance (Amir, Gati & Kleiman, 2008). Evidence exists (Jones, 1999), regardless of geographic constraints, and to suggest that individuals are increasingly turning to in real time. Browser-based research is highly flexible the Internet for the task of career exploration; those and can take many different forms, ‘not only can any activities that individuals engage in for the purpose of paper-and-pencil study appear on a browser, but the promoting career development, choice, or adjustment medium can also provide unique, new opportunities (Boyce & Rainie, 2003; Gore, Bobek & Robbins, 2006; for a researcher (Stanton & Rogelberg, 2001).’ Kommers & Rainie, 2002). Online electronic surIt is estimated that approxiveys (e-surveys) however, One of the emerging trends of the 21st whilst comparable to clasmately 4 millions users century is the use of the Internet as not just do exactly this everyday sical methods in terms of a tool for retrieving information, but also the validity and reliability (Boyce & Rainie, 2003). as a resource for self-help and guidance. of data, still suffer from the The Internet now means Evidence exists to suggest that individuals same issues of bias that that the effort, and cost, are increasingly turning to the Internet for influence offline surveys. of searching online for the task of career exploration... career opportunities are This is in addition to suffercompletely independent ing from new mechanisms of the proximity of the job of bias such as programseeker to the actual vacant position.Access to informaming technology that forces respondents to answer tion about vacant positions is just as readily available questions, the self-selection of participants, and the whether you are located in the same city or on the non-representative nature of the Internet population other side of the world (Stevenson, 2003). (Eysenbach & Wyatt, 2002; Stieger, Reips & Voracek, This online career exploration therefore raises the 2007). The approach taken in this research avoids the first possibility of using the Web to observe and monitor aspects of human behaviour (Goncalves & Ramasco, two problems completely as participants do not know 2008). The Internet offers more data than ever before they are participating in a study and are not being forced into answering any questions. The latter point, on the habits and preferences of customers, and however, regarding the non-representative nature Web analytics offer a mechanism for recording and documenting this information (Phippen, Sheppard of the Internet population is valid and therefore discussed later in the Experimental Limitations section. & Furnell, 2004). Web analytics, the ‘monitoring and Being based completely on passive analysis of web reporting of web site usage so that enterprises can better understand the complex interactions between traffic, and anonymously identifying the host nations vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Monitoring international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia, John L Hopkins 13 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V web site visitor actions and web site offersâ€™ (Group, 2000), can be employed in monitoring visits to websites whilst discretely collecting data about those visitors.This has obvious business applications but can be used as a powerful tool for research. Therefore, in order to measure global interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia it was decided that the most effective mechanism would be to establish a web presence (web portal/website) and extract Web analytics data about its visitors over a twelve-month period. Establishing a web portal To examine these research themes a web portal, a site that provides users with online information and information-related services (Yang, Cai, Zhou & Zhou, 2005), was established as the survey instrument. The portal had to be designed in such a way as to gener- E R S I T I E S â€™ R E V I E W ate significant interest amongst those parties looking for information on academic vacancies in Australia, by offering valuable information on the subject, and structured in a way that would make it easy for potential users to find. The website academicjobsaustralia.com (Fig. 1) was developed for the purpose of this research in November 2008, and was designed to act as a gateway containing links to typical content that users, looking at the possibility of a career in academia in Australia, would be interested in. Such content included; a listing of and links to all major universities in the country, direct links to each universityâ€™s careers/jobs pages, and links to information about the geographical location of their numerous campuses. As this researcher had recently been through the process of looking for, and securing, an academic position in Australia himself, he was able to draw upon Fig. 1: academicjobsaustralia.com website 14 Monitoring international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia, John L Hopkins vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V twelve months of his own experiences as to what kind of information users would most likely be interested in finding out, thus maximising the appeal of the site. All the design, development, platform testing, and piloting of the new website was done in-house, and off line, with research students assisting in testing the robustness and accuracy of the site’s operation. Listing academicjobsaustralia.com The Google search engine was chosen as the main distribution outlet for this study as it is the most used search engine on the web, with an 85 per cent global market share (source: netmarketshare, Aug 2010), which indexes billions of web pages, and is accessible to users all over the world via the use of keywords and operators. Within the first three months of the site’s launch, due to increasing traffic and interest, the site was also automatically listed on the Yahoo! search engine, reaching a further 6 per cent of the global web search engine traffic. The same can now also be said for the world’s third biggest search engine Bing (with 3.35 per cent share of the global market). At the time of writing, when searching the term ‘academic jobs Australia’ the site is listed on the first page of results on the Google.com search engine, in second position, also features in second position on Bing.com, and is in the number one non-sponsored link position on Yahoo.com. Thanks to this global coverage the site was attracting over 2000 hits per month within six months of its launch. As this researcher has a background in web design there we no external costs associated in developing the website, or marketing it to appear on the first page of results listing on the Google search engine, but there were hosting costs of approximately AUD$100 per year. So as not to bias the study a decision was made not to market or promote the site in any way, other than search engine listings, guaranteeing all visitors found the site because they were searching for information about academic careers in Australia on the Internet.To their knowledge they were not participating in any kind of survey or research. E R S vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 T I E S ’ R E V I E W number of meta keywords were established. Meta keywords are contained within the structure of a webpage and provide the search engine with a brief and concise list of the most important themes on that webpage.The main themes for this site were therefore considered to include: Australia, Academic, Academia, University, Universities, Job, Vacancy, Vacancies, Position, Career, Lecturer, Research, researcher, associate, fellow, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Canberra, Perth, Victoria, VIC, New South Wales, NSW, Queensland, QLD, Western Australia, WA, Tasmania. In addition to this a description of the site was also created, appearing in short form on the search engine results page, as simply:‘Academic Vacancies in Australia. A list of useful links and information for anyone thinking about undertaking an academic career in Australia.’ Experimental limitations The Internet population has long been regarded as being non-representative, with certain members of the global population, or in specific countries, not having equal access to the Internet as others. Women, people of limited financial resources, members of some racial and ethnic minorities, people at low education levels, and older age groups may all fall into this category (Zhang, 1999). These factors could also limit the accuracy of the results from this study, though to what extent is obviously unknown. The results were limited in detail to simply the country that the IP address of the subject is located in, therefore the actual nationality of that user cannot be determined. Other details such as gender, age, and type of career interest are also unknown. The study was also limited to Internet users of mainstream search engines. However, it can be assumed that, in the global workspace, the use of the Internet would be one of the primary mechanisms in locating information regarding HE vacancies; and the mainstream search engines have a large share of the web-searching market, so perhaps this is not too significant a limitation. Hits A request for a file from the web server Page Views A request for a file whose type is defined as a page in log analysis. Visits A series of page requests from the same uniquely identified client Kbyte Data transfers Keywords To maximise the effectiveness and appeal of the website, reaching as wide an audience as possible whilst covering the main categories of academic interest that interested parties would likely search for, a I Table 1: Web Analytics Definitions (Source: WAA 2010) Monitoring international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia, John L Hopkins 15 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Results A fairly large percentage of users, in the region of 25 per cent over the course of the whole study, are described as ‘Unresolved’ so cannot be used in the study. Similarly it is impossible to ascertain the geographical location of the many ‘.com’ and ‘.net’ users accessing the site. Therefore this study is based upon only approximately 50 per cent of the overall sample and cannot give an accurate representation of what the access rates are for a proportion of the users in the US. Generated data was recorded automatically, formatted from logs into standard result tables, using the web statistics software Webalizer. The type of data captured included: • The geographic location (country) of the user • The search string (words) they used to find the site • The name of the search engine used to find the site • Hits, files, page views, visits, and Kbytes (See Table 1). 3500 3000 Pages Files Hits 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 r-1 Ap 0 r-1 bFe Ma 10 0 Jan -1 9 c-0 De 9 v-0 No 9 t-0 pSe Au Oc 09 9 g-0 9 Ju l-0 09 nJu Ma y-0 9 0 Table 2: Summary by Month (May 2009 – April 2010) Daily Avg Monthly Totals Month Hits Files Pages Visits Sites KBytes Visits Pages Files Hits Apr 2010 86 46 30 26 647 55558 795 908 1402 2590 Mar 2010 85 46 30 27 629 56821 847 954 1427 2663 Feb 2010 83 45 28 25 591 50364 706 785 1273 2330 Jan 2010 84 43 26 24 628 53687 763 817 1342 2623 Dec 2009 63 33 20 19 524 41357 591 629 1041 1964 Nov 2009 80 44 27 25 621 53421 753 821 1342 2428 Oct 2009 89 48 31 28 686 59798 895 987 1510 2787 Sep 2009 87 50 31 26 626 59201 793 939 1518 2614 Aug 2009 93 53 32 27 678 64894 857 1010 1673 2887 Jul 2009 85 49 30 24 584 59633 765 944 1523 2657 Jun 2009 70 42 28 20 482 48852 626 846 1280 2107 May 2009 65 39 27 19 465 47095 614 853 1227 2034 650681 9005 10493 16558 29684 Totals Fig. 2: Results from May 2009 to April 2010 16 Monitoring international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia, John L Hopkins vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S â€™ R E V I E W 160 140 Pages Files Hits 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Fig. 3: Daily usage data for August 2009 The resulting data could be manipulated to produce reports on a yearly, monthly, daily, or hourly basis. For example, when examining the full 12-month duration of the study,Table 2 and Figure 2 display monthly summaries of data for the period May 2009â€“April 2010, allowing month-to-month comparisons to be made. Figure 3 depicts how it was possible to then focus specifically on one of those months (August 2009) to display details regarding user access per day within that month. The interface clearly showing a daily average of 93 hits, 53 files and 27 unique visits; leading to a monthly total of 2887 hits, 1673 files and 857 visits. J (1%) H (3%) I (2%) On analysing the day-to-day usage figures for August 2009 (Figure 3) the highest hit/page view rates for the month (occurring on the 11th, 27th, 18th, 6th and 4th) all fell on a Tuesday or Thursday, with most of the monthly lows falling on a Sunday. Monthly Data Focussing again at the month of August 2009, the following pie chart (Figure 4) illustrates that 10 per cent of users accessing the site over this month were from the United Kingdom, 9 per cent were from Australia, 4 per cent were from US educational institutions (.edu) and New Zealand, whilst Canadian, German and Dutch K (11%) A (24%) G (4%) F (4%) E (9%) B (19%) D (10%) C (13%) A B C D E F G H I J K = = = = = = = = = = = Unresolved Commercial (.com) Network (.net) UK Australia US Education (.edu) New Zealand Canada Germany Netherlands Other Fig. 4: Usage by Country for August 2009 vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Monitoring international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia, John L Hopkins 17 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V visitors accounted for 3 per cent, 2 per cent and 1 per cent of the hits respectively. Figure 5 illustrates this information in greater detail, whilst extending the list to include the top 30 user nations. When utilising the system to generate results for hits on the website over the full 12-month period, from May 2009 to April 2010, the highest overall level of interest was determined as being from users within Australia (12.67 per cent). This was followed by UK E R S I T I E S â€™ R E V I Country (%) Australia 12.67 UK 8.42 US.edu 3.17 New Zealand 3.08 Canada 2.25 Germany 1.58 France 1.08 Ireland 0.58 Japan 0.50 # Hits Files Country Turkey 0.42 1 701 372 Unresolved Singapore 0.33 2 550 341 Commercial (.com) Netherlands 0.25 3 381 241 Network (.net) Italy 0.17 4 284 172 United Kingdom 5 269 157 Australia 6 114 60 US Education (.edu) 7 107 59 New Zealand 8 99 52 Canada 9 45 30 Germany 10 34 19 Netherlands 11 28 14 Colombia 12 22 12 Japan 13 18 13 Switzerland 14 18 12 Ireland 15 16 8 South Africa 16 15 5 Singapore 17 12 9 Organisations (.org) 18 11 6 Belgium 19 10 6 Greece 20 10 7 Hungary 21 10 6 India 22 9 6 Italy 23 9 4 Norway 24 8 4 Spain 25 7 4 Brazil 26 6 4 Address & routing parameter area(.arpa) 27 6 4 Denmark 28 6 3 Seychelles 29 6 4 Sweden 30 6 5 Vietnam Fig. 5: Top 30 usersâ€™ locations for August 2009 18 E W Table 3: % of hits (via country) for May 2009 â€“ April 2010 (8.42 per cent), US.edu (3.17 per cent), New Zealand (3.08 per cent), Canada (2.25 per cent), Germany (1.58 per cent) and France (1.08 per cent). Countries as far reaching as Colombia, Oman, Seychelles, South Africa, Luxembourg, Namibia, Finland and Vietnam were all represented. Overall there were hits received from a total of 46 different countries, representing just under a quarter of the world. August 2009 was the month with the most interest generated for the site (averaging 93 hits/day), followed by October 2009 and July 2009; with December 2009 (63 average hits/day), May 2009 and June 2009 having the least. Most countries had a reasonably consistent presence throughout the twelve month study, apart from one particular anomaly in Jan 2010 (see Fig.6), which saw the share of hits from Singapore rise from an average of about 0.2 per cent up to 4 per cent for that month only. No theory has emerged yet to explain that occurrence. Conclusions This research set out to anonymously observe and record quantitative data on international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia, to produce data that would encourage further debate and, possibly, influence educational policy making. It succeeded in collecting a set of wide ranging global data which highlighted those nations where the highest Monitoring international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia, John L Hopkins vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S â€™ R E V I E W % Access to Site (via Country) Colombia Switzerland Italy Netherlands Singapore Turkey Japan Ireland France Germany Canada New Zealand US.edu UK Australia 40 35 30 25 % 20 15 10 5 0 0 r-1 Ap 10 0 r-1 Ma bFe -1 9 9 Jan -0 De c v-0 No 09 09 Oc t- 9 g-0 pSe 9 Au l-0 09 Ju nJu Ma y-0 9 0 Month Fig. 7: An unexplained rise in interest from Singapore (Jan. 2010) level of web activity, searching for information on academic careers in Australia, was originating; namely the UK, USA, New Zealand, and Canada. It is perhaps not surprising that the inhabitants of these countries should occupy the top four places in the survey; given the many similarities in terms of language, lifestyle and multicultural nature. The data then suggests that the next highest levels of interest were from the countries Germany, France, Ireland, Japan, and Turkey. The effectiveness of using Web analytics as a research tool was also tested, with the number of hits collected in the study amounting to a total of 29,684 over a twelve month period â€“ far more data points than could be expected from most conventional surveys, underlining a positive aspect of using Web analytics as a research tool. The process was fairly inexpensive, including just the hosting costs of AUD$100 per year, with very little measureable labour costs other than the time taken to analyse the data â€“ this was done at the end of each month and took approximately 2-3 hours to complete each time. No travel costs were needed, as would be the case with interviews, and no phone calls, e-mails, stationery or postage were required in setting the process up. Overall, whilst not without its limitations, the approach was very effective in aggregating a large sample of unbiased data on a specified topic in a short period of time. By its definition the Internet is very much an international tool, and therefore ideal vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 for studying global networks, and the fact that users are unaware that they are actually participating in a study also eliminates any possible influence or bias that might occur from an interviewer being present or from being aware of being in a survey scenario.The results obtained were detailed enough to indicate specific global areas of interest worthy of consideration, or further investigation, when forming educational policies or in the development of targeted marketing campaigns for future academic recruitment etc. To build on these findings it is hoped that a mechanism can now be developed to overcome the experimental limitations outlined and provide a richer depiction of the scenario. The next step towards achieving this might be to include an invitation to a more conventional online questionnaire, on the website, that would facilitate the collection of more detailed quantitative and qualitative data as to the gender, age group, location, job title, nationality etc. of the visitors to the website. By creating this mixedmethod approach, continuing to utilise the existing data capture mechanism along side the conventional survey, it is hoped that the early findings can be tested, and validated, and that further interesting patterns will continue to emerge. John L Hopkins is an academic in the Faculty of Business and Law at Victoria University, Australia Monitoring international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia, John L Hopkins 19 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W References Kim, T. (2009). Transnational academic mobility, internationalization and interculturality in higher education. 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Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 20 Monitoring international interest in transnational academic mobility to Australia, John L Hopkins vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W It’s a long way down The underlying tensions in the education export industry Simon Marginson University of Melbourne The stellar rise of the education export industry in Australian higher education, and the even more spectacular downturn now occurring, mask underlying tensions that have long dogged the industry and prevented it from improving quality or achieving long-term sustainability. The international education programme has been unbalanced by the drive for revenues at any cost. The tensions are (1) between education policy and immigration policy, (2) between commercial export and the health of the domestic education and research system, (3) between neo-imperial economic exploitation of Asia and a more holistic engagement on the basis of equal respect, (4) between international students as consumers and students as people with comprehensive rights, and (5) between the national political economy and the global public good. The article suggests ways to resolve these tensions, including the forms of a bilateral protocol that would provide more coherent and comprehensive rights for international students. Introduction In the two decades after 1990 the number of international students in Australian higher education grew by an annual average of 12 per cent plus. This was an extraordinary rate of sustained expansion for any social sector. Between 1990 and 2007 international students in higher education rose from 25,000 to 254,414, one in five of all onshore university students. Four in five of these international students were from Asia (DEEWR 2010). Total national exports of higher education, vocational education, schooling and English-language courses were $18.0 billion AUD in 2009 and student numbers in all sectors peaked at 630,000 in 2009 (AEI 2009). By then education, a commercial export industry that did not exist until the last 20 per cent of Australia’s history, had become the nation’s largest services export and fourth largest export (briefly third) after coal, iron ore and gold, ahead of tourism and all specific sectors in agriculture and manufacturing. By 2008 Australia was the world’s fifth largest exporter of tertiary education with 6.9 per cent of all vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 foreign students, though Australia’s population was much smaller than that of the other major education export nations. In higher education in Australia in 2008 a dozen institutions enrolled more than 8000 international students—more international students than in any American doctoral university—led by RMIT University with an incredible 22,497 international students and Monash with 19,079 of whom 13,131 were onshore, the largest group in any Australian university. Total national tuition revenues in higher education were $2.6 billion, 14.9 per cent of all income (DEEWR 2010; ABS 2010; OECD 2010). These are all spectacular numbers with no equivalent in any other higher education system in the world. The first half of 2009 was the highpoint of the export industry. It seemed then that international student numbers, export revenues, university budget injections and the migration of international graduates would each go on expanding forever, with international student numbers ballooning to half or more of the total student body: the demography of urban Asia recast in miniature on the far underside of the world. It’s a long way down, Simon Marginson 21 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V Commencements began to slow in the second half of 2009, offshore visas started to fall and from the second half of 2010 onwards, international student numbers began to trend sharply down, first in vocational education and training (VET) and English language colleges and then in higher education. From the point of view of the many employees working in international education, not to mention the educational institutions and local economies dependent upon the export sector, these trends are of much concern. It has been estimated by the International Education Association of Australia that in 2010 the sector generated at least 125,000 Australian jobs per annum. The article examines the drivers of growth and the immediate factors that have contributed to the collapse of growth in international student numbers. It then discusses the tensions that underlie the export industry. The final section discusses possible measures for alleviating those tensions and establishing a more secure industry. It argues that Australia could offer international students a global protocol setting out their rights and entitlements. A possible wording of such a global protocol (‘Compact’) is included as an appendix. Drivers of growth The long boom fluctuated but the growth remained positive. It lasted right through all the many changes in the Australian dollar, the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, and the first stage of the 2008–2010 global financial crisis. Growth was sustained because contrary to general belief it was primarily supply-regulated, not demandregulated. The size of the Asian middle classes continually expanded through the two decades of growth, especially in China and India. Correspondingly the number of applications to study in Australia also grew. Demand was always well in excess of the supply of places—as late as early 2010, the DEEWR education counsellor in the Australian embassy in Beijing reported that the number of applications from China exceeded the number of student visas granted by a factor of four to one (Watt, 2010). In sum, the number of enrolled students was determined by two factors on the supply side: (1) the willingness of universities to take them; and (2) the willingness of the federal immigration department, now designated as the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), to grant visas. Most of the time DIAC was supportive of the export industry and positive about the throughput of gradu- 22 It’s a long way down, Simon Marginson E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W ates into skilled migration. For their part Australian universities needed the money, badly.That need increased over the years. Growth was sustained by successive cutbacks in the public funding of higher education, notably a 12-15 per cent fall in per student funding in 1988-1989 at the beginning of the commercial market (Burke 1988) and the Vanstone cuts of 1996 which triggered accelerated growth in international students. Between 1995 and 2002 Australia private spending on tertiary education increased by 78 per cent while public spending fell by 8 per cent. The OECD then noted that in most countries ‘increasing private spending on tertiary education tends to complement, rather than replace, public investment’ (OECD 2005: p. 175, 187 & 193)—but Australia was the exception. The Labor Party made much of this before the 2007 election. Labor in government has now discarded the international comparison on public funding, in case it is used to make fiscal claims for more funding. The end of growth: Changes in policy and regulation The growth tendency shuddered to a halt in 2010, though this will not fully show itself in universities until 2011 and more so 2012. There was a reduction in demand in South Asia following the patterned violence against South Asian students in Melbourne in 2008-2010 (Marginson 2010a), media coverage of this in India and the desultory response of the Australian authorities. But despite the dip in South Asian demand, the change was again primarily driven on the supply side. Education institutions continued to be dependent on growth in international student numbers and still held the door wide open. The change in supply resulted from dramatic shifts in Australia’s migration policy and regulation. This was triggered by three factors, only two of which were acknowledged publicly. The first factor was migration-related education sector ‘scams’ involving education agents and students from South Asia. There was a blowout of migrationoriented international students in certain vocational programmes, and instances of corrupt practices and dubious educational provision.This triggered a belated crackdown by the Federal Government in 2010. The second and partly related factor was concern in DIAC and elsewhere in government that the mix of skilled migrants entering Australia following graduation as international students was not optimal. For example, many graduates lacked adequate English proficiency vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W for work, and Australia did not need vocational edufrom demand for migration. It is doubtful if the policy cation graduates in cooking and hairdressing in the changes will achieve either of these goals. The educanumbers that were being produced. (Cooking and tion and migration motivations of international stuhairdressing were also two programme areas favoured dents are essentially inseparable—individual students by ‘scam’ institutions). move freely between one and the other and many The third and unacknowledged factor, one that have both goals at various times—and the October could be inferred from the 2010 election campaign, 2010 statement by the federal minister in fact claims was migration resistance in pockets of the electorate. migration outcomes as one benefit of the international This was apparent in key marginal seats in Western education programme (Evans 2010). Sydney, as indicated by opinion polls, and had also ‘Quality’ is not guaranteed by tightening the regulabecome visible in 2008-2009 in the street violence tion of marginal colleges but by resources and incenagainst South Asian students. Migration resistance trigtives in the mainstream of institutions. These continue gered the decision, manifest in the stance of both the a long slow decline, the inevitable outcome of the Labor Party in government and the opposition Liberal evacuation of core public funding and the forced suband National Parties, to support an overall reduction stitution of private revenues in place of public income, in net overseas migration, facilitated by restrictions in while a large proportion of those private revenues are temporary student migrasteered away from teaching tion and steeper tests for and research capacity and Migration resistance triggered the the passage of graduates absorbed by business costs. decision... to support an overall reduction into permanent migraOne assumes that by ‘qualin net overseas migration, facilitated by tion—though as noted, the ity’ the minister actually restrictions in temporary student migration last also originated from meant ‘reputation’. If so, and steeper tests for the passage of DIAC’s desires to clean up the changes in regulation graduates into permanent migration the education market and will have little impact on improve graduate quality. the main factors shaping Student visas have become much harder to obtain. the reputation of the industry in the next period: the There are steep income tests and also processing sudden end to the miracle of accelerated growth and delays, so that to obtain an Australian visa from China the fall in Australia’s share of global student flows. (the largest student source country) or India takes One area where quality may lift is in English language longer than in competitor English-speaking countries, proficiency. From 2010 some institutions lifted the often more than three months. Graduates who want to IELTS (International English Language Testing System) become permanent residents face a mix of English lanscore that students had to achieve. However, much guage and work experience tests. One requirement to research indicates that regulating English proficiency be implemented in July 2011 means that international at the point of entry is insufficient alone to secure graduates will be required to have at least 12 months ongoing and developing competence in academic or work experience. Under the new system graduates vocational English.Applicants learn for the test but the who work in an occupation for which they have been skills may not stick unless reinforced and augmented trained are favoured. However, this requirement is diffiduring the programme of study. English support servcult to meet. Labour markets are never closely matched ices are highly inadequate in some universities. Some to the qualifications profile—across the world roughly persons score lower in IELTS tests conducted after half of all graduates work outside their fields of traingraduation than at the point of entry as international ing. Internationals face discriminatory barriers (Marstudents (see Marginson et al., 2010, Chapter 12). ginson, et al. 2010, Ch.6) and employers are reluctant Regardless of its virtues in terms of lifting standards, a to hire persons without permanent residence. Gradutougher IELTS regime has contributed to the reduction ates need a job to get migration status. But the same in new student visas granted. In the second half of 2010 graduates need migration status to get a job. Catch 22! it was already apparent that there was a catastrophic The Federal Government explained these changes decline in VET students from India, the largest source by stating that the cleanup of the vocational sector country for Australian VET in 2009 (AEI 2010), and also would improve ‘quality’, and the new visa rules Nepal. In higher education the commencements total fell would decouple demand for Australian education by 6 per cent in the second half of 2010, compared with vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 It’s a long way down, Simon Marginson 23 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V the same period in 2009. Universities highly dependent on India as a source country face serious problems. Numbers from China are also expected to decline because of the changes in visa regulation and a drop in both visa applications and visas granted (Hare 2010). Because of pipeline effects the full effects of changes already in train in 2010 will not show until 2012. The trend is now unstoppable, and even if correctives were factored into policy immediately would take some years to turn around (and there are no guarantees this would happen). Around the world international student numbers are growing. But numbers coming to Australia are falling. Students who once would have gone to Australia are now heading elsewhere. While the position is affected by a high value Australian dollar, there is no doubt the change is primarily due to Australian-specific factors. The changes to migration policy and regulation have been central to the turnaround. Nevertheless, those changes are symptomatic of a larger change in policy outlook. Writing in late 2010, the Federal Government might seem to have been surprisingly sanguine about the impending collapse of the industry. But the downturn in numbers fulfills an outcome many in Canberra support. It reflects a partial shift in immigration policy from international student graduates to migrants from offshore. It also reflects a shift in the higher education policy settings from the emphasis on international student growth that prevailed after the mid 1990s, to an emphasis on domestic student growth as favoured by the Government’s Bradley report (2008) and the participation targets implemented after the Bradley Review (Gillard 2009). In other words, the open-ended expansion of the export sector seems to have reached its political use-by date, at least for the time being. These crude unresolved tradeoffs, between immigration policy and education policy, and between commercial international student growth and subsidised domestic student growth, point to the tensions underlying the export industry.This suggests that now is a good time to review the character, dynamics and effects of international education in Australian higher education. Tensions Australian international education illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of a commercial approach. It has also been shaped by Australia’s global position and positioning strategy. International education has gener- 24 It’s a long way down, Simon Marginson E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W ated great wealth in the export nation. But despite the obvious success of the programmee it has been constrained by unresolved problems that have inhibited its evolution to a higher level and undermined its longterm sustainability. This article identifies five key tensions in International education in Australia, as follows: • Tension within national government, between immigration policy and education export policy. • Tension within Australian higher education, between the education export policy, and the domestic education and research missions of universities. • Tension in the global engagement of higher education institutions, between commercial exploitation of Asia and maximising Australia’s position vis a vis global knowledge flows. • Tension in the lives of international students, between their role as economic consumers, and their larger human rights and security. • And the ‘master’ tension, the permanent contradiction between national political economy and the global public good. Tension in policy between immigration and education export Commercial international education is an economic market. But economic markets rarely operate on the basis of the free interaction of supply and demand imagined in textbooks, especially in education. They are shaped by government subsidies and regulation, by natural or artificial monopolies and other protections accorded to favoured suppliers, and by social and cultural factors. International education generates profits in English speaking countries because of the positional advantages offered by the acquisition of global English, together with the opportunities (educational, social and economic) that developed countries provide for some though not all students. In other words the commercial product is created by global inequalities. These global inequalities are not simply the outcome of history or the blind operation of market forces but are politically sustained. Access to the product ‘international education’ is determined not simply by buying power but by arbitrary policy, and is policed by force. In Australia, the most important force determining the size and character of the market is immigration regulation. International education has always been partly about opportunities for both temporary and permanent migration. As noted, DIAC mostly facilitated the growth of the market, until recently. But the federal department vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V has always been concerned about backdoor migration through students overstaying their visa term, breaches of the rules concerning changes to study programmes, and breaches of the restrictions on student work during semester. Beneath these concerns are deeper worries about the potential threats posed by aliens, including terrorism, and a determination to preserve the national ‘character’—whatever DIAC considers that to be, for DIAC has its own undeclared albeit evolving assumptions about Australia. DIAC’s classical method of administering people movement is to be harsh in its dealings with the non-citizens it wants to limit and police, as a principal method of managing the flow.We see this also in policy on refugees. It reflects the underlying anxiety of all immigration authorities about dangerous aliens at the border. As many international students have experienced it, DIAC is arbitrary, bureaucratic and people unfriendly. This was documented in the 200 international students interviews reported in International Student Security (Marginson, et al. 2010): After the 9/11 attack on targets in New York and Washington in 2001 it emerged that some of the attackers had entered the country as students. Subsequently the then Bush Administration established the SEVIS system of surveillance, which positioned international students as potentially dangerous aliens.This created a regulatory burden for universities and infringed the liberties of the students (Rosser, et al. 2006; NAFSA 2008). Non-white students were especially targeted (Harvard Civil Rights Project, 2003). In the early part of the last decade DIAC in Australia cancelled the visas of many international students for often minor breaches of the rules governing student work, placing many students in prison-like detention. The students had no recourse but protracted and expensive appeals—often from within detention—against the loss of their visas. Nevertheless a third of the visa cancellations were overturned on appeal (Marginson, et al. 2010, pp. 247-250). Struggling to manage global people flows they never fully control, receiving national governments flip between the benefits and the dangers (as they see them) of international students. The students are regulated within two conflicting normative frameworks. One policy framework is positive and encouraging. The other framework treats international students as a threat. The frequent student difficulties with DIAC are an ongoing problem for universities, that also find DIAC inflexible and hard of hearing. International education is a more or less permanent stand-off between on one hand DIAC, on the other vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W hand the education department and the institutions. The latest round of restrictions on migration highlights this ongoing tension. Can this tension be removed? It cannot be totally abolished—in a nationally-bordered world regulation of incomers is inevitable—but can be modified. As far as possible, temporary migration should be handled separately from the regulation and politics of permanent migration. Further, there seems no good reason why temporary student visa holders should not be treated with the same courtesies as are accorded to citizens, for the duration of their stay. International students should no longer be subject to arbitrary detention, which is a form of imprisonment, for alleged breaches of visa conditions. Tension between export policy, and the education and research missions of universities It is widely realised, except in university marketing departments, that a high commercial orientation is in tension with a deep focus on education and research. Teaching and learning are concerned with the selfdevelopment of students, not money as an end in itself. Research is about knowledge creation and application. There, money is the means to more fundamental objectives. Research generates many long-term benefits of both the public and the private kind, benefits that cannot all be predicted in advance. In economic terms, public sector education is essentially about product maximisation. As new needs emerge they are addressed, until resources are exhausted. In contrast, the commercial producer is primarily concerned to maximise revenues and market share while minimising unit costs. Despite the myths, education markets are not primarily driven by meeting needs. First, these markets are producer dominated— there is an inevitable asymmetry between the producer and the consumer, who cannot know what the teaching and learning are like until halfway through the programme. Second, in the process of producing mass international education, there are always downward pressures on extra costs such as individualised services, extra help with English or innovations in intercultural learning. The strength of the Australian business model was that it became very good at the standardised production of high volume medium quality low unit cost programmes in areas such as business education. However, the very success of the model created a path dependent approach designed to keep the money flowing.When the good times were rolling, It’s a long way down, Simon Marginson 25 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V the opportunity should have been taken to innovate and improve the product. But the production model was stuck. It was unable to evolve into a higher quality approach or even to differentiate and nuance submarkets and products. The one size standard business model fitted all. The market model is readily organised so as to minimise low quality product, using quality assurance mechanisms. But it is a poor device for striving for excellence. In a competitive education market, at the ‘high quality’ end, ‘excellence’ becomes signified by selectivity and price---not by the intrinsic quality of teaching and learning, which escapes market scrutiny. Further, in the commercial framework a system of quality assurance than is primarily driven by self-regulation becomes corrupted. It is turned into a branch of marketing. It becomes just another way of promoting the institution. In this context the surveillance has no objectivity, no ‘warts and all’ rigour—or at least none that is publicly acknowledged.And unless weaknesses are made transparent the dynamic of continuous improvement becomes inhibited. Instead the flaws are papered over. The objective becomes not better product, or better customer satisfaction, but better satisfaction ratings. At the national level, the relentless barrage of selfpromotion by institutions-as-firms, supported by quality assurance operating in the service of producers, aggregates into a culture of denial. Public funding per student is falling, and this funding is a crucial condition of ‘real’ quality, but it seems that everything is always becoming better and better. This reduces the political pressure on governments to provide the core funding that underpins staffing, social access and the public good of basic research. Thus in a higher education market, the mechanisms designed to advance quality only succeed in emptying it out. The notion of a conflict between profit and quality, between price and value, between capitalism and human needs, is not news. And there is a counter-argument. On a good day, the market is quicker than public administration to expand opportunities and throw the door open to all (or all of those with the money in their hands). But in order to understand and modify this tension in Australian international education we need to unpick the way it works. It is not simply an abstract political problem. It is also localised and policy specific. As noted, in Australia the growth of international education has been driven by, and a primary means of achieving, the reduction of public fiscal outlays on higher education. In the 1980s these outlays were 26 It’s a long way down, Simon Marginson E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W above the OECD average. In 2008, they were 0.7 per cent of GDP compared to an OECD average of 1.0 per cent (OECD 2010). The government share of total university income fell from 91 per cent in 1983 to 44 per cent in 2003, rising slightly to 45 per cent in 2007. All forms of tuition fees and charges reached 38 per cent of university income in 2007 (DEEWR 2010). In the two decades after 1984, the fall in public resources per student coupled with expanding business functions and services—much of this triggered by the business of international education—led to a fall in the average resources for teaching and research. The growth of non-academic staff outstripped that of academic staff especially in the newer universities. In the two decades after 1984, the average student-staff ratio rose from 13 to 20 (DEEWR 2010), as highlighted in the 2008 Bradley report. It is inconceivable that this would not have had negative impacts on teaching capacity, including teaching in international education.The policy and funding changes in the wake of the Bradley report have slowed or halted the deterioration in resources for teaching, but not reversed it. The downward trend in public outlays also places pressure on basic research. Research was once supported in common with teaching from the public funding allocated on a per student basis. But the level of funding of subsidised student places, coupled with the student contribution, has now fallen below actual cost, while research project funding—which is funded below real cost—cannot be used to sustain core capacity. Both domestic teaching and basic research are more and more dependent on the same source: international student fees. Thus Australia’s research-intensive universities enroll large numbers of international students, at a level unique among the world’s top 200 research institutions.Yet this dissipates their efforts and limits the basis of their global engagement. Can this tension be overcome? Yes, by public refunding of the higher education system, so that institutions are no longer dependent on the export industry for core funding. (If China and Singapore can do it, so can Australia). Tension between commercial exploitation of Asia, and maximising Australia’s position vis a vis knowledge flows It might seem that the tension between commercial objectives, and education and research objectives, is a tension between global marketing and domestic education and research. This would suggest that it is vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W globalisation that erodes the education and research have another international agenda, which is to build capacity of Australia universities, and that to assert massive fee-paying enrolment to fill the revenue gap. public values it is necessary to break with global activEntering these institutions is much easier for internaity. But that would be to misread the situation. tional students than for domestic students. Globalisation is about worldwide engagement, conCompared to academic activities, business methods vergence and partial integration. Although it takes ecoprovide a more limited set of global options. Unfortunomic forms, such as the cross-border student market, nately, it has proven difficult to synergise the academic economies remain partly bordered on a national basis. capacities of Australian universities with their business Globalisation is triggered more readily by people and strengths.This is because while academic activities are knowledge flows moving freely across borders. In multiple and flexible, the business model is one-dimenmany respects globalisation in higher education is sional.There is limited scope to bring research insights more cultural than economic. It is especially active in and cultures to bear on improving standardised high research. In fact the same tension between commervolume coursework programmes for middle-level busicial objectives, and education and research objectives, ness education students. Australia is relatively weak in shows itself within the global strategies of Australian top end international doctoral education where global universities. competition is scholarship based not fee based. In The global higher educaorder to sustain commertion environment now procial incentives the AustralResearch-intensive universities... exhibit a vides an extraordinarily rich ian government provides Jekyll and Hyde personality in the global set of options for developlittle in subsidies for intersetting. At home, they are student selective ing teaching and research. national doctoral scholarand focus on research... But they also have Above all it provides scope ships, much less than does another international agenda, which is to for knowledge exchange, the UK, though the UK build massive fee-paying enrolment to fill partnerships and for work also operates international the revenue gap. on projects that contribeducation as a commercial ute to the common global export industry. good, for example research This limits Australian union the reduction of epidemic diseases, and work on versities in East and Southeast Asia where the nation’s climate change and water management. Australian unigeography, demography, trade and diplomatic efforts versities do some of this, but not as much as universiought to secure an advanced role for its higher educaties in Europe and North America.Why? Resources and tion institutions. In world higher education the chief priorities. In their global positioning strategies Australstory of the last decade is the formation of world-class ian universities have become primarily focused on the systems of education and research in Korea, Singapore, one-way flow international student volume.They have Taiwan China, Hong Kong China and above all mainbecome more dependent on their business acumen land China. East Asia has become the third great zone of than their academic capacity. Thus the ‘sell’ for Australhigher education and research, along with North Amerian education is not its intellectual fire-power or its ica and Western Europe (Marginson 2010b). But Australdistinctive contribution to human knowledge but its ian universities still primarily treat Asia not as a zone for beaches and the happy life. Marketing departments set research collaboration but as a source region for full the global agenda, not research professors. Australians fee-paying international students—in other words, as a can hardly complain that the world sees them as its zone for economic exploitation. Here Australia is still in ‘dumb blonde’, attractive, lightweight, not very smart the neo-imperial era and confronts Asia handicapped by or useful. This has been the primary image that even the old British belief that the West is better. One would some Australian universities have chosen to project. have thought that this had been well and truly exploded Research-intensive universities like Monash, Melby the march of China, Japan and the ‘tiger’ economies, bourne, Sydney, New South Wales and Queensland but it persists.There is an easy assumption that internaexhibit a Jekyll and Hyde personality in the global tional students come to Australia because it offers not setting. At home, they are student selective and focus just educational and linguistic opportunities but a ‘supeon research. They also engage in global benchmarking rior’ education and research culture.This downplays the and cross-border research collaborations. But they also potential of East Asia as a zone of research. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 It’s a long way down, Simon Marginson 27 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V Thus while most of the fee-paying students come from Asia, most of the Australian research collaborations are still in North America, UK and Europe. Universities have been slow to develop the expertise in Asian languages that is essential to deeper research encounters. There are few interfaces between scholars of Asian languages and area studies in Australia, and the international education programme, and the main research nodes.Also the number of local students learning Asian languages remains low and relatively few local students travel to universities in Asia as part of their degrees. The lack of balance, range and depth in Australia’s international programme was remarked on by the Bradley (2008) report. Perhaps the most serious defect is that because of the one-sided emphasis on revenues, Australia makes only a minor contribution to higher education in the developing world. As in the UK the growth of the commercial market has been correlated with a decline in aid for post-secondary education (OECD 2004).Ausaid is a good programme but not large enough. It is sometimes argued that full fee international education expands capacity in emerging nations. But it benefits only the middle class—and it contributes nothing to building teaching and research where it matters most, which is in emerging nations themselves. It often seems that Australian policy makers and institutions have lost sight of the global public good. Japan and some Western European governments do more for education in emerging nations.American and Canadian universities are also more generous. Many in Australian universities would provide greater aid if they could. But the policy settings ensure that revenue raising must take priority. Every dollar counts. Can this tension be corrected? As long as there is commercial international education there will be pressures to elevate profit to the main goal. Yet market forces can be modified by policy, regulation and countervailing practices. The Bradley report called for a broader range of activities. Inescapably, practices such as two-way student exchange, more student scholarships, richer research collaboration and foreign aid for emerging systems in Southeast Asia or Africa need to be subsidised. More extensive research collaborations in Asia also need subsidisation. These are public good activities. By definition, market forces are unable to sustain and fund them. Yet they generate long term benefits all round, building capacity in Australia as well as abroad and feeding back into the strength and reputation of the export sector. 28 It’s a long way down, Simon Marginson E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Tension for students between economic consumption, and broader rights and security So far the article has focused on the limitations that these tensions create, for Australian higher education and Australia. Arguably, though, in some respects those most disadvantaged by international education are the international students who pay the cost. In the book International Student Security (2010), in research funded first by the Monash Institute for Global Movements and then by the Australian Research Council, Chris Nyland, Erlenawati Sawir, Helen Forbes-Mewett and myself have brought this to attention. When international students enter the nation of education they are in a difficult position. At a time when most of them have just been cut off from their customary personal support, they find themselves classified both officially and unofficially as ‘outsiders’. They are something less than citizens. International students cannot exercise the full rights and entitlements of citizens in either their country of origin, or their country of temporary residence. On the one hand they cannot fully access their home country legal, welfare and political systems. On the other hand they have a different and inferior status in the new country. Exactly what this means depends on the nation of education. The position of international students is affected by all laws concerning aliens and citizenship, and also by specific laws and programmes that pertain to them. The inferior status of non-citizen students is de-powering. It renders them vulnerable compared to national citizens. This might seem unexceptional in the case of short-term visitors like tourists. It is more problematic for mobile persons resident for several years.These students are classified as aliens yet they must deal with the housing and employment markets and subject themselves to the authority of police, the legal system and public bureaucracies, just like local citizens. Many pay the same taxes as locals. International education in Australia is regulated by the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, and its National Code. Most of the wording of the Act and the Code is about immigration compliance and consumer protection. The international student is modelled not as a person with the full set of rights and entitlements but as an economic consumer. The Act is strong on the protection of the monies students invest in fees, and on the rights of students to be informed before they sign a contract, but little else. According to the Code ‘the registered provider must enter into a written agreement with the student’, vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V which specifies the programme of study, monies payable, and ‘information in relation to refunds of course money’ (DEEWR, 2007: Standard 3, Section 3.1). There is no contract between students and government and no reference in the Code to political rights or representation. The Act and the Code touch only briefly on other areas of international students’ security, more in relation to information and advice concerning services in areas such as accommodation and welfare, than in relation to services themselves. On campus student safety is not mentioned. Nor does the ESOS structure, which regulates international education by controlling the provider institutions, provide for international student security and rights in the community outside the campus where most of the problems are. The international student is treated as only half a person. A person with consumer rights, but not legal, civil, industrial, political or educational rights. International Student Security includes a comparison of the formal governmental rights, entitlements and benefits available to international and local students respectively, in all domains (Marginson, et al. 2010, pp. 17-20). There were 28 policy areas in which the position of international students was both distinctive and inferior. Nearly all forms of public financial support, including welfare and housing, were inaccessible. In the two largest Australian States, they paid full fares on public transport, local students paid concession rates. While public schooling was free for local families, most international students paid full fees for their student children. International students received less personal financial aid from universities though they paid much higher tuition. Some postgraduate research scholarships were closed to them, as were certain bank services. Both groups had access to health cover but international students were not included in the public Medicare scheme and had to take out private insurance, more costly than the Medicare levy paid by local students through taxation. International student visas specified that during semester the students could work only 20 hours per week. Local students had an unrestricted right to work. International students from certain countries had implied restrictions on political activity.Their visas included condition 8303:‘You must not become involved in any activities that are disruptive to, or in violence threaten harm to, the Australian community or a group within the Australian community’. Not only are the rights of international students restricted, they are officially Othered as aliens and a potential threat. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W This official Othering provides conditions for their unofficial Othering. The 200 students interviewed in International Student Security discuss numerous instances in which they were subordinated, marginalised or abused. Either their outsider status was at play, or the perpetrator attempted to position them as outsiders. Some such experiences were on campus. Nevertheless, nearly all of the sharply negative experiences happened in the general community. Among the 200 interviewees, 99 of them, just under 50 per cent, had experienced cultural hostility or prejudice in Australia. Almost all were non-white students. The exceptions were two American students criticised for US intervention in Iraq. The perception of hostility or prejudice was higher among women than men. Muslim students faced particular difficulties. Several students had been profoundly distressed by unprovoked incidents. In these incidents they were made to feel outsiders, aliens, often with lasting effect. There was no process whereby they could claim rights and seek redress. Consumer rights were no help at this point. They needed to reassert their dignity and agency, to claim the right to respect and to belong. They could not. Instead they found themselves been pushed in the other direction. The uncorrected binary structure of citizen/outsider opens international students to this more brutal marginalisation in the community. It gives comfort to the perpetuators—who are in no doubt they belong in Australia and are superior to all outsiders. Recurring problems of stereotyping, discrimination and abuse affect not just international students in Australia but in all English speaking provider nations where the legal structure is similar (e.g. of many UKCISA 2004; Spencer-Rodgers 2001; Spencer-Rodgers and McGovern 2002). The same asymmetry of treatment and respect makes it hard to close the gap between local and international students, a problem often noted in the research (e.g. Lee and Rice 2007; Volet and Ang 1998). It seems it is only when local and international students live together for sustained periods in student residences that the dynamics of cultural segregation begin to shift on a broad basis (see Marginson, et al. 2010: Chapters 7 and 16). But Australia refuses to subsidise intercultural student housing, or any student housing. Tension between national political economy, and the global public good The human rights of international students, like all mobile persons, are a global public good. We all share It’s a long way down, Simon Marginson 29 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V an interest in safe and secure passage between nations and mutual respect between national citizens and mobile non-citizens in an interdependent world. However the Australian international education programme is focused not on the global public good, but on the good of the national political economy—and within that, on the private good of low taxpaying citizens and of the individual universities that need the money. Global mixing and tolerance are also public goods and higher education has a leading role in creating them. Does international education contribute to these public goods? Yes, of course it does and profoundly so— often despite the policy settings rather than because of them—but is flawed and lop-sided and could be much better. The cultural diversity international students bring to the country of education ought to be seen as an asset. Instead this diversity often works to the indifference in the host and the disadvantage of the guest. International students are trapped in two binaries, the familiar/unfamiliar binary of cultural difference and the us/them binary of citizenship. These two binaries are interactive and reinforce each other. Differences of appearance and voice brand the foreign student as not one of us. By no means all local citizens are prejudiced towards international students and some are culturally engaged. But all see them as outsiders with weak claims to the common weal.The structure ‘nation’ is geared so as to deny them full equality of respect. The underlying problem is the inability of nationstates to rise to the challenge of global interdependence, as was writ large in the climate negotiations in Copenhagen. When political decisions on global matters are left in the hands of national states, whether operating unilaterally or bilaterally, they automatically put the interests of their own citizens above others. Weak essays into the global good are dropped like a stone when companies or taxpayers object. It is politically as well as economically expedient to push half a million foreign students to the margin. Possible ways forward In the face of these limitations there are two moves that can be made, when national governments such as the Australian government find themselves in an enlightened moment. The first move is to re-norm international education. International students are not people in educational, social or cultural ‘deficit’. They should be understood as strong human agents, deciding for themselves, man- 30 It’s a long way down, Simon Marginson E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W aging complex personal changes, engaged in self-formation through education and global mobility. Their challenges and achievements mostly exceed those of local students. They should be accepted as persons with the full set of human rights, whatever country they are in. Nations should extend to non-citizen international students the same rights and entitlements as citizen students. International students should be quasi-citizens for the duration of their stay. (We might make exceptions in a small number of designated areas where national treatment might be warranted, such as the right to vote in national elections). To those that object on the grounds that international students are not lifetime taxpayers, and on that ground should receive a lesser entitlement, it can be pointed out that international students do pay taxes and extra tuition in the country of education—and they would not receive lifetime benefits. The arrangement would stand only for the duration of their stay as students. The second move is to make this concrete by developing a global protocol for the empowerment and protection of mobile students. Sending/importing countries could negotiate with the receiving/exporting government a set of principles that provide for the rights and entitlements of the students. This protocol would be developed on the basis of the United Nations’ (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with specifications referring to areas such as education, housing, crisis support and intercultural relations. A possible wording of such a protocol (‘Compact’) is included as an appendix. In legal form the protocol would be akin to the UN Declaration (which was piloted through the UN in 1948 by the then Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chair of the UN General Assembly, HV Evatt). It would not take the form of a legislated Bill of Rights, a conception yet to take root in Australia. Rather it would function as an advisory statement of standards for policy and provision in international education. Nevertheless, this would be a significant policy step with potential resonances in domestic affairs in Australia, and potential flow-on effects in relation to policy on refugees. As set out in the appendix, the protocol would begin with a preamble establishing basic principles. Then it would list the rights provided to international students enrolled in Australian education institutions including access to justice and rights of property ownership; a safe and non-discriminatory environment, and privacy, freedom from harassment and freedom of movement and residence; access to work and fair conditions of vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V work; access to health, welfare, transport, educational and accommodation-related services; and freedoms such as religion, civil and political association, freedom of opinion and of expression. To specify these rights is not to imply that the entitlements of international students should be limited to the listed areas; nor to imply that the rights concerned are currently denied to international students. For example, those students have freedom of religion now. Rather the intention is to move beyond convention to establish clearly in the eyes of the world an official Australian commitment to normalising these conditions for temporary migrant students. Rights should be distinguished from service provision. The protocol would go on to list a minimum list of specific services provided to international students, including the provision of specific information, access to safe accommodation, and access to communicationrelated services. The protocol would close with broad undertakings in relation to implementation. Implementation is a large issue in itself, one not further explored here, except to state that it would be essential to create machinery that would incorporate both federal and state governments, relevant educational providers, community-based welfare and other relevant non-government organisations. Such protocols have the potential to become seen as best practice in international education. If enough such agreements are developed around the world on a bilateral basis, this begins to create momentum for the emergence of an informal global standard subject to widespread policy imitation. Thus the regime of international student security and rights could be constructed by an incremental process of voluntary agreement, whereby each nation makes its education system into a globally responsible space. Going further, when enough international agreement has been secured in this manner, eventually the rights of international students could be regulated by a global agency. APPENDIX Compact In Relation To International Students Studying In Australia [Draft Only] Statement of Rights and Responsibilities Preamble Australia is a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) which states: “The States Parties to the present Covvol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W enant recognise the right of everyone to education. They agree that education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. They further agree that education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups, and further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace”. Australia is committed to the provision of non-discriminatory forms of education for all persons, and to the provision of the conditions and resources necessary to ensure the right to education as outlined in the ICESCR. International students are especially welcomed in Australia because of their financial, economic, social, cultural and moral contributions to Australia; and because of the benefits that their education brings to friendly relations between their home countries and Australia. Because of their many contributions, Australia has obligations to protect and uphold them, and government in Australia has responsibilities for ensuring that this obligation is met. Temporary migrants holding student visas shall be considered to be members of Australian society for the duration of those visas. Government in Australia will undertake such actions and measures as are necessary to ensure the full inclusion of each international student as a valued member of the Australian community, with all the rights and obligations that this implies, for the duration of the student visa. Australia has a duty of care in relation to international students, many of whom stay on the soil of the nation for a period of several years duration. Government in Australia also recognises that international students are self-managing persons, with the right to make choices about their education and their lives, and the right to exercise their own values and beliefs, in a manner consistent with the laws of Australia and the obligations of those students to their home country governments. All members of Australia society, including temporary migrants holding student visas, have the right to social security and to the realisation, through national effort and in accordance with the organisation and resources of Australian government, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for individual dignity and the free development of personality. International students studying in Australia shall be entitled to the same protections and benefits as AusIt’s a long way down, Simon Marginson 31 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V tralian citizens, except where specific provision is made to the contrary according to law. This statement shall not exclude international students from receiving protections and benefits specifically pertaining to their status as international students. Government in Australian recognises that the inclusion of significant numbers of international students creates additional requirements in relation to social and economic infrastructure and services in Australia. In addition, a large scale international education programme creates the need for specific services tailored specifically to the needs of international students. International students in Australia have both rights and responsibilities. While in Australia international students have obligations to conduct themselves according to the laws and relevant regulations of Australia and government in Australia, including the conditions governing their student visas. Provisions 1. Equivalence with citizens. Consistent with this compact and the laws of Australia, international students shall enjoy rights equivalent to those of citizens, in general, and specifically in relation to the rights: 1. To access to justice. This includes recognition as a person before the law, equality before the law, equal protection of the law without any discrimination, freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention, the right not to be tried or punished twice for the same offence, and access to legal services as appropriate. 2. To live in a safe environment, including protection from crime. 3. To own property alone as well as in association with others, without being arbitrarily deprived of that property. 4. To live in a non-discriminatory environment, to protection from any discrimination in violation of this Compact or in law, and to practise any language of choice. 5. To privacy and freedom from harassment by any party, including arbitrary interference with family, home or correspondence, or attacks on honour and reputation. 6. To freedom of movement and residence within the borders of Australia; to leave the country, and to return to it, subject to visa requirements. 7. To work, subject to visa requirements, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable 32 It’s a long way down, Simon Marginson E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W conditions of work, to decent work and the payment of minimum wages, and to other award conditions as appropriate, to equal pay for equal work, to form and join trade unions. 8. To equal access to health and welfare services, as appropriate. 9. To equal access to transport services. 10. To equal access to accommodation services. 11. To good quality education for self and for dependants. 12. Of freedom of religion. 13. Of freedom of civil and political association, including peaceful assembly. 14. Of freedom of opinion and expression; this includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. 2. Specific requirements as international students. In addition Government in Australia undertakes to ensure that international students will have access to such specific services, pertaining to their needs as international students, as they require for the duration of their stay. Without exclusion this shall include: 1. The provision of specific information in relation to educational and other matters, as required, with attention to the needs of international students as new arrivals in Australia. 2. Access to safe accommodation. 3. Access to interpreter and translation services as required. 4. Access to assistance in matters of communication and the use of the English language, while studying. Statement concerning implementation The parties to this compact shall be the Australian Government, and the home country government of any nation from which international students accepted to study in Australia have originated. International education in Australia is governed under the Australian Constitution by the Educational Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act and the relevant schedules and regulations. All references to ‘government in Australia’ in this compact shall be held to apply jointly and severally to the Australian Government (the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia), the Governments of the vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V States/Territories, and local government. Responsibility for specific tasks shall be determined as appropriate on the basis of negotiation between the levels of government, the Australian Constitution, and any prevailing legislation. All international students studying in Australian institutions are entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. In the exercise of the rights and freedoms of international students, they shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society, or for the protection of national security, public order, public health or public morality. All Australian educational providers shall set aside one per cent of the revenues received for the education of each individual international student, for the promotion of the social inclusion of international students in Australia, consistent with this compact and any prevailing legislation. Professor Simon Marginson is a Professor of Higher Education in the Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) at the University of Melbourne. He is also a member of the AUR Editorial Board. Acknowledgement An earlier version of this paper was delivered as a keynote address at the conference ‘A home away from home? International students in Australian and South African higher education’, Monash South Africa, Johannesburg, 25 November 2010. References E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). (2007). National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students. Australian Government. Retrieved on 5 February 2010 from http://aei.dest.gov.au/AEI/ESOS/NationalCodeOfPractice2007/Default.htm Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). 2010. Selected Higher Education Statistics. Retrieved on 30 October 2010 from http://www.dest.gov.au/sectors/higher_education/publications_resources/statistics/default.htm Evans, C. (2010). The future of Australian international education. Speech, 27 October 2010, University of Canberra, Canberra. Gillard, J. (2009). Speech to Australian Financial Review Higher Education Conference, Sydney, 10 March. Hare, J. (2010). Evans on student rescue mission to Beijing, The Australian, 30 October. Harvard Civil Rights Programme. (2003) Know Your Rights on Campus: a guide on racial profiling, and hate crime for international students in the United States. Cambridge. Retrieved on 2 Sept 2008 from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/1b/15/b8.pdf Lee, J. and Rice, C. (2007). Welcome to America? International student perceptions of discrimination. Higher Education, 53 (3), pp. 381-409. Marginson, S. (2010a). International student security: Globalisation, state, university. Journal of the World Universities Forum, 3 (3), pp. 49-58. Marginson, S. (2010b). Higher education in East Asia and Singapore: Rise of the Confucian Model, Higher Education, published online 8 October 2010. Marginson, S., Nyland, C., Sawir, E, and Forbes-Mewett, H. (2010). International Student Security, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. National Association of Foreign Student Advisors, NAFSA: Association of International Educators (2008). NAFSA Letter Urges 2008 Presidential Candidates to Leverage International Education to Meet Public Diplomacy and Foreign Policy Challenges. Retrieved on 14 March 2009 http://www. prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/11-092007/0004701911&EDATE= Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2004) Internationalisation and Trade in Higher Education, OECD, Paris. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2005). Education at a Glance, 2005, OECD, Paris. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2010). Education at a Glance, 2010, OECD, Paris. Rosser, V., Hermsen, J., Mamiseishvili, K. & Wood, M. 2007, ‘A national study examining the impact of SEVIS on international student and scholar advisers’, Higher Education, 54 (4), pp. 525-542. Spencer-Rodgers, J. (2001). Consensual and individual stereotypic beliefs about international students among American host nationals. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 25, pp. 639-657. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (2010). International trade in goods and services, Australia, December 2009. ABS Catalogue no 5368.0, ABS, Canberra. Spencer-Rodgers, J. & McGovern, T. (2002). Attitudes towards the culturally different: the role of intercultural communication barriers, affective responses, consensual stereotypes, and perceived threats. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 26 (6), pp. 609-631. Australian Education International (AEI). (2010). Statistical data. Retrieved on 8 October 2010 from http://aei.gov.au/AEI/PublicationsAndResearch/ Snapshots/44SS09_pdf.pdf UK Council for International Education (UKCISA). (2004). International Students in UK Universities and Colleges, Broadening our Horizons - report of the UKCISA survey, UKCISA, London. Bradley, D., Chair of Panel (2008). Review of Australian Higher Education: Final report, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved on 10 January 2008 from http://www.deewr.gov.au/HigherEducation/Review/Pages/ReviewofAustralianHigherEducationReport.aspx Volet, S. & Ang, G. (1998). Culturally mixed groups on international campus: an opportunity for inter-cultural learning. Higher Education Research and Development, 17 (1), pp. 5-24. Burke, G. (1988). How large are the cuts in operating grants per student? Australian Universities’ Review, 31 (2). vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Watt, I. (2010). Department of Employment, Education, Training and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) 2010 International Education Symposium, Canberra, 5 March 2010. Notes by the author. It’s a long way down, Simon Marginson 33 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Staying or going? Australian early career researchers’ narratives of academic work, exit options and coping strategies Eva Bendix Petersen University of Newcastle Australian universities will lose a substantial proportion of their staff through retirement over the next decade. A recent study has indicated that attrition of academic staff that are not at the end of their career may exacerbate the problem. To assist in developing appropriate retention strategies, this article examines the ways in which early career researcher-academics across different Australian university sites currently experience work and the reasons why they consider leaving the academy. It explores the ‘exit options’ that they put forth as possible and desirable, and scrutinises what these exit options can teach us about what kind of work place and what kind of university we should build in order to retain academic staff, and keep them happy and productive. The article also discusses some of the strategies that the early career researchers use to cope with, and survive in, the contemporary university, and how these strategies might be neither individually nor institutionally sustainable. Over the next decade,Australian universities will lose a substantial proportion of their staff through retirement (Hugo 2005). In some places, the loss is predicted to reach 35 per cent of academic staff (Hugo 2008). As a consequence Australian policy makers and university managers are beginning to express concern about the impending ‘staffing crisis’, and they are currently taking measures to identify ways to recruit, develop and retain academic staff. Some of these issues also pertain to other higher education systems, including the United Kingdom (HEFCE 2010). A recent study has shown that more than 28 per cent of Australian academics have sought a job outside universities within the preceding 12 months (Coates, et al. 2009 p.16-17). This indicates that attrition is an issue that needs serious consideration and that finding ways to improve retention should be a top priority; not only understood as retaining-for-longer staff who would otherwise have retired, but also retaining staff who are not at the end of their careers. This article aims to contribute to our understanding of the reasons for attrition amongst early career 34 Staying or going? , Eva Bendix Petersen researchers to assist in developing appropriate retention strategies. It provides qualitative insight into the ways in which this group of academics currently experience work and the reasons why they consider leaving the academy. It explores the ‘exit options’ that they put forth as possible and desirable, and scrutinise what these exit options can teach us about what kind of work place and what kind of university we should build in order to retain these staff, and keep them happy and productive. The article also discusses some of the strategies that the early career researchers use to cope with and survive the contemporary university, and how these strategies might be neither individually nor institutionally sustainable. The study The analysis in this article draws on interviews with early career researchers from three different Australian universities. While the term ‘early career researcher’ can take different meanings (Bazeley 2003) it was defined for vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I Univ. Gender Level Discipline Sandstone Male Senior Lecturer Arts & Social Science Female Senior Lecturer Science Female Lecturer Professional degree Male Lecturer Science Male Lecturer Professional degree Female Assoc Lecturer Arts & Social Science Female Senior Lecturer Professional degree Male Senior Lecturer Science Female Lecturer Professional degree Female Lecturer Professional degree Male Lecturer Arts & Social Science Female Assoc Lecturer Professional degree Female Assoc Lecturer Professional degree Male Senior Lecturer Arts & Social Science Female Senior Lecturer Arts & Social Science Female Lecturer Professional degree Male Lecturer Professional degree Male Lecturer Science Female Assoc Lecturer Professional degree Female Assoc Lecturer Arts & Social Science Gum tree ‘New’ V Table 1 Overview of participant group by type of university, gender, academic appointment level and discipline * Drawing on Considine and Marginson’s (2000) typology the universities included a ‘sandstone’ (‘old’ research-intensive metropolitan university); a ‘gum tree’ (established in the late 1960s and purports some research intensity in some areas); and a ‘new’ university (in this case a regional post-1989 university (when colleges of advanced education amalgamated with universities or obtained university status) with an emerging research profile). ** Academic disciplines were grouped in terms of Professional degree (Education, Nursing, Engineering, etc.), Arts & Social Sciences, and Science (including Medicine) the purposes of this study as an academic working in an on-going teaching and research position, awarded a doctorate fewer than five years ago. This definition allowed for a focus on a group of, potentially, very productive academics. Because they had completed their doctorates, they were already potentially active in publishing, applying for research grants, and supervising postgraduate research students. Their status as on-going members of academic staff also meant that many of them had taken up various service or leadership roles, and because they all had teaching responsibilities, they were familiar with the full gamut of academic work life. In a highly competitive job market, which relies on extensive use of casual and contract vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W staff, these academics had been successful in securing an on-going position. In other words, this particular group is arguably the cohort that will be required to take up significant positions of academic and research leadership over the next decade. Participant recruitment occurred through general calls for expression of interest on the universities’ intra-net as well as some snow-balling. The final sample included early career researchers from all the major disciplinary groups, although there was markedly stronger interest in participation amongst early career researchers in the humanities, social sciences and professional programmes such as education, social work and business. Individual semi-structured interviews of up to 2.5 hours duration were held with 20 early career researchers and the data set also included detailed work logs that each early career researcher had kept for two weeks prior to the interview. Conceptually and analytically the study is couched in narrative theory, which asserts that narratives are central to human meaning making and are constitutive of our sense of self, our feelings, thoughts and actions (Riessman 2008; Polkinghorne 1988). Narratives are the stories we live by (McAdams, Josselson & Leiblich 2006). Consequently, the early career researchers were prompted to give an account of their current work life and why they chose an academic career. The original focus of the study was to canvass early career researchers’ work narratives generally, to understand their conditions and aspirations, yet it soon became apparent that narratives around leaving loomed large. The following analysis presents a snapshot of the dominant narratives around academic work-life, focussing on leaving and the various exit options, and coping and surviving. Widespread malaise A 2002 study on occupational stress in Australian universities showed that Australian academics are highly stressed relative to other occupational groups and to general staff working in the academy (Winefield et al. 2002). The group of academic staff that reported the highest levels of strain and lowest levels of job satisfaction were academics involved in teaching, or research and teaching, middle-ranked, that is, level B and C lecturers (Winefield et al. 2002, p.11). These are the levels at which the majority of early career researchers work.The study at hand confirms that stress is rampant amongst Australian early career researchers. The parStaying or going? , Eva Bendix Petersen 35 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V ticipants all told stories about excessive and unmanageable workloads and about the anxieties associated with not feeling in control or on top of one’s load, and about the relentless pressure to do more and run faster. Many reported that they had experienced or experience regularly the physical manifestations of stress including chest pain, palpitations, insomnia, migraine, and regular headaches. Whilst the levels and extent of stress certainly should be taken seriously, the stories early career researchers told indicate that stress levels ought to be considered in relation to what might be called a more general and very widespread malaise. The term malaise captures different things: dissatisfaction, alienation, disquiet, depression and melancholy. Across the three different university sites, across disciplines, ages and genders, the early career researchers told different but also similar stories about their frustration and disaffection with their everyday work life and conditions. A common thread in the stories concerned not being able to get to what the participants considered the ‘real’ work. As one early career researcher in the social sciences said: ‘it feels like I spend most of my time on things that I loathe doing and am not very good at or trained to do, and almost none of my time on the things I feel I should be doing; research and actual teaching’. One participant said that her work-life felt like ‘a neverending obstacle course’, which left her exhausted and ‘brain dead’ and hence virtually incapable of doing the exciting thinking and writing she wanted to do (see also Askins 2008). This feeling of spending most of your time away from what you consider to be the core of the work was often told in conjunction with stories of disaffection with many of the tasks, tools and practices of the contemporary Australian university.As one early career researcher said:‘it depresses me, the utter meaninglessness of much of what we do – it’s like it’s hollow at the heart. We spend so much time and so much energy on things that are ridiculous if you think about it’. Specifically, this early career researcher was talking about having to submit a report on a subject that she was coordinating which happened to attract a relatively low student satisfaction score. She had been told that nobody would actually ever read the report and her painstaking efforts to explain why this subject almost inevitably would attract a low score. Yet, it was expected that subject coordinators wrote such a report when the score was under a certain benchmark so that it could be ticked off in the 36 Staying or going? , Eva Bendix Petersen E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W system and declared that the issues were being fixed (with the unarticulated assumption that they can be fixed and that the subject coordinator can and should fix them). Other early career researchers were disaffected that what they considered dubious or only marginally relevant attainments, such as obtaining a self-instigated teaching award, were highlighted and celebrated by managers, whereas other, and to them, more important achievements, were systematically over-looked or disregarded because they could not be quantified and/ or put on display. Others again said that they felt alienated by their university’s obsession with their placement on various league tables and on ‘getting such and such scores on such and such meaningless chart’ as one early career researcher put it. Some felt disquiet about their superiors’ fixation on them getting ‘runs on the board’ but not actually ever engaging with the substance or ‘real quality’ of what they do. (The phrase ‘real quality’ has recently entered Australian academic-speak, and it seems that it is used in opposition to the notions of quality spurned in relation to the current research assessment exercise). In that way, the malaise was not only about overwork and stress, and the feeling that you should be doing more, but also about the nature of the work actually undertaken and the nature of the organisation’s engagement with this work (see also Berglund 2008). With respect to the scope of the malaise it is worthy of note that almost all of the early career researchers when asked whether they would recommend an academic career to anybody they cared about emphatically, and in many cases regretfully, said ‘no’. Exit options In recounting their disaffection, many of the participants said that they often considered leaving the academy. Some professed that they thought about it a few times a year, mostly around particular times in the course of a semester, some said that they would consider it on a weekly basis and some that the thought crossed their minds on most days. When thinking about leaving they considered, what one of the participants coined, their ‘exit options’.These exit options are interesting to contemplate in relation to what it is these early career researchers feel is missing from their current work-life, and hence, what universities should be better at offering or enabling if they wish to retain these early career researchers. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W The early career researchers in the professional proabout not having enough time to undertake what is grammes not surprisingly spoke of returning to the considered to be ‘the real’ work. profession many of them had left to pursue an acaOne early career researcher said that she considered demic career. For example, as one teacher educator leaving to become a librarian because she loved books said, ‘if I am asked to continue to teach as much as I and reading, and loved discovering new books in her do now, I might just as well go back to teaching. In field. She had thought that reading and spending time fact, the teaching experience was better then, much in the library would be an essential part of her work more rewarding and positive, so it was time better as an academic, but, she said,‘it’s been over six months spent if you know what I mean’. Teaching outside of since I was at the library. There is just no time for it, the university was put forward as an exit option by let alone for reading properly. These days all I have others as well, for instance an early career researcher time for is quick reading of what’s available through in the sciences said that he kept toying with idea of ejournals in my field, which I can access while I eat getting a teaching qualification so that he could go and my lunch. I am really disappointed about that’. Along teach science in a high school. He said:‘I like teaching; these lines many of the early career researchers said I really do, but not 300 students at a time’. that they had anticipated that they would have more The exit option of returning to a profession that time to ‘actually read’. One said that she was piling up you left, often after lengthy books in her office at home and serious consideration, to finally get to when she Teaching outside of the university was put significant financial loss, retired. forward as an exit option by others as well, and sometimes despite One early career for instance an early career researcher in the pleas from significant researcher seriously conthe sciences said that he kept toying with others, speaks of ‘shattered sidered changing career idea of getting a teaching qualification so dreams’. The early career and entering politics. He that he could go and teach science in a high researchers I spoke to who said that he had wanted school. He said: ‘I like teaching; I really had left careers as teachers, to become an academic social workers, business because he thought it do, but not 300 students at a time’. managers, journalists, and would be a way to make a nurses, said that the reason difference and to change why they chose the career change in the first place the world, to affect the students and challenge them was because they wanted, as one of them put it, to to think and act differently. However, he found that stu‘pursue a life of the mind’. Many of them said that they dents were not interested; he felt his colleagues were had always enjoyed learning, that they were turned on only focussed on advancing their careers, and that by ideas, that they wanted the intellectual challenge nobody seemed to have any time to discuss ideas and and craved the stimulation. The ‘going back’ storyline create social change. He said ‘I remember thinking, and suggests that life in the academy turned out to not this was probably naïve, that the university would be actually satisfy these desires, and that the lack is not the place to develop and discuss ideas, but this does off-set by other attractions. not seem to be the case’. Some participants spoke of becoming a writer (novConsidering these exit options makes for rather elists, free-lance journalists, non-fiction writers, etc.), damning reading of the contemporary Australian uniand it was put forward by the early career researchers versity: unsatisfactory teaching experiences, no or not who earlier in the interview had recounted that one enough ‘life of the mind’, no or not enough opportuof the key reasons why they had chosen to become nity to write, no or not enough time to read, and no or academics in the first place was to pursue their love not enough time to discuss ideas. All these features are of writing. One early career researcher laughingly tied up with continuing narratives about what a ‘real’ said that he had bought a book called ‘How to write a university should allow for and support. best-seller’, and the plan was to write a best-seller first Other early career researchers contemplated setso that he could afterwards turn to his ‘real writing’, ting up their own businesses, including coffee shops, understood as his academic writing. Leaving to write, second-hand bookshops, a lavender farm, or becoming to ‘actually get some writing done’ as one early career a consultant in their area of expertise. The common researcher put it, speaks to the abovementioned point storylines in this kind of exit option seemed to be vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Staying or going? , Eva Bendix Petersen 37 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V about creating something that you can care about and put your heart and soul into, about directly reaping the outcome our your effort, about determining your own work and about working for yourself. This exit option was put forward by early career researchers who included amongst the top reasons for choosing an academic career the opportunity to work autonomously and to some extent being in control of their own working hours. The exit option appeared to be pitched against a feeling of disappointment with the realisation that this autonomy was not as widespread, encouraged and institutionalised as envisaged. One early career researcher said she was surprised to learn the extent to which her performance was scrutinised and how her department leaders had pushed her to change her research trajectory so that the department would do better in the current research assessment exercise. In terms of work hours, one early career researcher recounted how surprised he was to learn that he was expected to be in the office or at least on campus between 9am-5pm four days a week, and that he was expected to teach in the trimester from November to February, when he thought he would have time to get immersed in his research. Others recounted how in their institution regular study leave was no longer something that one could expect. Now they had to go through a time consuming process of application and ‘hope you are in the Head of School’s good books’ as one said. Another one commented that study leave also required making, ‘ridiculous overinflated promises about outputs’, which he felt inevitably set him up to fail. As these narratives about exit options indicate, the early career researchers are thinking of taking up work that can feed their various desires and expectations to a meaningful work life.There was a strong link between the reasons for pursuing an academic career in the first place and the proposed alternative work scenarios. Coping strategies A number of the early career researchers said that were they to leave they would want to take up some menial job and be purely and squarely ‘wage earners’. As one said: You know what, I’d work for McDonalds or be a check-out chick at Coles or something like that. I’d want a job I could leave behind at the end of the day, something that wouldn’t eat at me constantly. 38 Staying or going? , Eva Bendix Petersen E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W I don’t think I would feel so sad because every day I feel that this should be an amazing place and we should be doing amazing things, but we are not, we can’t, and that makes me so frustrated and so sad. At least at McDonalds I’d know that it never could be amazing. Interestingly, the failure on the part of the university to be ‘amazing’ is constructed as having a direct impact on the early career researcher’s work experience.That the university does not live up to its promise is taken personally and experienced emotionally. This speaks of a particular kind of investment in the work and the ideals that an ‘amazing’ university represents. At the heart of it is a passionate involvement, which is the hallmark of the ‘vocational lifestyle’ that this exit option speaks of leaving behind. As Auken (2010) argues, academics have traditionally epitomised this lifestyle, which includes being intrinsically motivated and driven, enthusiastic, always working or thinking about work, accepting a blurry line between work and leisure, being deeply emotionally invested in work, and working beyond contractual agreements. Significantly, however, while the wage-earner scenario was put forward as an exit option it was also evoked as a coping strategy, as we shall see later. Many of the stories about exit options were interrupted by wry observations that unfortunately leaving was not possible at this time because of financial obligations. No doubt, part of the stress reported amongst lecturers and senior lecturers occurs because this career stage often coincides with starting up a family or having carer responsibilities of young children, which for many set a limit on the time and energy that can be devoted to work. As has been argued elsewhere, the ‘greedy’ university wants more than the time people in this situation usually can give (Bassett 2005). Most of early career researchers, both male and female, in this study said that they had dependants to support. But in the narratives told it was not only financial obligations that held the early career researchers back from leaving. Many wanted desperately to stay because of the love of the ‘real work’ and as a consequence attempted to develop various coping strategies. Some told stories about putting academia on notice and/or giving it ‘a bit more time’ to see if things would change for the better. Some had developed firm deadlines for making the definitive decision to stay or go (e.g. ‘if things don’t improve within the next 3 years, then...’). Hopes were pinned on the possibilities of a new government, the fall-out of the baby-boomers vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W retiring, on a new vice-chancellor, and so forth. ‘Trying in time between everything else to do the difficult to be optimistic’ was presented as a way of muddling thinking and writing? Is the ‘leaving-but-not-leaving’ through the malaise. response to the malaise sustainable for the individual An alternative to this coping strategy also emerged academic, both personally and in career terms? Or as mentioned before. Rather than thinking about or for the university? Or in the national interest for that planning their exit options, several of the early career matter (Auken 2010)? researchers told stories about trying to change the In this regard one early career researcher said that ways in which they think about and engage with their she reckoned she was ‘kidding herself’ if she thought work as a strategy to ‘leave-but-not-leave’. The strategy she could do her job without the personal and emoentails reconstructing the vocational storyline of their tional involvement. She explained ‘if I stay emotionwork narrative and all that that entails. As one early ally distant nothing happens; I can’t do it. I just get career researcher said:‘I feel that I have to just say ‘well, depressed. It happens every time I tell myself to just this is work and I need the pay’, you know, just treat treat this like a job’. Another early career researcher it like any other job and not get so involved’. In other said, ‘It’s really hard because in some ways I don’t feel words, rather than leaving their current job to become I can really do my job without the excitement, or I do wage-earners they propose to stay and reengage with it poorly’. I asked him to clarify. He continued ‘Well, their current job on those it’s like I can’t write in that terms, which means workspace or think of interest...one early career researcher said that ing only the nominated ing ways of teaching in she could no longer ‘afford’ to feel so hours per week and doing that space. It’s like there’s passionate about her research, suggesting just enough so as to keep nothing there if I just feel that the passionate involvement is ‘too their jobs. In particular, I have to produce, if that’s costly’ in terms of well-being, health, etc. what is at stake is the level the space I’m in.’ At the centre of these stories is a storyline and type of involvement. As These narratives indicate about the cost of caring and the decision to we saw in the above quote, that for some early career some say they need to comresearchers the passionate withdraw the care. pletely sever the attachinvolvement, or ‘intrinsic ment to not be constantly motivation’ as it is somesad and frustrated. Correspondingly, one early career times called, is not just an occupational partiality, an researcher said that she could no longer ‘afford’ to option or a marginal proviso, but a vital condition for feel so passionate about her research, suggesting that undertaking the required work and for doing it well. the passionate involvement is ‘too costly’ in terms of The requirement to produce does not in itself enable well-being, health, etc. At the centre of these stories is academic work, despite what so many of the current a storyline about the cost of caring and the decision to performance management tools implemented in uniwithdraw the care. versities appear to assume. And so it seems that the It is worth reflecting on the implications of the stoimplications of taking up as your own the ‘wage-earner rylines in the coping narratives. What does it mean to storyline’ for some may be calamitous and entirely put academia ‘on notice’? What does it mean to live and unsustainable. work this way? And how about coping by ‘leaving-butYet, an alternative strategy adopted by one early not-physically-leaving’? Further, what does academic career researcher in the study involved redirecting the work become without the passionate engagement? intrinsic drive, and rather than coping by thinking of Can it be undertaken, and undertaken well, within a academic work as any other ‘job’ they now think of it ‘wage-earner mentality’, which has been found to as a ‘career’. One early career researcher in the parreduce or altogether eliminate risk taking, amongst ticipant group declared that he had reconstructed his other things (Godtfredsen 1997)? Is it possible to proinitial understanding of what academic work was. He duce ‘amazing’ work without the ‘vocational lifestyle’; continued: ‘It’s no use being sentimental about these without thinking about it all the time, without letting things. Now I think of my work purely in career terms. leisure and work blend, without letting it affect you, What do I need to do to get promoted? How do I do eat at you? Will good research happen if academics are things most effectively? I am extremely good at barnot driven enough to find and insist upon the gaps gaining and I always, always ask ‘what’s in it for me?’’. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Staying or going? , Eva Bendix Petersen 39 A U S T R A L I A N U N I The driver in this narrative-to-live-by is not about what is best or most important and interesting for the field of research or for the students, etc., but about what is best in terms of personal promotion. Of course, to obtain promotion the academic will need to provide evidence of ‘success’ in teaching, service and research; however this ‘success’ might be manufactured in certain ways. For example, specific strategies might be used to ensure good student evaluations (the focus being on getting good scores rather than good student outcomes). Or, the academic may agree to sit on various committees purely because it looks good on the CV, but not have any special interest in the work of the committee nor ever making a significant contribution. In terms of obtaining the recognition of being an active and successful researcher, the career early career researcher stated that he will direct himself towards the activities where there is pay-off in that regard. He explains: I form my research ideas with an eye on where the money is, pure and simple. It’s stupid to spend time on research that doesn’t bring in the dollars. I think about how this grant will build track record towards a bigger and better grant, and in the end I do this so I get the brownie points and will get to Aspro [Associate Professor]. Sure, we do some interesting stuff along the way, but for me that’s not the main game, not any more. In a certain way this narrative makes perfect sense within the neoliberal enterprise university. As has been argued elsewhere (Petersen 2009) promotion is a central driver within this system; taken for granted as desirable, continuously reproduced as a meaningful and worthwhile desire; and structurally embedded into many performance management practices (with the manager providing advice about what to do more or less of in order to get promoted).Within the promotion narrative, climbing the ladder is the main goal and all the activities that are tied to getting you upwards and onwards are positioned in those terms and their relevance is weighted in those terms – as useful or a waste of time (‘stupid’). The academic work is still being done, of course, but the question is how it is being done and what aspects of academic work will drop off the radar because they are ‘stupid’. If the university and immediate academic leaders appear entirely uninterested in the academic work that cannot be put on display or measured in particular ways, as was mentioned earlier, then the academics themselves may follow suit. 40 Staying or going? , Eva Bendix Petersen V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W The coping narratives presented here are interesting to consider in terms of the question of what the university is and may become. Institutions are made up of the people who inhabit them, who live them, who transform them by living them, and if current early career researchers are responding to the malaise by entirely dismissing the vocational orientation to become ‘wage-earners’ or ‘careerists’ then that will shape the university of the future. The coping strategies are also worth considering in relation to the on-going debates in Australia around the issue of ‘brain-drain’ (Marginson 2006). Typically this discussion is centred on concerns with losing ‘the brightest minds’ to other countries, and especially losing ‘our top researchers’ to universities overseas (see for instance Wood 2003). Meanwhile, both the coping strategies presented here could in a certain sense be read as forms of ‘brain-drain’ too; with the ‘wage-earner’ not applying themselves, and the ‘careerist’ applying him or herself in highly circumscribed ways. Conclusion At the outset it was claimed that policy makers and university managers should listen carefully to the narratives that current early career researchers tell about their work. That there is much we can learn by listening to the stories about ‘life after the academy’ and about ‘surviving the academy’. It is a truism that universities are changing, yet to understand how, and in order to reflect on the implications, it is important to listen to academics’ meaning-making practices. In my observation of several university organised workshops and seminars on the ‘impending staffing crisis’ university managers and various ‘consultants’ often list as their first go-to solution, both in terms of retention and recruitment,‘more competitive financial remuneration’.Yet, in the descriptions and explanations of the various exit options it was interesting that none of early career researchers in this study asserted ‘more money’ as a concern in the deliberations to leave or stay (and all of the professionals who chose to become academics had accepted a loss of income, and for some the loss was quite substantial).Whilst academics might want reasonable pay, a narrow focus on the question of pay may divert attention away from more important discussions around working conditions and the notion of the university tied up with these conditions. As we saw, the narratives about leaving or staying centre on vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V undertaking meaningful work, work the early career researchers are and can be passionate about, and about obtaining a reasonable balance between the aspects of work that drew them to academia in the first place and the actual everyday realities in the contemporary university. Significantly, the early career researchers want to be able to do ‘good’ work; they want to teach well and do good research; they want to contribute to the operation of the university by participating in its governance, and to achieve that they need different conditions to the ones they are offered at this point. The early career researchers interviewed for this study say they want better teaching experiences, which in some cases may mean ‘less teaching’. They want time to think, analyse and write and they want to have time to go to the library and to keep up with their field of study properly.They want to make a difference and affect students and they want autonomy and trust, and work arrangements that enable sustained thought and writing. Above all, they want their willingness to commit heart and soul to their work, to work long hours, weekends and so on, to be recognised and not taken advantage of. Finally, they want universities to be places of excellence, places that do amazing things, not ‘hollow at the heart’ and fixated on the dubious or marginally relevant. In this context, it is worth mentioning that in the reflections on the current working conditions, the early career researchers appeared to believe that the possibility of change was limited and the only thing they could really do was to either leave or change their mindsets. There was not a strong sense that they were able to change the system and/or demand better working conditions.This contributed to the disaffection as well. In terms of Australian higher education policy development it is significant that the stories told by the early career researchers in this study, as well as the similar reports from other studies on academic work (e.g. Wood and Meek 2002; Currie 2004; Davies 2005), continue to be dismissed or even denigrated by those who should be listening extra carefully. At a conference held in Melbourne in 2009, vice-chancellors were reported as saying that the level of dissatisfaction amongst academics was overstated and reflected an idealised view of universities (Trounson 2009). One vice-chancellor said ‘We have to get rid of the old view of what universities were like and we have to get the new normal’ (Trounson 2009, p. 21). In this statement, there seems to be lodged impatience with these recalcitrant academics who refuse to ‘get with the vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W programme’. There is no concession that it might not be the academics that are the problem. Yet, if the ‘new normal’ means that highly qualified and experienced academics leave the university or new attractive candidates choose other career paths because the ‘new normal’ is highly unappealing and unworkable, then it might be worth taking more seriously both the reports about dissatisfaction and what the so-called ‘idealised view’ of the university represents. In my interviews with the early career researchers there was not much mention of ‘going back’ to some alleged golden age. The main concern was about doing good work and creating great universities now and for the future. The account that academics are unhelpfully pining for ‘the good old days’ has strong synergies with, and feeds on, the commonly heard saying in Australia that ‘academics are just a pack of whingers’. Both these storylines, and the many others that deride academics’ concerns about what is happening to universities, make it easy to dismiss and ignore the malaise and disaffection, and to uphold the status quo and/or implement even more strategies aimed at making academics ‘more productive and responsive’. Meanwhile, as is suggested here, this policy might just mean that those who are able to will decide to take their talent, expertise and experience elsewhere. Eva Bendix Peterson is an academic in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia. References Askins, K. (2008). From Enthusiasm to Exhaustion: A Day in the Life of a Human Geography Lecturer. Ephemera 8, no. 2: 312-321. Auken, S. (2010). Hjernedød. Til forsvar for det borgerlige universitet [Braindead. 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Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management 24, no. 1: 7-20. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S â€™ R E V I E W Flexible Work Arrangements Accessibility in a University Environment Fleur Sharafizad Edith Cowan University Megan Paull Murdoch University Maryam Omari Edith Cowan University Attraction and retention of highly qualified employees has become an area of concern for Australian universities. It has been suggested that flexible work arrangements can be utilised to achieve this goal once the factors affecting their uptake have been identified. This mixedmethod study of 495 academic and general staff at an Australian University investigated the utilisation of flexible work arrangements. The findings indicate that employee job type is significantly related to the take up of flexible work arrangements as well as employee satisfaction with current work-life balance. Academic staff appear to have limited ability to access flexible work arrangements due to their increasing workload, and were significantly less satisfied with their current work-life balance than their general staff colleagues. There are implications arising from this research for all stakeholder groups. Introduction The higher education sector in Australia is experiencing a period of rapid and complex reform including a new regulatory regime. Some changes include the increased emphasis on quality and accountability, greater expectations for quality research, changing student demographics and a projected shortage of suitably qualified staff (Paull, Omari & Sharafizad, 2009). In addition, organisations worldwide have had to step-up their attraction and retention efforts due to environmental changes. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Flexible work arrangements have been found to improve attraction and retention, and have also been linked to a variety of positive organisational and individual outcomes. Research by Raabe (1997 cited in Waters & Bardoel 2006) suggested that universities are increasingly offering flexible work arrangements to obtain a competitive advantage. However, several studies have found that the mere offering of these arrangements does not ensure uptake, and that a provision-utilisation gap exists (Hall & Atkinson 2006; McDonald, Guthrie, Bradley & Shakespeare-Finch 2005). Research on the specific utilisation barriers latent in the higher education sector is somewhat Flexible Work Arrangements, Fleur Sharafizad, Megan Paull, Maryam Omari 43 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V limited. Studies on the differences in uptake between academic staff and general staff in the tertiary education sector are noticeably absent. While academic staff have traditionally enjoyed a certain amount of flexibility, research over the last decade has suggested that this is changing (Coaldrake & Stedman 1999; Doherty & Manfredi 2006; Lazarsfeld Jensen & Morgan 2009). This paper reports the findings of a case study which investigated whether an employee’s job type, and satisfaction with their current work-life balance are related to their uptake of flexible work at an Australian university (hereafter referred to as The University). Literature review Flexible work arrangements are defined as: ‘any policies, practices, formal or informal, which permit people to vary when and where work is carried out’ (Maxwell, Rankine, Bell & MacVicar 2006, p. 138). Gardiner and Tomlinson (2009) view flexible work arrangements as a broad concept that includes any work arrangements that digress from standard employment involving fixed daily hours on the employer’s premises. There are an increasing number of flexible work arrangements on offer across organisations. The most prevalent are flextime (or flexitime) and flexspace. These flexible work arrangements allow flexibility in the timing of work and the place in which the work is conducted (Shockley & Allen 2007). Gainey and Clenney (2006) found that telecommuting, which involves working from home using technology, has been instrumental in helping employees meet the many demands on their time. Other popular types of flexible work arrangements are part-time work and job-sharing (Secret 2000). At times when the labour market is particularly competitive, flexible work arrangements can be utilised not only to retain staff, but also to attract groups who are currently under-represented in employment due to family responsibilities or other limitations (Brumit Kropf 1999). Flexible work arrangements have been acknowledged as a means of obtaining a competitive advantage by improving the attraction and retention of high quality employees, who may have been overlooked in the past for various reasons including their personal circumstances (Brumit Kropf 1999; Cole 2006; Poelmans, Chinchilla & Cardona 2003). There are further suggestions that the utilisation of flexible work arrangements has been linked to improved organisational commitment, motivation and job satisfaction (Nadeem & 44 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Henry 2003), and increased productivity and morale (Melbourne, 2008). Flexible work arrangements have also been recognised as a means for employees to create a more satisfying balance between their work and family lives (Grover & Cooker 1995 cited in Shockley & Allen 2007). Employees that are experiencing work-life conflict are likely to suffer negative individual and organisational consequences, further illustrating the individual and organisational benefits of flexible work arrangements. Lewis (2001) contends that flexible work arrangements came to prominence during the skills shortage of the 1980s when recruitment concerns were compounded by restructuring and downsizing. The need to avoid absenteeism and stress associated with work-life conflict was recognised as being a compelling argument for continuing the development of flexible work arrangements. This would suggest that regardless of economic conditions, there are significant benefits to offering and utilising flexible work arrangements. Various other changes in the environment have further encouraged the shift towards alternative work arrangements. The typical employee of the 1950s has been described as a male full-time employee with a wife at home taking care of the domestic duties (Robbins & Judge 2010). Today, less than 10% of the workforce fits this stereotype, and traditional programs no longer fit the increasingly diverse workforce (Robbins & Judge 2010). Cabrera (2009) observes that while the workforce has changed dramatically, the workplace has not. The changes in the workforce need to be mirrored in the arrangements on offer in the workplace. Charlesworth (1997) suggested that women with dependent children have by far been the largest demographic group to utilise flexible work arrangements, although Secret (2000) could not corroborate this finding. Donnelly (2006) adds that the fact that Western economies are now largely based on knowledge has resulted in the emergence of new employment patterns. Knowledge workers, due to their level of employer-employee interdependency, are more likely to be able to extract ‘deeper concessions’ from their employers than traditional workers (Donnelly 2006, p. 78). This is likely to include greater flexibility in work arrangements. The literature suggests that a provision-utilisation gap exists: the mere provision of flexible work arrangements does not ensure uptake. Several barriers to employee uptake of flexible work arrangements have been identified, including the national culture of a Flexible Work Arrangements, Fleur Sharafizad, Megan Paull, Maryam Omari vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W country (Lyness & Brumit-Kropf 2005), a lack of awarewill ultimately lead to a shortage of academics in the ness among employees, high workloads and career English speaking world. repercussions (Waters & Bardoel 2006). Secret (2000) has suggested that there appears to Methodology be limited research available on the characteristics of employees who use flexible work arrangements. The aim of this study was to investigate whether There is scant evidence of how employee demographemployee demographics affect the utilisation of flexics affect the utilisation of flexible work arrangements, ible work arrangements and satisfaction with curalthough the relationships between uptake and gender rent work-life balance at an Australian university. The and job type have been investigated previously. Waters demographic variables studied were age, gender, and Bardoel (2006) suggested that it would be benefifamily circumstances, career stage and job type. This cial to tie multiple demographic and work related facpaper focuses on the relationship between job type tors together in one study. variables and the utilisation of flexible work arrangeThe study reported in this paper sought to invesments, and employee satisfaction with work-life baltigate the relationships between demographic ance. For the purposes of this discussion, flexible variables and the utilisation of flexible work arrangework arrangements refer to the 17 options available at ments, and employees’ The University (see Figure satisfaction with their cur1 for the full list). This list Research at an English university found rent work-life balance at includes all options availthat larger student numbers; the increase The University. The study able through the two colin full cost courses with more demanding reported here focused on lective agreements (for students; increased level of evening and the differences between general and academic staff) weekend teaching; and the pressure to academic employees and which set work conditions do good quality research are resulting in general employees as two at The University. Some overwhelming workloads for academics distinct groups. The term items in the list have been general staff refers to all traditionally recognised as staff ‘that are not involved benefits (e.g. study leave) in the traditional academic roles of teaching and rather than flexible work arrangements. Each of the research’ (Paull, Omari & Sharafizad 2009, p. 6). This demographic variables were tested against the availterm clearly delineates that as a collective group able flexible work arrangements to ascertain a relationgeneral staff are ‘somewhat different from their ‘acaship, if any. demic’ colleagues’ (Paull, Omari & Sharafizad 2009). Waters and Bardoel (2006) have found there to be Figure 1: The 17 Flexible Work Arrangements Available at The University limited research examining the direct link between work-family policies and their use by academic and • Dependant sick leave/family leave general staff in Australian Universities. • Long service leave ½ pay While academics have been traditionally able to work • Long service leave double pay flexibly, many academics are now facing the problem • Paid maternity leave of heavy workloads and a requirement to work longer • Paternity leave unpaid hours (Doherty & Manfredi 2006). Research at an • Special paid leave • Paid study leave English university found that larger student numbers; • Unpaid study leave the increase in full cost courses with more demand• Annual leave ing students; increased level of evening and weekend • Purchased additional annual leave teaching; and the pressure to do good quality research • Flexible start/finish times are resulting in overwhelming workloads for academ• Part time work • Part time options on maternity leave return ics (Doherty & Manfredi 2006). These pressures have • Compressed working hours resulted in a reduction in the attractiveness of aca• Time off in lieu demic careers (Hammond & Churchman 2008; Lazars• Work from home feld Jensen & Morgan, 2009). Hugo (2005, p. 238 cited • Part-time contract in transition to retirement in Hammond & Churchman 2008) predicted that this vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Flexible Work Arrangements, Fleur Sharafizad, Megan Paull, Maryam Omari 45 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V This cross-sectional exploratory research was based on quantitative data, which was further supported by qualitative comments. The data was collected through an on-line survey posted on the University’s intranet for a period of three weeks in May 2008. The survey targeted all 1154 full-time and part-time, academic and general staff at the University. There were 495 surveys completed, equating to an overall response rate of 43 per cent. The response rate for academics (31 per cent) was significantly lower than that of general staff (50 per cent). The age and gender distributions among survey respondents were similar to the overall age and gender distributions across The University, improving the validity of the findings. The study was conducted in collaboration with the human resources department of The University whose goal was to obtain employee-feedback to enhance attraction and retention rates. The University and the researchers had different objectives in terms of data collection, although these were not competitive or contradictory. The resulting survey consisted of seven parts with a total of 22 questions. The questions were multiple choice, Likert-scale and open-ended, seeking free response data. Findings Employee job type was found to be significantly related to uptake of flexible work arrangements. General staff had a significantly higher utilisation of dependant sick leave/family leave (t=4.444, p=0.000, Z=-4.349, p=0.000), time off in-lieu (t=7.564, p=0.000, Z=-7.123, p=0.000), special paid leave (t=2.369, p=0.018, Z=-2.142, p=0.032), long service leave double pay (t=2.259, p=0.024, Z=-2.489, p=0.013) and paid maternity leave (t=2.180, p=0.030, Z=-2.179, p=0.029). Academic staff utilised work from home (t=-9.757, p=0.000, Z=-8.767, p=0.000) and paid study leave (t=2.862, p=0.004, Z=-2.142, p=0.000). Employee job type was also significantly related to employee satisfaction with current work-life balance (t=4.644, p=0.000, Z=-3.985, p=0.000). General staff were found to be significantly more satisfied with their current work-life balance. The findings indicate that general staff have better access to, or are more able to utilise flexible work arrangements that provide them with periods of leave. Academic staff had a significantly higher uptake of work from home and paid study leave. As academic work is often not bound to a specific location the work 46 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W from home arrangement is ideal for work tasks that do not need to be conducted at the office: research, marking or the preparation of teaching material. Academics are required to continuously broaden their knowledge. While the option of paid study leave is officially available to all staff at The University, qualitative data collected suggests that accessing this FWA was not as easy for general staff. One of the general staff respondents indicated that: To get paid study leave (for non-academic staff) is like skinning a cat. You will get there but it is painful. To get flexible hours i.e. leave early for class etc is OK as long as you are getting your work done. While paid study leave is available to both types of employees, there are clearly factors that affect the actual uptake, such as general staff feeling discouraged from requesting this arrangement. General staff utilise all but two of the available flexible work arrangements significantly more than their academic colleagues. Academic staff indicated that their increasing workload has resulted in a situation where they can simply not afford to take up flexible work arrangements. One of the respondents encapsulated this in the following statement: What other commitments??? Most of the academic staff I know don’t have time for much of a life beyond their work commitments. The trouble is that most seem to see this as normal – just part of the job, but it puts an inordinate strain on families and friendships. Increasing workloads are forcing academic staff to make trade-offs between teaching and research, with one respondent stating that: Seriously look at what is being pushed down to academics. Everyone works such long hours and there is a growing expectancy that this is the norm. If you stick to a reasonable working week then what suffers is your own research productivity which means that you trap yourself here as you become no longer competitive for employment elsewhere. Alternatively if you focus on your own research and do not do the ENDLESS admin associated with teaching then you leave that work for colleagues to do and make their lives worse. Another academic stated: Firstly I am delighted that this question is being asked. My answer is we need better management. We are supposed to teach, research and ensure our administration is done. I tried a simple experiment. I taught my classes and then tried to ensure all my administration was done prior to doing any Flexible Work Arrangements, Fleur Sharafizad, Megan Paull, Maryam Omari vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V research. This experiment ran for a couple of weeks. The result – I never managed to do any research. AND I never got on top of the administration. Doherty and Manfredi (2006) have suggested that academics have been traditionally able to work flexibly but are now facing a problem of heavy workloads and a requirement to work longer hours. Over a decade ago, Coaldrake and Stedman (1999, p. 9) reported that ‘many academics feel burdened by the increasing weight of expectations placed upon them, in contrast to their ideal of determining the parameters of their own working lives’. Houston, Meyer and Paewai (2006) reported that staff in one of New Zealand’s eight public universities were extending their working time to meet work demands, with approximately one third working in excess of ten hours over a full time load. This pattern is consistent with workload findings in universities in Australia (Forgasz & Leder 2006; Lazarsfeld Jensen & Morgan, 2009). There is also consistency here with the notion that flexible working practices can be linked to work intensification (Kelliher & Anderson, 2010). From an industrial relations point of view the attractiveness of flexible work arrangements is offset by the contested nature of the division between work and non-work time. Employers seek to maximise productivity, scheduling work when it is most productive for their business, and employees see to find a balance between the demands of their work and non-work life (Rubery, Ward, Grimshaw & Beynon 2005). Workload could also be considered to be an issue requiring ethical consideration (DavsonGalle 2010). Staff comments indicate that flexible work arrangements have not provided sufficient improvements in terms of work-life balance for academics, and that in fact both work intensification, and extended hours have become a part of the landscape. The qualitative data provided further evidence that general and academic staff have somewhat negative perceptions about each other’s workloads. Academics were of the opinion that general staff have more flexibility: As an academic one has flexible arrangements within the overall expectation of working hours being 24/7; the form of the questions is oriented to General Staff, not Academics. General staff expressed the view that academic staff had ‘to [sic] much power’ over them and that ‘academic staff usually disagree with general staff vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W having leave���. As the quantitative data was the main focus of this study, with the qualitative data mainly collected to support any findings, further research into these perceptions would be beneficial. Perceptions such as these cause rifts between two employee groups that should be working together to serve The University and its students. It appears that there are some preconceived ideas about the specifics of the nature of work and responsibilities of each group, with both perceiving the grass to be greener on the other side. Academic staff commented that workload issues were caused by administrative tasks that were progressively being embedded into their positions. One of the academic respondents stated that there were ‘Increased general administrative workloads being pushed down to academics’. Some academics are of the opinion that these administrative tasks should be the responsibility of general staff. Another academic said: For academic staff the level of reporting is growing beyond excessive, and in many instances reported data is going to people who already have access to that data. It seems to many that the role of admin has changed somewhat over the last few years to no longer support academic staff, but rather ensure that academic staff perform all their own admin functions on time. The qualitative data gives a small insight into the frustration of some respondents. Further research into the relationship between academic and general staff and its effects would be constructive in any dialogue that aspires to improve the workload and job satisfaction of all the staff at universities. Some academics were of the view that an in-depth investigation was required to provide an accurate picture of their workload: A serious look at workload, not the surface examination that assumes academics moan on principle and that the solution is just to learn to work more cleverly. Perhaps actually shadow a selection of staff to actually see what they are expected to do and how they do it. I am aware of constantly doing things very quickly that I could do much better and which deserve more thought than I put in. I am aware of many many lost opportunities because I do not have time to follow things up… Such in-depth investigations, however, tend to be more about maximising productivity on behalf of universities in the new higher education environment, rather than increasing work-life balance for staff. Flexible Work Arrangements, Fleur Sharafizad, Megan Paull, Maryam Omari 47 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V It appears that general staff are more likely to access flexible work arrangements through formal avenues and have less autonomy than academic staff. Academic staff felt that traditionally, due to the nature of their job, they have better access to informal flexible work arrangements. Recent pressures, however, have led to a decrease in this access. Many academic staff believe that increased workload and devolution of administrative tasks are the root causes of this reduction in access. This is consistent with findings with regard to workload modeling elsewhere (Lazarsfeld Jensen & Morgan 2009) where academics are reporting that they are working harder and longer without due recognition. Concluding Comments This study has identified that the mere offering of flexible work arrangements will not ensure employee uptake. Further, the findings indicate that there are significant differences in the utilisation of flexible work arrangements between academic and general staff. General staff are increasingly taking up flexible work arrangements but there is evidence that the accessibility to some forms of flexible work arrangements are restricted by a lack of understanding on the part of those who approve such arrangements. A key finding of this study relates to the workload of academics. Academics were found to have increasingly less access to flexible work arrangements and were significantly less satisfied with their current work-life balance. While the workload of academics has been a topic of interest in previous research, none of the previous studies seemed to have made such significant findings in relation to their utilisation of flexible work arrangements, and satisfaction with their current work-life balance. The increasing workload of academics has led to a decrease in the attractiveness of academic careers. While these findings are clearly alarming for Australian universities, they can also serve as input for the reform that is clearly needed in academic careers. This research has revealed that the vast majority of academic staff are currently struggling with their ever-increasing workload. These findings can provide universities with a better understanding and appreciation of the changes that have taken place in academic workloads over the last decade. The qualitative data collected in this study clearly supported earlier research by Whitchurch (2006) that suggested that there is a blurring of the boundaries between traditional academic 48 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W work and administrative functions. These tasks often take time away from research productivity, which in turn affects the academics’ employability and future career prospects. Universities are increasingly finding it difficult to fill academic vacancies. Hammond and Churchman (2008) emphasise the importance of academics in society by highlighting that the future of Australian Universities as mass educators will depend on highly qualified and specialised staff. Clearly, in order to ensure the future of Australian universities, further research is required to inform plans of action. A critical element will be to combat the increasingly debilitating workload and improve the availability and accessibility of flexible work arrangements to allow work-life balance. Such initiatives need to be a collaborative effort involving the universities, their staff and the union. Fleur Sharafizad and Associate Professor Maryam Omari work at Edith Cowan University, Australia. Megan Paull works at the Murdoch School of Business, Murdoch University, Australia. References Brumit Kropf, M. (1999). Flexibility initiatives: Current approaches and effective strategies. Women in Management Review, 14(5), pp. 177-185. Cabrera, E. (2009). Protean organizations: reshaping work and careers to retain female talent. Career Development International, 14(2), pp. 186-201. Charlesworth, S. (1997) Enterprise bargaining and women workers: the seven perils of flexibility. Labour & Industry, 8(2), pp. 101-115. Coaldrake, P. & Stedman, L. (1999). Academic work in the twenty-first century. Changing roles and policy. Higher Education Division, Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Canberra. Cole, G. (2006). Flexibility and the workplace: The battle to control working time. Managerial Law, 48(6), pp. 536-540. Davson-Galle, P. (2010). Workload determination: An essay in applied ethics. Australian Universities’ Review, 52(2), pp. 66-71. Doherty, L. & Manfredi, S. (2006). Action research to develop work-life balance in a UK University. Women in Management Review, 21(3), pp. 241-259. Donnelly, R. (2006). How ‘free’ is the free worker? An investigation into the working arrangements available to knowledge workers’. Personnel Review, 35(1), pp. 78-97. Forgasz, H. & Leder G. (2006). Academic life: Monitoring work patterns. The Australian Educational Researcher 33(1), pp. 1-22. Gainey, T. & Clenney, B. (2006). Flextime and telecommuting: Examining individual perceptions. Southern Business Review, 32(1), pp. 13-22. Gardiner, J. & Tomlinson, J. (2009) Organisational approaches to flexible working: Perspectives of equality and diversity managers in the UK. Equal Opportunities International, 28(8), pp. 671-686. Hall, L. & Atkinson, C. (2006). Improving working lives: flexible working and the role of employee control. Employee Relations, 28(4), pp. 374-386. Flexible Work Arrangements, Fleur Sharafizad, Megan Paull, Maryam Omari vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I Hammond, C. & Churchman, D. (2008). Sustaining academic life: A case for applying principles of social sustainability to the academic profession. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9(3), pp. 235-245. Houston, D., Meyer, L., & Paewai, S. (2006). Academic staff workloads and job satisfaction: expectations and values in academe. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 28(1), pp. 17-30. Kelliher, C. & Anderson, D (2010). Doing more with less? Flexible working practices and the intensification of work. Human Relations, 63, pp. 83-106. Lazarfeld-Jensen, A. & Morgan, K. (2009). The vanishing idea of a scholarly life: Workload calculations and the loss of academic integrity in Western Sydney. Australian Universities’ Review, 51(2), pp. 62-69. Lewis, S. (2001). Restructuring workplace cultures: the ultimate work-family challenge? Women in Management Review, 16(1), pp. 21-29. Lyness, K. & Brumit Kropf, M. (2005). The relationships of national gender equality and organisational support with WLB: A study of European managers. Human Relations, 58, pp. 33-60. Maxwell, G., Rankine, L., Bell, S., & MacVicar, A. (2007) The incidence and impact of FWAs in smaller businesses. Employee Relations, 29(2), pp. 138-161. McDonald, P., Guthrie, D., Bradley, L., & Shakespeare-Finch, J. (2005). Investigating work-family policy aims and employee experiences. Employee Relations, 27(5), pp. 478-494. Melbourne, S. (2008). May, Flexible Thinking. HRMonthly, pp. 44-45. Nadeem, S., & Henry, C. (2003). Power dynamics in the long-term development of employee-friendly flexible working. Women in Management Review, 18(1/2), pp. 32-49. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Paull, M., Omari, M., & Sharafizad, F. (2009). Flexible work arrangements in Higher Education: A tale of two groups. Paper presented at Sustainable Management and Marketing. Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) conference, Melbourne 1-4 December 2009. Poelmans, S., Chinchilla, N., & Cardona, P. (2003). The adoption of familyfriendly HRM policies; Competing for scarce resources in the labour market. International Journal of Manpower, 24(2), pp. 128-147. Robbins, S. & Judge, T. (2010). Essentials of organizational behaviour, [10th Ed.]. Pearson Prentice-Hall. Rubery, J., Ward, K., Grimshaw, D., & Beynon, H. (2005). Working time, industrial relations and the employment relationship. Time & Society, 14(1) pp. 89-111. Secret, M. (2000). Identifying the family, job, and workplace characteristics of employees who use work-family benefits. Family Relations, 49(2), pp. 217-226. Shockley, KM & Allen, TD 2007, ‘When flexibility helps: Another look at the availability of FWAs and work-family conflict’. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 71(3) pp. 479-493. Waters, M. & Bardoel, E. (2006). Work-family policies in the context of higher education: Useful or symbolic? Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 44(1), pp. 67-82. Whitchurch C. (2006). Who do they think they are? The changing identities of professional administrators and managers in UK higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 28(2), pp. 159–171. Flexible Work Arrangements, Fleur Sharafizad, Megan Paull, Maryam Omari 49 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Performance related pay in Australian universities The case of Swinburne University Peter Harkness & Mark Schier Swinburne University of Technology Performance related pay is not common in Australian universities. A number of Australian universities have begun to show interest in implementing more individualised pay arrangements. Swinburne University of Technology, in Melbourne, has chosen, contrary to the wishes of many of its staff, to be a path-breaker and has introduced a performance related pay scheme. This paper presents a review of the literature pertaining to the effectiveness of performance-related pay, with a particular emphasis on educational organisations. The overall research question guiding the review was to establish the extent to which performance related pay practices have been successful, and in particular, whether or not performance related pay practices are likely to be effective in a higher educational institution. The findings provide very little support for Swinburne’s ‘Performance, Development and Rewards’ scheme. Indeed, it may well be counterproductive. Introduction Performance related pay (PRP) whilst commonplace in the private sector, is relatively uncommon in the university environment. The academic labour market in particular has always been strongly regulated by collective arrangements, a feature broadly supported by university managements as they seek to maintain comparability across the sector in the face of recruitment and retention pressures. Academic work is unusual in that it is professional, yet well unionised, highly autonomous, yet collegial. At the same time the nature of academic work has undergone substantial change and reconfiguration over recent decades. Not only is higher education now one of Australia’s largest export industries, universities are very different workplaces to what they were twenty years ago. For students there has been change too. Higher Education Contribution Scheme debts, full fee-paying places, on-line delivery of courses, active labour market engagement and voluntary student unionism make for a very different 50 experience. Add to this active disinvestment by the Federal Government over the last decade, to the tune of between three to four per cent (NTEU, 2007) and the result is a sector under enormous strain. Over the last decade or so the Government’s underfunding has caused the university sector to rely more and more on full fee-paying international education, with international student numbers increasing by 350 per cent over the period 1996-2005, while the participation rate of domestic school leavers fell. International student numbers grew a further 20 per cent between 2007 and 2009 (Marginson, 2009 p.2), but declined by 16.4 per cent in 2011 (Collins 2011). The effect of this has been a zero sum game, as Marginson (2007 p.1) notes,‘the tail is wagging the dog’. Revenues from international students are ploughed back into attracting more international students to maintain viability, but do not provide sufficient funds for basic research or teaching sufficient domestic students (Marginson, 2007 p.2). Student staff ratios have also increased over this period by around 40 per cent, to 21 students per Performance related pay in Australian universities, Peter Harkness & Mark Schier vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V faculty-based teaching and research staff member, up from 16 students per staff member in 1996 (DEST data in NTEU, 2007 p.10). By comparison, the University of Munster (one of Germany’s best and largest universities) has a staff to student ratio of 8 to 1. It is unsurprising given this backdrop that a number of Australian universities have begun to show interest in implementing more individualised pay arrangements. In every case it is the management of the universities that have sought to explore these different arrangements, not staff.This paper is about the push by one Australian university to implement such a scheme. Swinburne University of Technology, in Melbourne, a cross sectoral university (that is, one with both vocational training and higher education course offerings) has chosen, contrary to the wishes of many of its staff, to be a path-breaker and has introduced such a scheme. Swinburne’s management first announced the new staff appraisal scheme in 2007, without consultation with staff unions and arguably in conflict with the collective agreement. The scheme was called the ‘Performance, Development and Rewards scheme’. It included as a central plank, the new (to Swinburne) possibility of staff being able to win a bonus equal to a maximum of ten per cent of their current substantive salary, as a reward for meeting a number of performance measures. Management advised that there would be sufficient funds for 30 per cent of staff to win such a bonus. This scheme was born out of the Howard Government’s ‘Workplace Productivity Programme’ (Department of Education Employment & Workplace Relations, 2008). The former government had made a pool of funds of about $140 million dollars available to universities to raise productivity. To be successful, applications for funds had to describe comprehensively a rigorous plan to lift productivity. In order to access additional university funding, Swinburne’s management hired Ernst and Young Consultants to advise on how to develop a suitable application. Ernst and Young chose an ‘off-the-shelf’ performance related pay (PRP) scheme from an American training company ‘Success Factors’. The Success Factors PRP scheme was an online system and already in use by more than 2800 corporations, including some multinational companies such as Cadbury. The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations accepted Ernst and Young’s proposal and in 2007 Swinburne received just under $2.5 million to implement its Performance, Development and Rewards scheme on a trial basis. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W The reasons why Swinburne went to such lengths to access a share of the Commonwealth funds are not clear, given that other universities received similar grants for considerably less controversial undertakings to raise productivity. Swinburne had already shown a willingness to support Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs), extending to its staff the option of swapping to an AWA (as all universities were required to do).The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU)’s head office estimated that Swinburne ended up with a higher proportion of staff on AWAs than many other universities. This might also be linked to the fact that Swinburne historically had a higher level of ‘overaward’ payments, or loadings, and somewhat of an acceptance of variation of pay (something reported often by NTEU industrial officers). Within the context of Swinburne University, success, or future success, has been clearly articulated in the then Vice-Chancellor’s ‘vision’ paper: ‘Swinburne in 2015’. Here success is defined as: • A 10 per cent increase in Swinburne’s ranking on research performance compared to all other Australian universities. • A ranking of at least 500 in the Shanghai Jiao Tong index (based on quality of education and staff, research output relative to the size of the university) • An increase (to 90 per cent) in the proportion of staff with a higher degree • Increased investment in infrastructure • Teaching excellence (as indicated by an increase of one per cent per annum in favourable student evaluations, international accreditation of courses, and adopting a model of professional learning) (Young 2008). Two main drivers underlie this definition of success: ‘highly motivated and highly performing staff’ and ‘the necessary resources to achieve the outcomes’ (Young 2008, p.9). In essence, success has been defined as obtaining ‘a culture of excellence’. Apart from obtaining the necessary infrastructure and resources, it is assumed that this culture of excellence will be obtained via performance-related bonuses. According to Swinburne, rewarding 30 per cent of staff who are deemed to be highly motivated and performing will create an ‘environment where excellence is expected’. As a consequence, the quality of staff performance will increase, allowing Swinburne to realise its 2015 goals. As Swinburne’s Human Resources Department embraced the new Performance, Development and Rewards scheme, staff were surprised at the detail and Performance related pay in Australian universities, Peter Harkness & Mark Schier 51 A U S T R A L I A N U N I rigour of the Success Factors software. Understanding how to use it and to comply with it was not easy and was very time consuming. It required individual staff to attend training sessions, read a tedious manual of many pages, and then answer questions using managerialist terminology about how they performed their work duties, and what improvements and goals would be achieved in the next six, and twelve months. One staff member said the preparation required to understand the Performance, Development and Rewards scheme took him 28 hours. Given its rationale is to improve productivity, this was not a good start. Many staff told the Union that they resented the Performance, Development and Rewards scheme and felt bullied into using it with its ‘Big Brother’ overtones and unnecessary micromanagement. It endeavoured to measure so much of what staff did. The local branch of the NTEU, which had been opposed to the Performance, Development and Rewards scheme from the outset, began to receive many complaints from irritated staff, but only one compliment. This scheme was much more onerous and invasive than the existing staff appraisal scheme which it was designed to replace. In 2008, the Swinburne Branch of the NTEU undertook a survey of staff (NTEU Swinburne 2008) which showed that 69 per cent of staff named excessive workloads as their main grievance, yet the new Performance, Development and Rewards scheme was widely perceived by staff as likely to increase workloads and administrative requirements. The Union then raised a dispute with management on the grounds that the new Performance, Development and Rewards scheme had never been part of the employment conditions of staff as spelt out in the collective agreement. The dispute ended up before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission but was unable to be resolved there, with the parties directed to continue to negotiate. As part of that process, the Swinburne Branch of the NTEU decided it would undertake a thorough review of published research on experience with performance related pay schemes around the world. The reasoning behind this approach was that universities were places of critical thinking and that an evidence based approach was what was taught. The literature review undertaken will now be summarised, after which the reaction to it by Swinburne’s management, and the current situation at the University will be described. 52 V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Literature Review Our research presents a review of the literature pertaining to the effectiveness of performance-related pay, with a particular emphasis on educational organisations.The overall research question guiding the review was ‘to what extent have performance related pay practices been successful?’, and in particular, ‘are performance related pay practices likely to be effective in a higher educational institution? Hence, the main purpose of this literature review was to determine whether the proposition that rewarding ‘highly motivated and high performing staff’ would result in a ‘culture of excellence’ was supported by the substantive knowledge relating to performance-based pay. a. Performance related pay in general The shift from collective to decentralised modes of bargaining that occurred in the Australian industrial relations landscape during the 1980s and 1990s saw a resurgence in the implementation of performance pay policies by Australian employers (Shields, 2002). While performance-related pay practices in Australian private industry have been utilised in one form or another since colonial times (Shields, 2002), the closing decades of the twentieth century saw a concerted effort by the governments of many OECD nations, including Australia, to implement PRP practices into the public sector (O’Donnell, 1998; Reith, 1996). Such a policy has also been embraced with increasing frequency in the education sector amongst OECD member countries (Bryson, 2004; Cutler & Waine, 1999; Kis, 2004; Storey, 2000). In practice, there is much variation in the implementation of PRP programmes across the industrial spectrum, but all programmes, as the term suggests, feature a framework under which pay is linked to a measured performance outcome. Consequently such programmes are underpinned by several assumptions, namely that employee output can be measured accurately, that such output contributes to overall organisational performance, and finally that the payment policy is designed in a way that motivates the organisation’s employees (OECD, 2005). The question becomes then: ‘To what extent have PRP policies been successful, in which sector, and under which conditions?’ And further, ‘How is success typically defined and measured in PRP evaluation?’ A review of the literature reveals much research into the effectiveness of PRP practices in the private sector, a Performance related pay in Australian universities, Peter Harkness & Mark Schier vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W smaller but burgeoning amount of research into PRP tive labour tell only part of the story. Indeed, Pekkain the public sector, and a relative scarcity of empiririnen and Riddell (2008) controlled for job complexity cal research into the effectiveness of incentive proin their research and showed that as the complexity grammes in the school and higher education sectors. of a job increased there was a corresponding decrease The lack of studies is unsurprising given that use of in the effectiveness of PRP on productivity. In order PRP programmes in schools and institutions of higher to gauge accurately the effectiveness of PRP schemes, education is a recent development. it is also important to consider the impact of the PRP An obvious obstacle in evaluating the literature on policy on job satisfaction. Also, studies need to take performance pay lies in the fact that PRP initiatives into account effects on the quality of the work —the vary wildly across organisations and environments. trade-off between sacrificing conscientiousness or Indeed, it is usually the case that PRP represents only carefulness versus increased work speed (Paarsch & one, albeit important, facet in an overall performance Shearer, 2000). A final consideration is that it is impormanagement framework, although it is also the case tant to measure whether these increases in productivthat PRP can be divisive and demotivating (French, ity are sustained over time. Kubo and Marsden 2001). Much of the research into Again, it is worth advising caution before generalising PRP efficacy comes from research on single organisathese findings given that much research that reports tions and thus, given the productivity increases as a variation of performance result of PRP are in areas The question becomes then: ‘To what extent management programmes where work output is have [performance-related pay] policies across organisations and easily quantifiable. been successful, in which sector, and under sectors, caution must be In a study evaluating attiwhich conditions?’ exercised before genertudes towards PRP policies alising research findings. in the British public service Nevertheless, a number of amongst administrative and common findings and themes can be abstracted from professional civil servants, French, Kubo and Marsden the literature. (2001) showed that while the majority of the staff PRP programme effectiveness is typically evaluated accepted the principle of linking payment to performon two broad levels. First, researchers are interested in ance, a significant number believed the execution of the changes in worker motivation and subsequent change policy to be ineffective. Even more alarmingly, a large in productivity and output, and second, changes in proportion of the respondents felt that PRP schemes reports of job satisfaction. Plainly, an argument can be promoted internal jealousies and conflict amongst made that these two measures of PRP effectiveness staff, reduced teamwork, and resulted in a decrease in are fundamentally linked in that workers who report the willingness of staff to cooperate with management. higher levels of job satisfaction are more likely to be While some managers reported a modest increase in motivated to perform in their jobs at a higher level. motivation and productivity after the implementation Worker productivity and output is easier to measure in of PRP practices, serious doubts emerged as to whether some industries than others. In a frequently cited study, such performance increases could be sustained over Lazear (2000) demonstrated that productivity amongst time given the demotivating and divisive effects that employees at an automotive glass manufacturer rose PRP may have upon employees’ relationships with their by over forty per cent when the payment system colleagues and management. was changed from an hourly rate to piece rates—a Research on the commitment employees have change that translated into an average ten per cent towards their workplace ‘indicates that it is built up wage increase amongst staff. Other researchers have by a process of exchange between employees and demonstrated similar productivity rises through the their organisations. In the short-run, such commitment use of piece rate payment amongst manual labourers represents a capital which will sustain the organisa(Paarsch & Shearer, 2000), sales staff (Oettinger, 2001), tion through short-run problems, but in the long-run and metal workers (Pekkarinen & Riddell, 2008). it will be eroded by the feelings that the exchange is Of course, the productivity increases demonstrated no longer fair’ ( French, Kubo & Marsden 2001, p. 13). by using PRP in these areas where staff are typically A report examining PRP schemes in the public categorised as unskilled workers doing manual, repetisector in OECD member nations reveals that they vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Performance related pay in Australian universities, Peter Harkness & Mark Schier 53 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V are generally failing to achieve their stated goals. In a frank assessment, the report states that the majority of public sector staff did not see PRP as a sufficient incentive that would lead to a change in productivity. The report goes on to state that ‘the motivational value of PRP has been overestimated and its adverse impacts underestimated’ (OECD, 2005, p. 74).This assessment is echoed by Cardona (2006) who states that at the managerial level no conclusive evidence has been found between PRP and an improvement of motivation and performance in the organisations. The question that arises then is: why do governments and other organisations persist in using PRP systems in the face of mounting evidence as to their ineffectiveness, and even detriment? Marsden (2004) makes the argument that while proponents of PRP might proffer motivation and productivity increases as the primary reason behind the policy, the use of performance management as a means to renegotiate performance norms is a second, mostly unacknowledged reason, that is core to its widespread use. The thrust of this argument is that over time the focus and directions of organisations are subject to change and in this respect PRP is used as a catalyst to effect change by revising job duties and boundaries and the level of performance expected from staff. b. Performance Appraisal and PRP in Schools Over the past decade, there has been a surge of interest in applying PRP policies into both the teaching and higher education sectors. The use of PRP practices, typically merit pay, in the teaching sector is longstanding in the USA. Yet because the PRP schemes tended to be implemented on a district-by-district basis, there is little in the way of systematic research into the performance of these schemes. The UK on the other hand, has been implementing a PRP scheme in all public schools in England and Wales since 2000, with the threefold goal of decreasing teacher attrition rates, making entry into the profession more attractive to graduates, and increasing teacher performance (Atkinson et al., 2004; Cutler & Waine, 2000). After four years of operation, Marsden and Belfield (2006) evaluated the scheme and found that the initial opposition from teachers and head teachers had, for the most part, subsided and that student attainment had increased. The authors attributed the moderate success of the programme to the integrative bargaining approach taken by many of the schools where the needs of teachers of the classroom were 54 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W reconciled with the objectives of the school. Indeed, the authors argue that negotiation in setting performance goals between school management and teachers, rather than performance goals being imposed from above was crucial. While PRP practices are not yet used in the Australian public school sector, the Australian Council for Educational Research commissioned a report to evaluate the viability of introducing a PRP programme with similar goals to those proffered in support of the British scheme, namely to attract and retain high quality teachers and make the profession more attractive to graduates. Currently, Australian teachers climb to the top of their pay scale in a little over a decade, leaving little opportunity for significant pay increases or further professional development (Ingvarson, Kleinhenz, & Wilkinson, 2007). The report highlighted that while PRP has the potential to be an effective tool to attract and retain high calibre teachers, there are several limitations that would need to be addressed before such a scheme could be accepted and utilised in the profession. Foremost among these is that any performance appraisal scheme needs to be externally developed and administered and that ‘the success of these schemes is critically dependent, first, on the level of preparatory research, experimentation and field trials to ensure that methods of gathering evidence and assessing performance are valid, reliable and fair. Without this kind of preparation the system quickly loses credibility and respect’ (Ingvarson et al., 2007 p.89). Other researchers have pointed out that performance measurement for teachers is fraught with difficulty, given that the education of a student is a collaborative exercise in which a large number of faculty staff have a role to play in student education and attainment. This has led researchers to suggest that teambased PRP schemes are more suitable than individuals’ ones in the teaching field (Belfield & Heywood, 2008). c. Performance Appraisal and PRP in Higher Education The late 1980s and early 1990s saw a dwindling allocation of government funding for Australian universities coupled with an increase in the use of tied grants for the funding that was made available. The purpose of this was to exert political control over universities and to increase their competitiveness in a crowded global marketplace by imposing organisational changes that aligned university management practices more closely with the interests of the private sector (Morris, 2005). Performance related pay in Australian universities, Peter Harkness & Mark Schier vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V The overall reduction in funding forced universities to generate revenue from their own enterprises through the commercialisation of research and education while striving for greater levels of accountability, predictability, efficiency and effectiveness (Morris, Stanton, & Young, 2007;Wilson, 1991). One avenue through which universities have attempted to achieve this goal is through the implementation of performance appraisal systems. It should be noted that while some universities have long utilised discretionary funds in a manner that might reward high achievement (but not usually for academic staff), no Australian university has yet formalised a PRP policy amongst academic staff. Swinburne is the first to attempt this. In an examination of the use of performance appraisals in Australian universities, Morris (2005) asserts that there is an increasing tendency to make performance appraisals more ambitious in scope and purpose while trumpeting their expected benefits.Thus, performance appraisals are used not only to measure the achievement of performance targets but also to ensure staff performance and duties are consonant with evolving organisational goals, a function of performance appraisals also highlighted by Marsden (2004). Yet despite the widespread use of performance appraisals in universities the suitability of the practice in the academic environment is a point of heated debate. A primary source of the criticism of performance appraisal in universities is that there is an erosion of academic freedom as the institutions become beholden to the economic imperatives of a managerial framework. Individual interest and discretion is forfeited and research avenues are closed off particularly if they are hard to commodify or are controversial or unpopular (Bryson, 2004; Morris, 2005). Where an academic environment based on collegiality, peer evaluation and review has in the past served well to uphold academic quality and standards, the shift to a hierarchical framework threatens to undermine this process by imposing top-down managerial control. Many of the criticisms relating to the use of performance appraisals in the private sector apply equally to their use in knowledge-based environments. While many performance appraisal systems emphasise professional development and support, the reality of their implementation leads to feelings amongst staff that they are being used for monitoring and control purposes and in turn can negatively influence organisational commitment (Simmons, 2002). Indeed, the perception of managerial interference and control vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W may lead to the system being resisted or subverted by staff (Barry, Chandler, & Clark, 2001). The use of performance appraisal systems has also led to feelings of work intensification and overload amongst employees, although this feeling is less apparent in employees who have high levels of trust in management (Brown & Benson, 2003, 2005). A further criticism of the performance appraisal system lies in perceptions of justice by the appraised. For a performance appraisal to be considered effective, it must be perceived to have both procedural justice (that is the performance appraisal process must be transparent, fair, and measure accurately the contribution of an employee), and distributive justice (where the benefits and rewards allocated are proportional to an employee’s organisational input) (Bartol, Durham, & Poon, 2001; Morris et al., 2007; Winstanley, StuartSmith, & Pointon, 1996). An additional concern is that the appraiser needs to have the requisite knowledge and skills to evaluate the work of the employee, which given the diverse responsibilities of academics (research, teaching, and administration) can be particularly challenging (Morris, 2005). For an appraisal system to be considered fair, the system needs to be objective and to have a mechanism in place for staff to appeal their appraisal outcome. Swinburne management has denied staff the right to use the University’s grievance procedure in relation to its PRP scheme. The difficulties highlighted in applying private sector managerial practices at universities are not limited to academic staff. Hughes and Sohler (1992) argue general staff are required to work closely with academics, and the nature of the university environment heavily influences their roles and working relationships, thus the assumption that private sector-style appraisals will be easily applicable to the general staff fails to take into account the context and complexity of their work. Despite the global trend of incorporating performance appraisal systems into the higher education sector, it is clear that significant doubts and cynicism remain over the viability of the systems to function effectively in these environments. The problems many commentators have raised as inherent in PRP and performance appraisal systems in the private and public sectors are just as relevant to the higher education sector, if not more so, and Kis, (2004) argues that they are in essence incompatible ideologies. In an evaluation of the role of performance appraisals in higher education, Morris (2005, p.392), concludes that ‘universities would be better placed to focus on what they Performance related pay in Australian universities, Peter Harkness & Mark Schier 55 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V had; a model which was highly participatory in nature, reflected the culture and environment in which it operated, was no less rigorous in its intent and which had served the academic community well in the past’. d. Literature Summary The overall findings of the review suggest strongly that the effectiveness of PRP practices in general are dependent on a range of complex and interrelated factors. These include the type of work carried out by employees, the level of organisational commitment and staff morale present, trust in management, the presence of democratic work practices, perceptions of procedural justice and fairness, reliability and validity of outcome measures, the perceived motivation for the scheme, and the proportion of staff rewarded. Therefore, according to some scholars, incentives may increase productivity for an employee whose work is primarily repetitive, piecework (e.g. on a factory production line) that is easily defined and quantifiable by a trusted management system that provides employees with a voice and adequate resources. However, others argue that even with these ideal working conditions, the evidence is still inconclusive as to whether PRP schemes increase the motivation and productivity of workers in general, especially in the long term. The available empirical data are insufficient to enable one to conclude that PRP schemes will increase productivity and particularly motivation regardless of the presence or absence of other organisational or individual factors. There is however, wide agreement that if implemented outside of ideal working conditions, PRP schemes can have a detrimental effect on performance. In particular, if implemented within a work place characterised by poor leadership and systems, they can lead to resentment, erosion in collegiality, distrust and ultimately reduced morale and motivation. In sum, this review found little evidence or scholarly opinion that supports the view that added financial incentives will improve the motivation and performance of employees in general, but they do pose a significant risk to workplace morale. The literature also provides scant evidence that financial incentives will increase productivity in either a public sector organisation or a university environment where work is more likely to be driven by intrinsic (e.g. benevolence, curiosity, enjoyment) rather than extrinsic motivations (e.g., financial incentives, personal glory, prizes). First, there is little empirical evidence available that directly examines the rela- 56 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W tionship between financial incentives and performance in the higher education sector. There is however, some research within the public service and schools, where little evidence was found to suggest that PRP schemes increase quality performance. An evaluation of the literature within Australian schools by the Australian Council for Educational Research concluded that the success of any performance scheme for teachers depends upon credible and reliable measures of performance, and external and independent administration. Further, without these key features, the credibility of the scheme is easily damaged which leads to a decrease in morale, and in turn, performance. This review found almost no support for a PRP within Swinburne to achieve the aims as set out in the 2015 statement. Rewarding a small proportion of staff is unlikely to motivate the remaining 70 per cent to produce higher quality research and teaching or to work more efficiently. The opposite is likely to occur – staff are less likely to cooperate on teaching and research initiatives, and administration if someone else will directly benefit (particularly if teaming with others with experience of writing their own achievable goals).The Swinburne Performance, Development and Rewards scheme encourages and measures individualism. Even assuming that reliable and valid indicators of performance will be measured by trusting and credible supervisors, there is no evidence to suggest that academic activity is motivated by additional financial reward. It is therefore concluded in line with an OECD report assessing the effectiveness of PRP’s within the public sector that, ‘the motivational value of PRP has been overestimated and its adverse impacts underestimated’ (OECD, 2005, p. 74). Swinburne’s Reaction to this Research While the NTEU was undertaking the above literature survey, it was simultaneously encouraging staff to boycott the University’s Performance, Development and Rewards scheme. In its flyers, newsletters and other communications with staff, the Union pointed out that the Performance, Development and Rewards scheme breached the collective agreement (Enterprise Bargaining Agreement or EBA), it explicitly prevented staff from accessing the University’s grievance processes (should they wish to dispute their ‘performance ratings’ within the scheme). It appeared to contravene State and Federal privacy laws (because personal data gathered by the Performance, Development and Rewards scheme Performance related pay in Australian universities, Peter Harkness & Mark Schier vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V would be stored at the head quarters of ‘Success Factors’ in the USA, beyond Australian jurisdiction); and it contained several other features that were potentially objectionable. The Union’s campaign appears to have been very successful.While management was loathe to disclose how many staff were boycotting the scheme, a third or more seems likely. (For instance, more than two thirds of the academics in one author’s own department joined the boycott). No doubt this is why management began to make some concessions to the NTEU. In particular, the scheme would now be voluntary, and staff were offered inducements to participate; they received $1000 towards approved staff development programmes (e.g. a conference). During 2009, the Union was engaged in negotiations and bargaining with Swinburne management for a new collective agreement/EBA. During these negotiations, it was agreed that the impasse between the Union and management over the Performance, Development and Rewards scheme should be resolved by imposing a sunset clause on the scheme, and by that time, a committee of equal numbers of University and Union representatives would develop a new staff appraisal and development scheme. The EBA stipulated that the new staff development and appraisal scheme was to be evidence-based. The findings cited in this paper must therefore be taken into account by the committee. The EBA states that if agreement on a new scheme cannot be reached, the disagreements will be taken to a higher authority (the body known as ‘Fair Work Australia’). At the time of writing, input by Fair Work Australia was looking quite likely. Management appears to be ignoring the literature on the subject, and they clearly want any new scheme to contain all the same features as their current Performance, Development and Rewards scheme, including ranking and performance related rewards. The then Vice-Chancellor assured the NTEU that he personally had always been comfortable with his own performance bonuses and so the Union ought not fear their use! As at the end of 2010, only four of Australia’s 39 universities paid their academic staff less than Swinburne, and Swinburne’s administrative and general staff rated only a little better (NTEU 2010). One wonders whether low wages is a strategy to make staff hungry for a pay rise, and thereby more likely to accept a scheme with performance related pay increases (even if those increases are for only one year, and only a minority of the staff will get them, as is planned). vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W The Performance, Development and Rewards scheme has been trialled for one year but not on academic staff. The results for that year showed that senior administrative staff, or managers, had a much greater success rate in winning the pay bonuses than lower and junior administrative staff. The scheme continues. Given the generally bleak findings of this research on the performance of performance related pay schemes, the Union is keen to use its power to fashion a less divisive, superior, confidential and more staff friendly appraisal and development scheme. It is particularly important that this occur before other Australian universities examine performance related pay schemes. Peter Harkness is Senior Lecturer in Economics in the Faculty of Business & Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology, and President of the Swinburne University Branch of the NTEU. Mark Schier is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Life & Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, and NTEU Victorian State Division Vice-President (Academic). References Atkinson, A., Burgess, S., Croxson, B., Gregg, P., Propper, C., Slater, H. et al. (2004). Evaluating the Impact of Performance-related Pay for Teachers in England. Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, 60. Barry, J., Chandler, J., & Clark, H. (2001). Between the ivory tower and the academic assembly line. Journal of Management Studies, 38, 87-101. Bartol, K. M., Durham, C. C., & Poon, J. M. L. (2001). 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Performance related pay in Australian universities, Peter Harkness & Mark Schier vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S â€™ R E V I E W Enlightening Evaluation: from perception to proof in higher education social policy Jennifer Oriel Deakin University Government policies designed to redress social inequality are often evaluated by qualitative methods, which prevents the establishment of a causal relationship between policy objectives and outcomes. Social programmes to broaden participation in higher education have been a feature of government policy in Europe, the US and Australia during the past three decades. The principal instrument of policy optimisation has been university partnerships with disadvantaged school students. The Australian Labor Governmentâ€™s Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) is the most recent iteration of policy to broaden access to university. Unlike many of its European counterparts, the Australian policy includes funding criteria for evidence-based partnerships and rigorous evaluation methods. In the new era of accountability for publicly funded programmes between universities and disadvantaged schools, the qualitative research methods and formative analysis that dominate evaluation research in this field will need to be augmented by quantitative research that enables summative evaluation against public policy objectives. Transforming the evaluation paradigm is required to determine the impact of university-school partnerships on higher education participation. Introduction Public policy designed to increase the proportion of students from low income backgrounds participating in higher education has been introduced in Europe, Australia and the US (Woodrow et al. 1998; DEEWR 2010; Cunningham et al. 2003). Its primary instrument of policy optimisation has been university partnerships with schools (HEFCE 2009, p. 9; DEEWR 2010; Cunningham et al. 2003). The literature indicates that the principal objective of these partnership programmes is to increase the articulation of targeted cohorts to university. However, programme evaluations are often designed using qualitative rather than vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 quantitative methods, the latter of which is required to establish a causal relationship between the programmes and studentsâ€™ articulation rate (Cunningham et al. 2003; Gale et al. 2010; Passey et al. 2009). The qualitative approach has led to the development of partnership evaluation instruments that may inform incremental improvements in programme delivery, but do not enable impact assessment against the principal public policy objective. In this paper, I propose that a quantitative approach to evaluating university partnerships with disadvantaged schools and student cohorts is necessary to determine whether these programmes improve the articulation of low income and low SES students to Enlightening Evaluation: from perception to proof in higher education social policy, Jennifer Oriel 59 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V higher education. The article addresses this proposal in four steps: an exploration of the development of social programme evaluation as a discipline; observation of the political challenges associated with evaluation of social programmes; a comparative analysis of evaluation methods for university-school partnerships in the UK, Australia and the US; and a proposed model for evaluating university partnerships with disadvantaged schools in alignment with the Australian Government’s Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program. In their 2009 budget paper ‘Transforming Australia’s Higher Education System’, the Labor Government set a national target that by 2020, 20 per cent of students participating in higher education should be from low SES backgrounds. The 2010 Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (which regulates the 20 per cent target), lists principles and objectives for university-school partnerships, including evaluation criteria set against clear policy objectives. An assessment of the HEPPP objectives and how they might be used in the design of research evaluation is discussed later in the article. The politics of evaluation The standard evaluation model for university partnerships with disadvantaged schools is ‘social programme evaluation’, which arose as a substantial field during the New Deal era in North America as a result of vast government expenditure on public services (Browne & Wildavsky 1987, p. 146). Shadish and colleagues define social programmes as those which ‘aim to improve the welfare of individuals, organisations, and society’ (Shadish et al. 1991, p. 19). Patton observes that more rigorous methods of evaluating social programmes were developed in the wake of the Vietnam War when, ‘Great Society programmes collided head on with ... rising inflation, and the fall from glory of Keynesian economics’ (Patton 1997, p. 11). Evaluation was born of the need for governments to decide, among a multitude of choices,‘which things are worth doing’ (Patton 1997, p. 11). It was not any form of evaluation, but that derived from quantitative methodology which governments began to demand to measure progress against their expenditure on social programmes. Posavac and Carey identify the policy function particular to quantitative methodology as the establishment of causation in programmes with mass subjects (Posavac & Carey 2007, 60 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W p. 31). For this reason, one might assume that it could be used in social programmes also given that they seek to establish a relationship between public policy and its effect on large groups of people. However, in these programmes, including government funded partnerships between universities and disadvantaged schools, quantitative methods that prove or disprove a causal relationship are relatively uncommon. Despite the difficulty in evaluating social programmes, there is an increasing demand for policymakers to provide statistical analysis to support their continuation or cessation. A 2008 article in Policy demonstrates the rationale for establishing evaluation based on causal research methods. Farrelly explains that randomised trials should be used to test the efficacy of social programmes in order to: 1. Prove a causal relationship between the programmatic aims of policymakers and their outcomes. 2. Develop evidence-based policy. 3. Use the least random and most scientific method available for analysis of social programmes. 4. Reduce differences in the targeted cohort. 5. Justify the ‘high ideals and enormous budgets’ of social experiments (Farrelly 2008, p. 7-10). The research methods described above are used to prove or disprove a causal relationship between the stated aim/hypothesis of a policy or programme and its outcomes (Mark et al. 1999, p. 182). While randomised trials provide the most scientifically reliable results in research, there is ongoing concern that the motive for this form of evaluation is primarily ideological and that results can be used by conservatives to discontinue public programmes. Fisher’s study of the rise of expert policymakers in Western post-industrial societies illustrates that evaluation research was used to benefit conservative political purposes during the Nixon administration in the USA (Fisher 1990, pp. 161-163). Nixon institutionalised the practice of measuring social programmes by output measures. Fisher contends that rather than being a simple exercise in developing policy expertise in social programming, under the conservative approach, ‘low-cost social experiments combined with rigid evaluation requirements were often used to subvert or eliminate expensive social programs beneficial to Democratic constituencies’ (Fisher 1990, p. 163). While the characteristics of these programmes, such as low government expenditure, undermined their chances of success, Fisher asserts that it was the methodology used in their evaluation that made an Enlightening Evaluation: from perception to proof in higher education social policy, Jennifer Oriel vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I unbiased assessment of efficacy improbable. He contends that this causal research favours conservative political approaches to social programmes (Fisher 1990, p. 163). Weiss further explains that the political orientation of evaluation researchers can influence how social programmes have been – and are – evaluated. She writes that: Because evaluation researchers tend to be liberal, reformist, humanitarian, and advocates of the underdog, it is exceedingly uncomfortable to have evaluation findings used to justify an end of spending on domestic social programs. On the other hand, it is extremely difficult for evaluators to advocate continuation of programs that they have found had no apparent results. The political dilemma is real and painful (Weiss 1987, pp. 62-63). V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W policy evaluation described by Gerston, which focuses on the design and implementation. However, a review of government funded partnerships between universities and disadvantaged schools illustrates the deficit created by evaluation approaches that focus on inputs in at the expense of impact assessment. The evaluation of university partnerships with disadvantaged schools An international comparative review of the design of university partnerships with disadvantaged schools indicates that the connection between universities’ programmes and the demands of public policy may be poorly understood. While the HEPPP offers clear policy objectives, universities have not yet indicated Weiss describes the what the best evaluation process of evaluation as method to achieve them Because evaluation researchers tend to a rational enterprise, but may be. be liberal, reformist, humanitarian, and social programmes as In assessing the evaluadvocates of the underdog, it is exceedingly ‘political creatures’. It is the ation methods of univeruncomfortable to have evaluation findings tension between rationalsity-schools partnerships used to justify an end of spending on ity and politics which she across the UK in 2009, domestic social programs. views as the most intransiUniversities UK, the peak gent obstruction to effecrepresentative body, estabtive programme evaluation. lished that the ‘evidence of Despite its development as a distinctive field, from success’ was defined broadly as follows, ‘Partnerships the mid 20th century, programme evaluation continneed to deliver results and be measurable in impact, ues to receive less of a focus in public policy, including particularly through feedback (from students, parents, educational policy, than implementation, or ‘front end’ teachers, lecturers, trainers), measurement of progresprocesses. Gerston observes that: sion and retention of participants’ (Universities UK 2009, p. 18). However, evaluation based on the measIf there is an underside, or stealth-like component ures of progression and retention of participants in the to the public policy process, it lies with the process of policy evaluation. So much political capital partnership activities and participant feedback is not is directed towards agenda building, formulation, closely aligned with the aim of these partnerships, as and (to a lesser extent) implementation of a public stated in the foreword of the report, which is to widen policy, that we often overlook the most obvious participation in higher education of participants.There review questions of all [such as]: did the new policy is no quantitative evaluation measure suggested for attain its stated objectives along the lines of its such efforts. In their recommendations for progressing intentions? (Gerston 2004, p. 119). partnerships programmes, the authors suggested that There is, of course, political risk involved in adopting universities might consider ‘benefits from developing quantitative evaluation research methodology as it can a consistent approach to assessing impact’ (Universibe used to discredit government funded programmes. ties UK 2009, p. 20). Social programmes, in particular, which involve large The lack of impact evaluation is common among groups of people, inevitably involve many variables university partnerships with disadvantaged schools, beyond the control of government, policymakers and specifically when impact is aligned with a quantitaprogramme managers. For this reason alone, research tive policy target such as rate of student participamethods that establish a linear path between cause tion in higher education. Aimhigher, funded by the and effect may be considered too difficult or too UK government’s Higher Education Funding Council resource intensive compared with the kind of public for England (HEFCE), adopted longitudinal research vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Enlightening Evaluation: from perception to proof in higher education social policy, Jennifer Oriel 61 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V to assess impact of its university-schools partnerships programme. In the 2009 report ‘The longer term impact of Aimhigher:Tracking individuals’, researchers with the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) assessed the impact of the programme against its objectives, defined in this report as ‘increasing the number of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who had the qualifications and aspirations necessary to enter higher education’ (Morris et al. 2009, p. 1). NFER noted that while the surveys commissioned to evaluate the educational outcomes of Aimhigher participants recorded aspirations and post-secondary destinations, the survey instrument was incomplete and ‘left many questions unanswered’. In part, this was because in later years, the participant response rate was much lower than at the point of first contact and there had been no use of centralised data beyond survey results. Questions left unanswered by the survey instrument included: What were the outcomes for non-respondents? What proportion of the various Aimhigher cohorts actually went on to higher education? Were there any differences in the proportion of young people from Aimhigher schools that entered university compared to young people from comparison schools, where there was no such exposure? Were there any differences in the type of universities the young people went to – what proportion went to those universities that traditionally have higher entry requirements, for example? (Morris et al. 2009, pp. 1-2). Many of these questions require datasets that are neither readily available to higher education institutions,nor aggregated by government in a way that could be used in quantitative studies. In order to answer them, NFER accessed individual student records maintained in the National Pupil Database, the Individual Learner Record and the Higher Education Statistics Agency. While there was an analysis undertaken in 2005 that illustrated that Aimhigher had little impact on educational attainment, it was conducted almost a decade after the programme began. As a result, the findings could not be used to in the context of formative evaluation, to contribute to programme improvement over that period. The peril of not incorporating summative evaluation into programme design was also made evident by the Aimhigher case. The 2009 research demonstrated that there was a statistically significant, but only marginal increase of articulation to higher education among Aimhigher participants compared with those who 62 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W did not undertake the programme in selected schools. There was no impact on the proportion of Aimhigher participants attending the most selective universities, indicating that other factors, such as overall growth in higher education places, may have been important determinants in their higher education destinations. The finding was reported as evidence of programme failure in the Australian media, but perhaps it is more specifically an evidence of evaluation failure (Moodie, 11 November 2009). Indeed, in 2008, the National Audit Office had concluded that in relation to Aimhigher, government should adopt ‘more robust approaches to evaluation when setting up activities which aim to widen participation’ (National Audit Office 2008, p. 9). The problems associated with poor evaluation of university outreach, marketing and recruitment activities with schools was emphasised by HEFCE in 2008. HEFCE criticised the ‘weaknesses in data collection and analysis’ in relation to activities included in university compacts with government (HEFCE 2008, p. 11). Specifically, they criticised the lack of student cohort tracking and poor evaluation of the impact of engagement on access to higher education.They suggested that: Better data and analysis would encourage better management and enable institutions to make more assured judgements about the value of schemes and their value for money. It would also begin to answer more interesting evaluative questions, not just ‘how well have compact participants done after entering HE compared with others?’ but ‘how well have they done compared with others who share similar characteristics and attainment but did not participate in a scheme?’ (HEFCE 2008, p. 11). The form of evaluation suggested by HEFCE is causal research with treatment and non-treatment groups, which requires quantitative methodology.As discussed later in the article, despite the potential for negative political repercussions, policymakers are increasingly calling for this form of research to be used in the evaluation of social programmes. As with the British case, an Australian analysis of universities’ outreach to disadvantaged schools in 2009 found that the evaluation methods used by universities to assess their outreach to disadvantaged students were formative, involving little or no summative evaluation research. Gale and colleagues reported that: The most frequently reported program outcome was a change in aspirations towards higher education. Also commonly reported was an increase in students’ understanding of university enrolment and procedures. Most respondents reported that their Enlightening Evaluation: from perception to proof in higher education social policy, Jennifer Oriel vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V programs are evaluated, predominantly on the basis of participant feedback (Gale et al. 2010, p. 8). The lack of rigorous evaluation of partnerships in Australia may be due to the fact that prior to 2009, government policy on higher education equity included neither a national target for the proportion of low SES students participating in higher education, nor a dedicated fund to drive university partnerships with disadvantaged schools. However, rigorous evaluation methods should be introduced to determine which elements of partnerships contribute most to improving the academic preparedness of low SES students for higher education and to enable policymakers to conduct meta-analyses of programmes towards the development of an Australian best practice model. Gerston’s observation that programme evaluation is commonly focussed on the front end of policy development rather than programme outcomes is applicable to government-funded partnerships between universities and disadvantaged schools. In their assessment of early intervention partnerships between universities and schools across the US, Cunningham and colleagues concluded that while most programmes did include some element of evaluation, it tended to be qualitative, and lacked quantitative data that would enable summative assessment against policy objectives (Cunningham et al. 2003, p. 29).They proposed that: Ideally, indicators of outcomes and effectiveness in early intervention programs might include such as measures as rates of application to/enrolment in college, the percentage of participating students taking the “pipeline steps” toward enrolment in a four year college or university and the percentage of participating students taking core college preparatory courses (Cunningham et al. 2003, p. 27). Cunningham et al. concluded that the paucity of quantitative data on university partnerships programmes with disadvantaged schools meant not only that programme effectiveness could not be compared in a meta-analysis, but that the individual components of these programmes could not be assessed against objectives (Cunningham et al. 2003, pp. 36-37). Unlike the UK and Australia, Florida’s government has established an evaluation model for university partnerships with disadvantaged schools based on longitudinal research that includes qualitative and quantitative data. Its College Reach Out Program (CROP) is one of the most established schemes designed with a summative evaluation component and was recognised by Cunningham et al. as a leader in the field (Cunningvol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W ham et al. 2003, pp. 36-37). CROP was established by the Florida Legislature in 1983 with the objective to ‘motivate and prepare educationally disadvantaged, low-income students in grades 6 through 12 to pursue and successfully complete a postsecondary education’ (Winn & Armstrong 2005, p. 7). It differs from other university outreach programmes with schools in two important ways. Firstly, since its inception it has had a clear objective which was established in legislation. Secondly, its evaluation method includes randomised trials and longitudinal research towards both continuous quality improvement and assessment against the stated policy objective. The State also collects aggregated data also to analyse broader cohort characteristics and other inputs such as participation rates (Florida Postsecondary Education Planning Commission 1994, pp. 8-13). As a result of this method of programme evaluation, several changes have been made to CROP during the past three decades and it has a relatively high rate of success against policy objectives. While the CROP and HEPPP share some common policy objectives, they differ in several important ways. Effective evaluation of CROP relies upon accurate cohort tracking from point of contact to postsecondary education pass rates. Tracking is enabled by provision of student social security numbers and Florida identification numbers (Postsecondary Education Planning Commission 1994, p. 15). Such data is not yet gathered in Australia. The CROP students are recruited and selected based on low income status and cultural diversity is also a prominent factor in selection. The targeted selection process enables evaluation against random samples of non-participants. In 1994, statutory authority for annual evaluation of CROP was given to the Postsecondary Education Planning Commission, while in Australia, each university is to be responsible for evaluation of partnerships. Finally, CROP emphasises improving the academic achievement of low income students in schools and in postsecondary education, rather than focusing on the aspiration-raising which has become a more prominent feature of university-school partnerships in the UK and Australia (Winn 2006, p. 1; Gale et al. 2010). By 2004, the annual evaluation of CROP demonstrated significantly higher educational performance outcomes of CROP students against a random sample of public school students, with the exception of grade point average of community college students.Variables measured include the progression of school students Enlightening Evaluation: from perception to proof in higher education social policy, Jennifer Oriel 63 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V from one year to the next, the percentage of 12th graders receiving standard diplomas, the percentage enrolled in higher education, and the percentage of community college and state university students with a grade point average above 2.0. The evaluation comprised 8,286 programme participants and a random sample of 10,160 public school students stratified by race and income (Winn 2006, p. 2). While the Floridian evaluation model is more advanced methodologically than that of other countries, there is an opportunity for Australia to develop a rigorous form of social programme evaluation through the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program. Under paragraph 1.80.5(f) of the HEPPP guidelines, the Government clarifies universities; ... will be required, as part of their Partnership programs, to provide an ‘evidence base’ for proposed programs. This will need to include intended program outcomes, methods for achieving these outcomes, and associated measures for tracking outcomes. For experimental and pilot projects, providers will need to demonstrate how the program will achieve the objectives outlined at section 1.70.1 and the principles outlined at section 1.80.5’ (DEEWR 2010, p. 18). As illustrated, the guidelines require evidence based evaluation of programme outcomes against established policy objectives. The new criteria for partnerships funding evince a significant change in government regulation of student access and equity activities in universities. Under the previous legislation – the Equity Support Program – there was no demand for evidencebased evaluation of university-school partnerships. Fit For Purpose: A Mixed Method Approach to Evaluation Research The proposed approach to assessing the effect of university-schools partnerships is a mixed method research design that produces quantitative and qualitative data to enable summative and formative evaluation of programmes.The reason for selecting this approach is that it addresses most readily the logic underlying government funding of university partnerships with disadvantaged schools, as articulated in the objectives and principles of the HEPPP. Several scholars have observed that ‘pragmatism’ has been a core motivation for the evolution of mixed method evaluation research, which combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies (Tashakkori & Teddlie 1998; McConney, Rudd & Ayres 2002, p. 122). 64 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Greene traces the history of mixed methods back to the 1980s and explains that social scientists in the ‘highly practical fields’ such as ‘education, nursing, and especially evaluation’ have been using a variety of evaluation methods because ‘the contexts in which they worked called for both generality and particularity’ (Greene 2008, p. 7). However, she argues that theoretical and epistemological concerns have also driven the evolution of mixed methods research in more theoretical fields such as development economics (Greene 2008, pp. 7-8). In their 2009 book Mixed Method Design: Principles and Procedures, Morse and Niehaus offer a comprehensive treatment of mixed method design.They explain: Our definition of mixed methods is that the study consists of a qualitative or quantitative core component and a supplementary component (which consists of qualitative or quantitative research strategies but is not a complete study in itself). The research question dictates the theoretical drive, as either inductive or deductive, so that the onus is on the researcher to be versatile and competently switch inductive and deductive positions according to the need of the study ... We have presented our view - it appears to work, appears to pass validity tests, and gets one to where one is trying to go (Morse & Niehaus 2009, p. 20). This definition offers a partial solution to the main argument against mixed methods; the perceived incompatibility between quantitative and qualitative paradigms and the resultant confusion about how to combine them in a single research project (Morse & Niehaus 2009, p. 19). However, Morse and Niehaus identify a major problem with mixed method research design: ‘there is no consensus about how to evaluate mixed methods’ (Morse & Niehaus 2009, p. 20). It is observable in their definition of mixed methods that the methodology may produce a repeated emphasis on the front end and implementation process components of policy to the subordination of testable outcomes against policy objectives. It is exactly this problem that, as discussed throughout this article, has undermined the political and scientific legitimacy of social programmes for the past half century. The rise of mixed methods research has produced an attendant need to clarify not only its theoretical purpose in relation to evaluation, but its formal methodological structure.A useful distinction is the delineation between different purposes of evaluation made by Nevo. He explains that,‘evaluation can serve two functions, the ‘formative’ and the ‘summative.’ In its forma- Enlightening Evaluation: from perception to proof in higher education social policy, Jennifer Oriel vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V tive function evaluation is used for the improvement and development of an ongoing activity (or program, person, product, etc.) In its summative function, evaluation is used for accountability, certification, or selection’ (Nevo 1983, p. 119). Since that early definition, evaluation epistemology has become more complex as scholars attempt to find a model that allows for different research requirements. In their analysis on the integration of qualitative and quantitative research, Tashakkori and Teddlie conclude that while integration may occur at any time during the research project, ‘true mixed method designs have clearly articulated mixed research questions, necessitating the integration of qualitative and quantitative approaches in all stages of the study’ (Tashakkori & Teddlie 2009, p. 284). However, like Morse and Niehaus, they allow that elements of a study may have research questions that are predominantly qualitative or quantitative (Tashakkori & Teddlie 2009, pp. 284-285). E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W To distinguish fully integrated from partially integrated methods, Tashakkori and Teddlie categorise different types of mixed designs create a separate subcategory called quasi-mixed designs (Tashakkori & Teddlie 2009, pp. 288-289). Within mixed designs, they identify five types of methods: parallel, sequential, conversion, multilevel and fully integrated (Tashakkori & Teddlie 2009, p. 289). Parallel mixed designs are those in which there are at least two interconnected strands, each requiring either qualitative or quantitative questions, data collection and analysis. The strands remain either purely qualitative or quantitative, that is, parallel (Tashakkori & Teddlie 2009, p. 289). Sequential designs are those in which there are at least two strands occurring chronologically with mixed qualitative and quantitative questions and analysis resulting from the findings of the previous element (Tashakkori & Teddlie 2009, pp. 289-290). Conversion designs involve mixing qualitative and quantitative approaches at all stages. Table A: Mixed Method Evaluation Model for the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program HEPPP Objective 1.70.1 Research Method Activity Type/s Evaluation Instrument Performance Indicator Outcome a. Assist in improving the understanding and awareness of higher education as a viable postschool option Qualitative Master classes that introduce students to and familiarise them with university curriculum. Survey Aspirations and awareness raised Proportion of targeted cohort with increased awareness above an established knowledge threshold. Increase in proportion of targeted cohort aspiring to higher education before and after intervention. Pre and post activity testing Test results Improved literacy and/or numeracy based on pre and post testing. b. Assist in pre-tertiary Quantitative Early intervention achievement, either at literacy and school or via an alternative numeracy pathway, to enable mentoring consideration for access to programme. higher education c. Encourage an increase in the proportion of [people from low SES backgrounds] who apply for attendance at a provider Quantitative Admissions & Application scholarships cohort workshops to tracking assist students to navigate pathways to higher education. Application rate of low SES cohort targeted compared with non-low SES cohort in a given year. Increased application rate of targeted cohort against random sample. d. Support [people from low SES backgrounds] in linking with higher education providers. Quantitative On campus activities. Proportion of targeted cohort participating in activities and proportion making contact with HE provider. Proportion of targeted cohort participating in activities and making contact with higher education providers is equal to - or above - the rate of the random sample. Tracking of number of ‘linking’ activities held with targeted cohort against random sample. *Activity type lists only one activity for the purpose of simplification. There are many examples that could be listed against each objective. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Enlightening Evaluation: from perception to proof in higher education social policy, Jennifer Oriel 65 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V The rule guiding this approach is that when one type of data (either qualitative or quantitative) is collected, it is analysed using the other type of approach (Tashakkori & Teddlie 2009, p. 290). The multilevel and fully integrated designs are progressively more integrative. A mixed method evaluation model for university-school partnerships For the purpose of evaluating university partnerships with disadvantaged schools, it is proposed that the parallel mixed design would be the most useful. The conversion, multilevel and fully integrated approaches are more experimental than logical at this stage and would thus not be easily testable against policy objectives. The sequential design has been rejected because of its requirement for chronological sequencing, which would make coherent longitudinal research of any large and diverse social programmes, including existing university-school partnerships, difficult. The parallel mixed design produces contains three elements that are useful to analysis of university partnerships with disadvantaged schools against the requirements of the HEPPP and social programmes more broadly: 1. A combination of causal and descriptive research design and thus the possibility of testing results against a core hypothesis (the main policy objective underpinning the programme) and sub-hypotheses (the programme components). 2. Qualitative and quantitative data generation. 3. Summative and formative assessments that can be used to assess individual programmes against institutional performance indicators, improve programme design and implementation incrementally; and compare programmes in a meta-evaluation for national policy development. A simplified example of the parallel mixed design applied to the HEPPP is presented in Table A. To close the gap between government policy objectives and social programme implementation, I have selected the principles and objectives of the partnership component of the HEPPP as the basis for the evaluation programme. Under the Partnership component B, Section 1.70, activities are to be directed towards domestic undergraduate students from a low SES background (DEEWR 2010, p. 16). While Table A provides an example of how a mixed method research and evaluation design might be employed to measure progress against the partnership objectives of the HEPPP, the question remains as to 66 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W how the results of the mixed model could be used to assess whether the HEPPP, or any equivalent social programme, were successful at the level of national policy. This is because there is yet to be devised a method for synthesising data derived from mixed methods research that provides for meta-analysis. The only way in which a meta-analysis of HEPPP partnerships could be undertaken would be to select a specific subset of partnership activities that evidence demonstrates are likely to have the strongest impact on the principal policy objective of increasing low SES students’ articulation to higher education and test them in a randomised trial across schools. I suggest that for the purpose of evaluating the HEPPP at the policy rather than programme level, one of two approaches to metaanalysis might be considered: 1. Only the results arising from the quantitative methods are measured in meta-analysis for the purpose of determining efficacy against the principal objective of the HEPPP, which is to increase the rate of low SES students’ participation in higher education. 2. Quantitative methods are used to develop national policy, while the results from mixed methods are used to inform institutional level improvement in partnerships programme design. Conclusion The evolution of evaluation as a research field raises new challenges for policymakers and managers of government funded programmes. The question of how to measure mass programmes against single, or multiple policy objectives demands awareness not only of evaluation research methodologies, but how the politics of evaluation may affect the ability to implement desirable models. In the field of social programmes, the politics of evaluation has been an impediment to the introduction of a linear model of evaluation research that establishes a causal relationship between the original policy objective and its programmatic outcomes. Mixed method research offers a model to bridge the philosophical and instrumental divide between quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Perhaps more importantly, mixed methods allow for an understanding human variability which, rather than necessarily being a signal of programme failure, may, in some cases, be an opportunity for progression. The proposed model for measuring partnerships established under the Australian government’s Higher Education Participation and Enlightening Evaluation: from perception to proof in higher education social policy, Jennifer Oriel vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I Partnerships Program demonstrates a mixed method approach to evaluation. This method will inform programme efficacy against the principal policy objective of the HEPPP and enable formative assessment to improve programme design over time. The creation of a meta-analytical evaluation model for public policy such as the HEPPP is critical to furthering evaluation research in the field of social programmes. Jennifer Oriel is Manager, Student Access and Equity at Deakin University, Australia. V E R S I T I E S â€™ R E V I E W HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) (2010). Trends in young participation in higher education: core results for England. HEFCE. House, E.R. (1994). The Future Perfect of Evaluation, Evaluation Practice, 13 (3), pp. 239- 247. Johnson & Onwuegbuzie (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come, Educational Researcher, 33 (7), pp. 14-26. Mark, M.M., Henry, G.T. & Julnes, G. (1999). Toward an Integrative Framework for Evaluation Practice, American Journal of Evaluation, 20 (2), pp. 177-198. 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Utilization-Focused Evaluation: The New Century Text, Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. (3rd ed.) DEEWR (Department of Education, Training and Workplace Relations) (2010). Higher Education Higher Education Support Act (2003) Other Grants Guidelines (Education) (2010) Retrieved from: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/ legislation/LegislativeInstrument1.nsf/0/0A3C2A5F3B17849DCA257714001A86E7 /$file/HEPPPGuidelinesAttachmentFinbrief220410changesaccepted.pdf Dunn, W.N. (2004) Public Policy Analysis: An Introduction, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc. (3rd ed.) Farrelly, R. (2008). Policy on Trial, Policy, 4 (3), pp. 7-12. Fisher, F. (1990). Technocracy and the Politics of Expertise, California: Sage Publications. Florida Postsecondary Planning Commission (1994). A Statewide Evaluation of Floridaâ€™s College Reach-Out Program, Annual Report: 1992-93 Cohort. Postsecondary Education Planning Commission. 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Enlightening Evaluation: from perception to proof in higher education social policy, Jennifer Oriel 67 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Creative Arts Research: A long path to acceptance Jenny Wilson University of Melbourne and Griffith University The majority of tertiary practice-led creative arts disciplines became part of the Australian university system as a result of the creation of the Unified National System of tertiary education in 1988. Over the past two decades, research has grown as the yardstick by which academic performance in the Australian university sector is recognised and rewarded. Academics in artistic disciplines, who struggled to adapt to a culture and workload expectations different from their previous, predominantly teaching based, employment, continue to see their research under-valued within the established evaluation framework. Despite a late 1990s Australian government funded inquiry, many of the inequities remain. While the Excellence in Research in Australia (ERA) exercise has acknowledged the non-text outputs of artist-academics in its evaluation of ‘research outcomes’, much of the process remains resolutely framed by measures that work against creative arts researchers. Introduction Late in the 1980s, the Australian university sector assumed responsibility for the majority of tertiary creative arts education through governmental mandated reforms rather than through mechanisms that were premised on considered pedagogical, educational concerns or market-led choices. Over 15 per cent of institutional mergers realised through the creation of the Unified National System (UNS) in 1988 by the then Federal Labour Government (Dawkins 1988) included discipline specific colleges of visual or performing arts (AVCC 2004). Moreover, many more artist-academics joined the university sector through amalgamations between universities and Colleges of Advanced Education that were also participants in this reform. Yet, having mandated these institutional amalgamations, little in the way of government research policy or its implementation was directed to support these crea- 68 tive arts researchers within the frameworks that both support and reward research, or to acknowledge the significant scope of change, from their former, predominantly teaching based work, that was required to meet their new university employment. While individual universities may have sought to give effect to the ‘notion that all academics should be treated equally’ (Coaldrake & Stedman 1998, p.88), these institutions were mindful that to deviate too far from national performance measures, heavily skewed towards scientific definitions and expectations of research, could have significant financial implications. As one commentator noted, the government had ‘conveniently left the decision of what they [the creative arts] were worth up to the individual university’ (Lancaster, 2003, as cited in Roennfeldt 2007 p.9), by arguing that: ‘Universities are autonomous institutions that make their own decisions about research funding priorities between, and within, disciplines.A Government initiated investigation Creative Arts Research: A long path to acceptance, Jenny Wilson vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V into the possibility of bias against certain disciplines ... would be contrary to Government policy and funding arrangements’ (Strand 1998, p.178). Yet, the Australian Government played, and continues to play, a major role in this valuation. It is responsible for a large proportion of the funding programmes that support academic research and it is the government who determines the criteria by which university research activity will be evaluated and financially rewarded institutionally. Moreover, despite reminders from independent government-sanctioned reports and academic literature, emerging frameworks have consistently failed to redress the issues with parity of support for, and recognition of, creative arts research. Research in the creative arts: The Strand Report Following concerns raised by the Australian Senate (Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 1995) and a campaign by two major peak bodies for tertiary arts academics, the Australian Government funded an inquiry into research in the creative arts (Strand 1998). The Strand Report, as it became known, was published in 1998 and remains the only comprehensive review into the nature and status of research undertaken by academics in visual and performing arts disciplines employed within the Australian university sector. It focused upon key issues of recognition, funding and support for creative arts research in an effort to achieve an appropriate and equitable place for creative arts researchers within the existing definitions, sentiments and practices associated with research as an element of academics’ work, and the existing frameworks that evaluate and reward university based research. In this way, it sought to respond to confusion in government and higher education institutions as to exactly what constituted research in artistic disciplines. It also sought to differentiate carefully, but not comprehensively, between arts as a research subject or tool that could be used to contribute to knowledge in other disciplines, and as research for the furtherance of its own artistic disciplines. It clarified these differences as: ‘research into the arts such as musical criticism, history of drama and visual analysis; research through the arts including materials research, action research and industrial design; and research for the arts, the most complex kind which includes painting and composition’ (Strand 1998, p.84). Acknowledging that the boundaries between these typologies can be unclear, it focused particularly upon vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W those areas of creative arts research undertaken by arts practice and ‘published’ in non-text formats, ‘the most complex kind’ (Strand 1998, p.84) which sat less easily with traditional scholarly expectations and measures. In this way, it positioned creative arts research in ways analogous to existing institutional practices. It also evaluated claims of marginalisation, described the mechanisms by which this was occurring and through an extensive consultation process, provided a model by which creative arts research outputs could be equated with traditional text based research publications. Although the notion of research equivalency has not enjoyed universal approval in the creative arts community, and debate continues as to the extent to which artistic practice fits with contemporary descriptions of research (Nelson 2009; Jewesbury 2009; Svenungsson 2009; Coryn 2006; Sullivan 2006),The Strand Report sought pragmatically to include creative arts research, and seek funding parity, within the accepted research frameworks without undue upheaval to the existing structure. The Report’s recommendations, were directed at government, institutions and creative arts researchers, and fell broadly into three categories: • Equal recognition of creative arts research outputs within performance and quality evaluation procedures. • Equity of funding opportunity and evaluation of creative arts research income. • An improved administrative environment to support creative arts researchers to achieve parity. In short, The Strand Report provided a way forward as agreed by the academic creative arts community, by which government and institutions could address inequities and marginalisation within their respective spheres of operation. However, over twelve years since its release only limited progress has been made and many of the same concerns remain.That is, the creative arts continues to ‘stand on the periphery of Australia’s main research game’, (Bourke, Haseman & Mafe 2005, p.1) with claims of inequitable treatment identified in relation to: • Funding (Buckley & Conomos 2004). • Recognition of research practice (Haseman 2006). • Staffing levels (Wissler 2005). • Evaluation measures and procedures (Bourke, Haseman & Mafe 2005; Schippers, 2007) and • Exclusionary and inappropriate university policy environments for creative arts practice (Draper, Hall & Wilson 2005; Australian Academy of the Humanities 2006). Creative Arts Research: A long path to acceptance, Jenny Wilson 69 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V This unease connects with a broader issue within the community. The suitability of comprehensive universities as sites for artist academics to further their disciplines, and for the tertiary education of future artists, remains the subject of public and government discussion (Parliament of Victoria 2010; Fitzgerald 2006). There is concern that the regulation, evaluation and recognition of creative arts activities by standards designed for non-artistic disciplines, produces goal-displacing behaviours that divert their research activity away from intellectual inquiry led by artistic concerns, towards matter more easily accepted by national research priorities (Nelson 2009; Jewesbury 2009; Woodrow 2005; Elkins 2004; Fitzgerald 2003), and results in the production of ‘graduates who are mute as ... artists’ (Buckley 2007 p.32). Certainly, artistic practice was positioned as a legitimate research endeavour in the short-lived and now defunct Research Quality Framework (RQF) preparations (Butler 2008) and has been subsequently within the current Excellence in Research in Australia (ERA) exercise. Indeed, in 2008, on launching the Government’s Innovation Policy, Senator Kim Carr, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, said of the creative arts: ‘We should support these disciplines because they give us pleasure, knowledge, meaning, and inspiration. No other pay-off is required.’ (Carr 2008). It is against this backdrop that the current research environment is critically appraised within the three categories that encompass the recommendations of The Strand Report, to explore the extent to which the model designed to achieve equity for creative arts research, has progressed. Equal recognition of creative arts research outputs The Strand Report (Strand 1988) recognised that research undertaken by arts practitioners was of equal worth but of a different kind from that more easily recognised within existing research support and recognition frameworks. It proposed a detailed model of ‘research equivalence’ by which: … the research methodologies, the forms of publication and the outcomes of creative arts research will be different from, but equivalent to, research in other disciplines, removing the necessity of having to artificially ‘shoehorn’ some kinds of creative arts research into a traditional research model. (Strand 1998, p.xvi). 70 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W It recommended that research equivalence be adopted: (i) for the purposes of research performance recognition and allocation of research funds; (ii) in definitions of publication; (iii) for considering publication track records in ARC applications; and (iv) in institutional data collection, performance recognition and internal funding distribution. However, in seemingly absolute contradiction to these proposals, from 1999 to 2007, the Howard Government began to shape the national research and innovation system around prioritised Science, Technology, Engineering and Medical (STEM) research endeavour. It was these disciplines and their practices that became the measures by which research activities and outcomes came to be defined, recognised and rewarded (Haseman & Jaaniste 2008). As the then Director of the Council for Humanities,Arts and Social Sciences noted in 2007:‘My worry about Australia’s innovation system is that its most systematic feature is its exclusion of the humanities, creative arts and social sciences (HASS)’ (Cunningham 2007, p.28). While many HASS disciplines faced similar funding challenges from this policy direction, the consistent ‘scripto-centric focus’ (Conquergood 2002, p.147), combined with reduced funding opportunity to widen the gap between those scholars those whose research is ‘published’ in traditional scholarly text outlets and those whose research is communicated through performance and artefact rather than written critique or commentary. Efforts to include artistic output as legitimate research outputs for the calculation of institutional research quantum (Categories H & J) were short-lived and did little to alleviate the long-term problems for artist academics (Taylor 2000). The then government insisted that these research quantum categories, were ‘proxies only’ and not designed to inform internal funding distribution (O’Toole 1998). However, governmental measures continued to increase national rewards and funding for research that contributed to highly science biased National Research Priorities (Nelson 2002), which were closely aligned to the outputs of scripts. Influenced by a combination of financial insecurity and isomorphism (Marginson & Considine 2000) many institutions began to moderate institutional support for creative arts research, resulting in a double disadvantage for artist academics (Bazeley 2006). Not surprisingly, creative arts researchers looked to the government that had commissioned the Strand Report to redress this kind of inequity. Indeed, the 2010 ERA exercise has acknowledged the limitation of Creative Arts Research: A long path to acceptance, Jenny Wilson vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V scripts (i.e. books, book chapters, journal articles and refereed conference papers) as the only format capable of recognising research activity for funding purposes. Hence, the research returns for 2010 included a range of artworks, performances, exhibitions, film and sound recordings to be considered as ‘legitimate’ research outcomes. (ARC 2009a). It is to be hoped that the ERA exercise does not represent a reprise of the earlier fleeting experiments to include non-text output (Taylor 2000). The earlier withdrawal of broad output categories in favour of a narrow range of script focused categories was due, in part, to problems with collection of institutional data and its accuracy (Bennett, Wright & Blom, 2009; Marshall & Newton 2000) and claims that their inclusion makes little difference to the financial contribution made to individual universities. As one commentator explained: ‘. . . they are so messy and difficult to collect data on and don’t affect the final number much. . .’ (O’Toole 1998 p.3). At the time of writing, the financial impact of including creative arts research outputs in the 2010 ERA exercise is unknown, but there are indications that the ‘messiness’ remains, and may mitigate against longterm inclusion unless adequately addressed. For some institutions, the ongoing collection, storage and evaluation of non-text research outputs may pose challenges, particularly in relation to electronic storage costs, legal and intellectual property ownership and licence issues, and in performing arts, the difficulties of accurately representing time-based work as evidence for ERA evaluation still exists (Leahy 2009). It remains to be seen whether the inclusion of creative arts research outputs in the ERA process represents a sea change in Australian research policy and practices, particularly as there are other aspects of the ERA evaluation programme that remain resolutely science framed, as is discussed in the next section. Equity of funding opportunity and evaluation of creative arts research income A key rationale behind the Strand Inquiry (1998) was to increase funding available to support creative arts research. It recommended that universities and the government implement measures to: (i) improve competitiveness of ARC applications for creative arts researchers; (ii) have representation by artist-academics in ARC deliberations to better explain the nature of creative arts research; and (iii) include Australia Counvol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W cil Grants in the National Competitive Grant Index and the Research Infrastructure Block grant allocations. It recognised that access to research funding and the use of research income as a measure of research performance were major inhibitors to achieving equitable status for creative arts research. Consequently, it is noteworthy that, although artistic work can be counted as eligible research outputs, ERA 2010 still retains the use of research income as an evaluative measure to inform decisions on research activity and research quality. It has categorised and ‘ranked’ income according to funding sources: Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants Category 2: Other Public Sector Research Income Category 3: Industry and other research income Category 4: Cooperative Research Centre Research Income As has been recently observed in relation to humanities and social sciences:‘… the relative funding model, now 20 years old, privileges research income over research output....consolidating the advantage of those who already had most of the research dollars: typically, the biological sciences’ (Turner 2010, p.1). While discrepancies undoubtedly exist for many non-science disciplines, the creative arts research is arguably positioned most poorly in these kinds of arrangements. If we consider the highest ranked Category 1 funding, while a limited number of recognised schemes offer opportunities for humanities and social science disciplines, out of 66 funding agencies listed in the Australian Competitive Grants register for 2010 (DISR 2010) only one funding agency, the Australian Research Council (ARC), is likely to fund research in artistic disciplines. The Australia Council, Film Financing agencies and various other competitive arts funding agencies’ schemes are excluded from this list. Some may be appropriately excluded as they specifically exclude funding for research, yet others are in more less certain territory. For example, while ERA recognises Australia Council grants as a measure of esteem, the income that is provided through this nationally competitive scheme is excluded from consideration as Category 1 funding. This exclusion was a problem noted by The Strand Report in 1998. The Strand Report specifically targeted improvements in ARC grant performance for creative arts research in its recommendations, stating that: Overall, the visual and performing arts received 1 per cent of the grants and 0.6 per cent of the total funding.... in 1997 the creative arts as a sector Creative Arts Research: A long path to acceptance, Jenny Wilson 71 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V receives about the same share of ARC grants that it did prior to 1992. This is despite an increase in the proportion of visual and performing arts staff, an increase in postgraduate qualifications held by them, and the development in many places of a more mature research culture. (Strand 1998, p.xviii) The Strand Report was informed by the relative funding success between creative arts research and other disciplines. Four of its recommendations were aimed at the ARC and institutions to improve performance through inclusion of representation of artistacademics on ARC panels, support for improving the quantity and quality of applications and the recognition of practice based research for investigator track records. In response to these criticisms, the ARC appointed panel members with an understanding of artistic method, and made slight revisions to its major scheme guidelines to remove the eligibility prohibition on any project that would produce work of art, and apply the exclusion to those that would lead solely to the creation of a work of art (ARC 2009). Consideration of ARC grants awarded for funding in 2010 (ARC 2010a) shows that its revision has achieved little improvement to the percentage of grants awarded for creative arts research. Analysing publicly available data on the total awards made, with those awarded in the fields for creative arts research (410000 and 190000 respectively), 1.5 per cent of total grants announced by E R S I T I E S â€™ R E V I E W the ARC for funding in 2010, were awarded to applications in the disciplinary codes for creative arts which comprised 1.2 per cent of total funding awarded under these codes. Two schemes, Super Science Fellowships and the Special Research Initiative announced were specifically directed at Science, Technology, Engineering and Medical (STEM) disciplines, and the funding allocated through the Linkage Learned Academies programme is directed only towards existing Academies, namely: Science; Social Sciences;Technological Sciences and Engineering: and the Humanities. The latter, while encompassing the scholarly study of artistic disciplines, is unlikely to select an arts practice-led programme as its submission for funding. The six remaining schemes are open to applications from all academic disciplines, and while the percentage of grants awarded under the ARCâ€™s broad Humanities and Creative Arts panel categorisation may appear equitable compared to its other disciplinary panels, when the awarded grants are considered against the specific categories dedicated to the creative arts, the picture changes. The confidentiality of the evaluation process prevents exploration of the quality of applications submitted in this particular round, however, the number of grants awarded to the creative arts Field of Research code in the 2011 Discovery Projects scheme - nine out of 931 total grants awarded (0.9 per cent) - implies that the 2010 findings may not be an anomaly (ARC 2010b). Table 1: ARC Grants announced for Funding in 2010 ARC Scheme Total Grants announced for funding in 2010 Grants awarded to Studies in Creative Arts and Writing FoR code190000 And The Arts RFCD code 410000 Number grants awarded $ value of grants announced Number of grants awarded $ value of grants awarded Australian Laureate Fellowships 15 35,541,053 0 0 Super Science Fellowships 24 $13,920,000 0 0 Future Fellowships * 200 $143,760,941 2 1,344,242 Discovery Projects 925 $325,575,289 15 4,045,570 Discovery Indigenous Researchers 9 $1,809,820 0 0 Linkage Projects (Round 2) 218 $66,753,570 4 934394 Linkage Projects (Round 1) 211 $66,827,891 2 702366 Linkage Infrastructure 71 $79,009,305 2 $2,322,630 Linkage Learned Academies Special Projects 5 $1,439,000 0 0 Special Research Initiative: Research in Bionic Vision Science and Technology 2 $50,000,000 0 0 Total 1680 784,636,869 25 9349202 * announced in 2010 for funding in 2010 72 Creative Arts Research: A long path to acceptance, Jenny Wilson vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Imputed from this table is that in the eighteen year describe and research you artists....’ (Bennett, Blom & period considered and reported in The Strand Report, Wright 2009 p.6) creative arts research appears to have achieved 0.48 While the reforms to research evaluation may offer per cent increase in number of grants and 0.59 per some progress in terms of recognising research outcent increase in total amount of funding awarded puts through the ERA exercise, challenges remain for through ARC schemes. However, a more detailed creative arts researchers conducting research that is of consideration of one of the ARC major funding prodirect relevance to furthering their artistic disciplines grammes indicates that percentage of funding for and who seek parity with disciplinary colleagues in research in artistic disciplines may have actually research income evaluations. This applies both in decreased from the levels identified by Strand in 1997 terms of the granting schemes that are recognised as and the preceding five years that was considered in eligible for category 1 and success in securing fundits investigation. This may be influenced by two pering from the only scheme included in the ACG Grants tinent administrative revisions. Register likely to provide research funding to these disFirst, there has been a change in categorisation ciplines. In 2011, the ARC has removed its exclusion on for research undertaken in creative arts. In 1998, the the creation of art works and modified its definition of Research Fields, Courses research used in its Discovand Disciplines codes used ery funding guidelines to ... detailed consideration of one of the predominantly focused on better encompass creative ARC major funding programmes indicates visual and performing arts. arts research. (ARC 2011) that percentage of funding for research The Field of Research code While a promising step forin artistic disciplines may have actually now used as the discipliward, it remains to be seen decreased from the levels identified... in nary classification for ARC whether this will be a suf1997 grants has been expanded ficient response to the conto specifically include jourcerns highlighted above. nalism, professional writing and creative writing, formerly classified within their An improved administrative environment: own disciplinary Research Fields, Courses and Discibetter data collection and scholarly plines code.While these changes do not allow for accurepresentation rate comparison they raise the prospect that increases in funding to visual and performing arts research is The Strand Report (1998) also contained two recomdue to increased success by academics in journalism mendations aimed at improving the environment for and associated disciplines. Second, despite applicacreative arts as research: tions being assessed upon the extent to which they i. better statistical information on staff and students ‘will advance the knowledge base of the discipline’ in creative arts disciplines to allow meaningful anal(ARC 2010c) some of the awards made for creative ysis in the future, and arts research may fit equally, or better, within another ii. the establishment of a national body to represent disciplinary research code. the research and policy interests of the creative arts. A closer examination of the titles and summaries of Its aim was to ensure that data was available that the 15 grants awarded under the ARC Discovery Procould chart the progress for creative arts researchers gramme in 2010, suggests that it is not clear whether and to provide a focal point that could develop, and all those awarded will deliver benefits primarily for advocate for, scholarship in practice-led artistic research the artistic disciplines or for artistic aspects of educadisciplines. Progress on implementing these two rection, technology, cultural theory or history, in other ommendations has been similarly slow. In the former, words, research into or through the arts. This may the availability of longitudinal comparative data has reflect concerns about loss of agency that artistbeen interrupted by the introduction of administraacademics experience and is succinctly expressed tive changes. The Department of Education, Employin recent research reported by Bennett, Blom and ment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR 2009) collects Wright (2009) which concludes that: ‘There has detailed data on staffing and students under the acabeen a big assumption in the university that we are demic organisational unit for Creative Arts, but changes involved in the real knowledge business, and we will from the previous category of Visual/Performing Arts vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Creative Arts Research: A long path to acceptance, Jenny Wilson 73 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Table 2: Comparison of Academic Organisational Unit: Visual /Performing Arts and Creative Arts 2000 Visual/Performing Arts Academic Organisational Unit (DETYA 2000) 2001 Creative Arts Academic Organisational Unit (DEST 2001) 0600 Visual/Performing Arts - General 0601 Art 0602 Graphic Arts/Fashion Design 0603 Craft, Ornaments 0604 Performing Arts 0605 Music 0699 Other Visual/Performing Arts 10.01 Performing Arts 10.03 Visual Arts and Crafts 10.05 Graphic and Design Studies 10.07 Communication and Media Studies 10.99 Other Creative Arts has broadened the definition to include a number of discipline areas within traditional theoretical approaches to the arts (ARC 2010d) as Table 2 demonstrates. Thus, the data published for practice-led creative arts researchers to 2000 cannot be compared accurately with those collected after 2001 and progress is difficult to evaluate. We still do not know, with any certainty, how many practicing artists engaged in research are employed within the university sector, the extent to which non-text outputs form part of their research activity or indeed, how many have eschewed their artistic practice over time to meet text based performance outputs and achieve career progression. A national symposium of representatives from all creative arts disciplines, held in 1997 as part of the Strand Inquiry’s consultation process, called for the establishment of ‘a national body to represent the research and policy interests of the creative arts’ (Strand 1998 p.xxii). Since then creative arts issues have benefited from the support of colleagues in the Academy of the Humanities and from the active and enthusiastic representations of the Council of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) which encompasses creative arts within its more general disciplinary remit. However, the multi-disciplinary nature of this representation makes for a more ‘non-science’ advocacy than a specific creative arts focus. A specific entity to represent the concerns of the artistic academic disciplines has yet to be realised. The establishment and recognition of a scholarly academy with equivalent standing and funding to the Academies of: Science; Social Sciences; Humanities; and Technological Sciences and Engineering, would provide a mechanism to acknowledge creative arts as legitimate research disciplines and provide a focus for the development of scholarly maturity within creative arts disciplines, a support which other disciplines have been afforded for many years.The lack of such a body is all the more concerning given the recognition of ‘membership of a learned academy’ as a research esteem factor within 74 ERA (ARC 2010b). Collaboration between all artist disciplinary peak bodies has been ongoing (ACUADS 20089) but informal response from the government to the suggestion of a learned academy specifically for artistic disciplines has proved ‘luke-warm’ (S. Baker, personal communication, February, 2009). Conclusion The question of how the government and university sector is to recognise, reward and support artistic work on an intellectual and scholarly level is one that the sector needs to address urgently. Artistic work needs to be encouraged without compromising the essential development of artistic technique if Australian higher education is to avoid producing a nation of art critics and commentators rather than artists. Thirteen years ago, a government commissioned report provided a roadmap to equity for creative arts research, yet successive governments have chosen to disregard most of its recommendations. Creative arts researchers, and individual supportive employers, were left to devise and implement their own local strategies to secure a path to parity in research funding, promotion and other aspects of university life predicated upon research performance evaluation. We do not yet know whether these strategies will prove to be successful for artistic inquiry and practice in the long term, or whether excellence in creative arts research will become a euphemism for art criticism and commentary. Over twenty years have passed since creative arts disciplines were invited to join the university culture and its evaluation processes. Perhaps it is time for government and the academy to put aside prejudices against research that is different from the prevailing norms, and accept, acknowledge and welcome creative arts research method and output as equal to others within the academic community. It is perhaps time to put in place a research funding and evaluation system Creative Arts Research: A long path to acceptance, Jenny Wilson vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V that moves beyond the pragmatic approach devised in the 1990s to give equitable access to funding and recognition, to one where creative arts research methods, outputs and values are seen as valid scholarly approaches in their own right.The creative arts should be recognised not because of their similarity or equivalence with the prevailing disciplinary powerbase, but for their contribution to the furtherance of knowledge in their own fields and their value to Australian society as a whole. Jenny Wilson is a staff member at Griffith University and is completing a PhD at the University of Melbourne through the Victorian College of the Arts and the Centre for the Study of Higher Education. E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Buckley, B. & Conomos, J. (2004). 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Retrieved 27 December 2007 from http://www.acuads.com.au/conf2005/papers/woodrow.pdf Parliament of Victoria. (2010). University of Melbourne: Faculty of the VCA and Music. Hansard (7) 2017-2023. Victorian Government Printer. Melbourne. 76 Creative Arts Research: A long path to acceptance, Jenny Wilson vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research A case study Suzanne Young La Trobe University David Peetz Griffith University Magalie Marais IAE Aix-en-Provence, France In Australia, the Excellence in Research (ERA) exercise, first conducted in 2008 and continuing relatively unchanged in 2012, determines the level of research funding made available to Australian universities. However, the use of journal rankings as part of ERA is argued to be problematic (Cooper & Poletti 2011). Through a survey of academics in a field of policy-relevant research – employment and industrial relations – this paper analyses the impact on their discipline and working environments of the journal rankings ERA processes. Overall, we conclude that the ERA journal ranking system is strongly and negatively affecting the field and could lead to the diminution of the number of Australian journals and researchers, and the amount of Australian research, in this field. Such consequences would likely be harmful for social progress in Australia. Introduction Worldwide governments have introduced formal rankings exercises to assess research (Adler & Harzing 2009). In Australia, the Excellence in Research (ERA) exercise determines the level of research funding made available to Australian universities (Cooper & Poletti 2011). The ERA replaces the Howard Government’s Research vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Quality Framework (RQF), which similarly aimed to assess research quality within Australia’s higher education sector based on peer review and metrics. Work on its first iteration commenced in 2008, with data collection and analysis in 2010, and a subsequent round to take place in 2012. Minister Kim Carr argued that the scheme would enable researchers to be more recognised and their achievements more visible. The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research, Suzanne Young et al. 77 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V However the ranking of journals under the ERA regime has been viewed widely as questionable, producing flawed results whilst eroding the contexts that produce ‘quality’ research (Cooper & Poletti 2011; Adler & Harzing 2009). As Oswald (2006) noted with such a scheme there is potential that where an academic publishes will become more important than what they have to say. This is based on the presumption that the value of academics’ outputs is measurable; introduced as part of an auditing and benchmarking framework now found across other school sectors and public agencies, as part of a neoliberal agenda of accountability (Cooper & Poletti 2011; Olssen & Peters 2005). Cooper and Poletti (2011) cautioned that the use of auditing regimes changes academics’ activities once they begin to place a measure on them, as such devaluing labour that has been traditionally viewed as important and valuable. Similarly Wicks (2004) argued this type of measurement regime adds a disciplinary lens to the traditional academic freedom inherent in being granted tenure. A key element of ERA is the ranking of journals. This paper analyses the impact of the 2010 journal rankings system introduced as part of the Excellence in Research in Australia (ERA) initiative. Technically, journal rankings are only a small part of ERA, which uses six broadly defined quantitative indicators plus varying degrees of peer review (Australian Research Council 2008). Notwithstanding, this research will provide a clearer understanding of what academics actually think of the ERA exercise, how it impacts on their careers and on university decision-making. As panels involved in the British Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) found, high quality research is not restricted to a small number of elite journals (Svantesson & White 2009). However, for universities themselves, journal rankings are an easy hook on which to hang assessments of academic work.The legitimisation and reification of journal rankings through the ERA process, even if unintended, has the potential to create major behavioural changes in universities the impact of which was not anticipated by policy makers. As the chief executive of the ARC noted, journal rankings are ‘on the margins’ of ERA compared to peer review and other indicators, yet ‘universities are using it in ways that are more rigid than I would…[and] other than what was intended. Young people are getting the wrong message from senior people, that they should not publish unless it’s in a A-starred journal’ (quoted in McGilvray 2010; Row- 78 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W botham 2010a). Others have observed that ‘while the ARC does not advocate universities using the journal rankings as a league table, the fact is universities are doing so’ (Australian Curriculum Association director Shoo, quoted in Rowbotham 2010b). This changed behaviour by universities may be reflected in changed behaviour by academics themselves as they realise that careers now depend on publishing in journals attributed with high rank. Cooper and Poletti (2011) argued this produces a set of perverse and dysfunctional reactions that threaten to undermine research quality in the long-term. Authors may increasingly cite themselves or be pressured by editors to cite other papers published in their journals (Wicks 2004). Academics are pushed to ‘play the game’, to switch their field of research, which strikes at the heart of trust, collegial relationships and mentoring roles necessary in establishing a research culture (Cooper & Poletti 2011; Adler & Harzing 2009). The impact on non-scientific disciplines such as humanities is also problematic with reclassification of Fields of Research codes (FoR) resulting in review from those that do not understand nor value the discipline (Ozolins 2008; Graham 2008). And as researchers seek to have their research published in higher ranked journals that have lower acceptance rates, Ozolins (2008) contends that actual research activity will fall. Moreover, Watson (2008) argues that the often traditional measures of quality such as peer review and metrics do not take into account policy implications of research, cautioning researchers and government to ensure they lobby for and understand the impact of such research such as that in the education sector. In this vein Oswald (2006) found that the best article in a medium quality journal has a greater citation impact and therefore influence than a ‘poor’ article in a more prestigious journal, with imperfect matchings between the quality of the journal (based on ranking) and the lifetime citations of individual articles. Moreover influential books, not included in the rankings exercise, receive considerable more citations than influential articles; whilst non-English publications as well as open access web based publications are ignored (Adler & Harzing 2009). Even so, Haddow and Genoni (2009) in their study of citation measures of Australian education journal articles concluded that Australian education research managers need to move away from a heavy reliance on citation measures to devise one that is sensitive to the contexts of their own discipline (also see Ozolins The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research, Suzanne Young et al. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W 2008, Graham 2008). Here they argue national journals of the employment relationship’ (Bailey 2003, p. 45). play an important role in scholarly communication, As Kaufmann (2004, p. 631) points out, ‘industrial being framed by national institutional and social policy. relations seeks to humanise, stabilise, professionalise, Whilst the purpose of the ERA exercise is to benchdemocratise and balance the market system’. mark internationally they concluded that the result It is important for public policy. As a critical field, will be that national journals’ rankings will fall. it also sometimes produces findings that are uncomOur study focuses on a field of research that is fortable for those in positions of power, as it may policy relevant and in which a significant amount investigate the power relationships that underpin the of the research that is relevant to Australians is conemployer-employee relationship and related public ducted within, and about, Australia. That is the field policy. As a result, for example, several employment of employment relations, also known as industrial relarelations academics undertaking research into aspects tions or industrial and employment relations.The term of the ‘Work Choices’ legislation were vilified by senior ‘employment relations’ has been used interchangeably Ministers charged with advocacy of that legislation to reflect these expressions. (Marr 2007; Jefferson 2008). The relevance of employIn this paper, we comment on the significance and ment relations to modern society is undiminished over (multi) disciplinarity of employment relations, and time (Osterman, Kochan, Locke & Piore 2001). This present the results of a is because ‘labour is being survey of more than 100 commodified across the The legitimisation and reification of employment relations acaglobal economy, inequality journal rankings through the ERA process, demics on the impact on and insecurity are on the even if unintended, has the potential their discipline and workrise, global market forces to create major behavioural changes in ing environments of the are undermining national universities the impact of which was not journal rankings ERA procregulatory regimes, one out esses, and the salutary lesof six workers in the world anticipated by policy makers. sons that can be drawn economy are jobless or from the survey. This study seriously underemployed, contributes significantly to our understanding of the and workers’ interests are increasingly subordinated to effect of rankings exercises. Other articles reviewed consumers’ interests’ (Kaufman 2004, p. 630). here have argued of potential effects of the rankings Recent periods have witnessed the decline of equity exercise or analysed citations of journals, whereas this for employees in Australian organisations: increases in study has obtained reliable empirical data from the working hours and work intensification, the introductotal population of academics working and researchtion and promotion of individual contracts, the reducing in the one discipline about their actual perceptions tion of union ‘voice’ in many workplaces (to name a and experiences of the effect of the ERA journal rankfew issues). Many of these changes have hit hardest ings exercise. those at the bottom of the labour market. According to Kaufman (2004, p. 628), ‘as long as employees Nature of the field and employers exist, the relations between them will be problematic, sometimes conflictual, and always in The study of the employee-employer relationship – need of mechanism for dialogue, adjustment and reguunder the banner of employment relations – has been lation’. The continuing study of employment relations a field of study for over a century, part of university is therefore of great significance for the wellbeing of courses since the 1920s in the US, the 1930s in the UK Australian society, as wellbeing at or through work is a and the 1950s in Australia. central element of overall wellbeing. The value of employment relations lies in ‘integrating micro and macro analysis, acknowledging power Location of the discipline and competing goals in the employment relationship as central variables and accepting fairness as an The Australian Bureau of Statistics classifies the field important criterion [of analysis of the employment of research (FoR) ‘industrial relations’ with a six digit relationship]’ (Kelly 2003, p. 167). It is ‘the paradigm code (150306) that represents a sub-category of the that exposes the contradictions that are at the heart four-digit ‘business and management’ group (1503). vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research, Suzanne Young et al. 79 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V This location does not accurately depict the nature of employment relations research. ‘The discipline of industrial relations takes theories and concepts from [the] traditional social science disciplines and uses them to study industrial relations’, including ‘economics, politics, law, history, sociology and psychology… That is to say, industrial relations, by the nature of its content, cannot be adequately studied by using only one traditional discipline’ (Sappey, Burgess, Lyons & Buultjens 2006, p. 7-8). This multidisciplinary character of employment relations means that it no more belongs as a sub-field of ‘management’ than it does of ‘sociology’, ‘law’, ‘economics’ or ‘public policy’. The public policy implications of much employment relations research are quite distinct from the firm-focused implications of the other ‘management’ fields of research, the aims of which are to maximise one or another aspect of the efficient organisation of business. Some researchers in these ‘management’ FoRs may feel uncomfortable with the critical nature of some employment relations research. This lack of consonance between employment relations and the ‘management’ FoR, and the very multidisciplinary nature of employment relations, mean it would be best considered as a four-digit FoR in its own right. Perhaps for the above reasons, or perhaps for unrelated reasons, key employment relations journals did not fare well in the final version of the ERA journal ranking issued in 2010. Several journals that had been ranked highly by the Association of Industrial Relations Academics in Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ), and likewise ranked highly in the draft rankings issued by the ARC in 2008 (including two of the three widely recognised global leading journals in the field), were downgraded in the final 2010 rankings. It is in this context that the AIRAANZ survey of the impact of the ERA journal rankings was undertaken. Methodology The survey’s aim was to gain data to provide a greater evidence-based understanding of the consequences of the ERA journal rankings for staff and universities involved in employment relations; this included to study the effects of journal rankings on careers (including promotion, recruitment, grants) and universities in general. Several questions used scales that assessed both the strength of an impact and its valence (positive or nega- 80 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W tive). An online survey creation tool ‘Qualtrics’ was used to edit and distribute the survey to the AIRAANZ community. More than 300 members and past-members obtained from the AIRAANZ membership database were emailed to gain their responses. The survey was open for three weeks between 24 November and 15 December 2010. One hundred and one responses were collected with a response rate of close to 33 per cent, which is quite high for an electronic survey. The answers were analysed using SPSS statistical software. All of the respondents are attached to a university of Australia or New Zealand and, by being members of AIRAANZ, have demonstrated an interest in the field of Industrial and Employment Relations. The tenure of respondents in their current positions varies and demonstrates different stages in respondents’ career progression. Those respondents involved in decisionmaking or high level positions were in a position to assess from the inside whether ERA journal rankings had led to changes to university practices. (Thirty-eight per cent of the respondents have been a member of a selection committee, 19 per cent have been involved in allocating university research grants and 15 per cent have been head of school/department or member of a promotion committee). Respondents’ experience in employment relations is extensive with most of them having been involved in this field for more than 10 years (71 per cent). The amount of time spent by respondents in employment relations varies but most of the respondents declared a significant time commitment to this field (about 60 per cent declared spending more than 40 per cent of their working time in this field). Impact of the ERA Journal ranking exercise on academic decision making To understand the consequences of the ERA journal ranking for employment relations academics, we assessed its impacts on decision-making processes within the university. Our results show that this ranking has had a strong impact on decision-makers with 84 per cent claiming that the ERA journal ranking has replaced traditional decision-making or evaluative criteria. Table 1 shows that large proportions of AIRAANZ members with decision making experience within their universities had witnessed strong impacts of the ERA on the decision making processes. Some 52 per cent of decision makers indicated a ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ impact on internal promotions (only 17 The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research, Suzanne Young et al. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Table 1: Impact of the ERA journal ranking on decision- making processes within the university Per cent No Impact Slight Impact Moderate Impact Strong Impact Very Strong Impact Don’t know Total Recruitment 15.8 3.5 14 22.8 24.6 19.3 100.0 Internal Promotion 10.2 6.8 11.9 22.0 30.5 18.6 100.0 Internal grants/research funds allocation 14.0 10.5 8.8 22.8 22.8 21.1 100.0 External grants/research funds allocation 9.3 9.3 3.7 29.6 18.5 29.6 100.0 Allocation of teaching loads in employment relations field 29.8 5.3 17.5 14.0 17.5 15.8 100.0 OSP/Sabbatical leave 18.5 14.8 11.1 13.0 18.5 24.1 100.0 per cent reported a ‘slight impact’ or ‘no impact’). In addition, 46 per cent reported strong or very strong impacts on internal grants and funding allocations, 47 per cent on recruitment, and 48 per cent on external grants allocations, all well above the proportions reporting little or no impact. When we asked respondents about the nature of the criteria that the ERA journal rankings have replaced, some of them put a positive emphasis on the value of this exercise to promote transparency in researchers’ performance measure (instead of network nepotism), to avoid a numerical count of publications and to easily measure the impact of the research (Table 2). But limitations are also clearly underlined. The main regret of respondents concerns the domination of the research criteria in decision-making at the expense of the diversity of the service academics are involved with. They especially criticised the fact that ‘the ERA ranking has become an end in itself and resulted in additional criteria being applied for promotion, appointments, etc’. The respondents are looking for a more balanced measure of their work within the university.This negative point does not necessarily refer to the weaknesses of the ranking in itself. Indeed, it appears more linked to the way universities are using this ranking. However, other comments directly concern the limits of the ranking process of ERA. Respondents explained, first, that this ranking does not always reveal the quality of publications and in its use focused decision-makers to ignore other types of research contribution. The ‘wide range of research contribution is now replaced by a very restrictive assessment of the research quality’ explained one respondent. The second issue quoted by respondents, and probably the most important one, is related to the impact on the promotion of the field with major application issues for institutions, industry and the community in general. Employment relations researchers defend the vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 value of this area especially for ‘institutional progress and public policy’. The results show that the ERA journal rankings are focused on criteria that are restrictive and relatively unfavourable for the employment relations area (for example, underplaying the value of qualitative research, or importance of national context). Moreover the impact of the ERA on the employment relations field in general clearly indicated the potential of the Table 2: Impact of the ERA journal rankings in displacing other criteria in the decision- making process within the university: Open-ended questions Nature of the comment Label of the comment Number of comments POSITIVE Replacement of numerical measure of publication 2 Replacement of network nepotism / More transparency 2 Easier measure of impact (e.g. citations) 1 NEGATIVE Quality of the service and experience 2 in general More attention to category one grants and A journals compared to other type of research contributions (other paper, bookchapter, conferences...). Not a complete measure of the quality of publications 5 Teaching and leadership criteria => Exclusive focus on research and not well balanced measure of performance 12 Importance of research for community/industry (applied research) 9 The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research, Suzanne Young et al. 81 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E exercise to diminish its status; a field that, in its application of research to industry and public policy, has high social impacts with strong positive consequences for institutions. In the rest of this paper, we consider the impact that the ranking system has had at the individual level, as perceived by the membership of AIRAANZ at large. Table 3: Impact of focusing on employment relations for achieving A* or A publications (%) Advantaged 3.2 Disadvantaged 35.5 Neither advantaged or disadvantaged 40.9 Don’t know 20.4 Total 100.0 R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Perceived impact on industrial and employment relations as a field We asked respondents whether, by focusing and working in employment relations, this had advantaged or disadvantaged them in achieving A* or A (‘top tier’) publications. Some 36 per cent of respondents said that, by focusing on employment relations, they had been disadvantaged in obtaining top tier publications; only 3 per cent said working in employment relations was an advantage in this respect (Table 3). We also asked respondents to indicate the extent to which the ERA journal rankings could have a negative or positive impact on promotion of the employment relations field, its attractiveness to students, and the ranking and attractiveness of their department and Table 4: Expected impact of the ERA journal ranking exercise on respondents’ work areas (%) Strongly negative Negative Evenly balanced Positive Strongly positive No impact Don’t know Total Promotion of the employment relations field 12.9 48.4 8.1 4.8 3.2 9.7 12.9 100.0 Attractiveness of employment relations for students 7.1 30.4 12.5 3.6 3.6 12.5 30.4 100.0 Ranking of your department 8.2 32.8 13.1 19.7 3.3 6.6 16.4 100.0 Attractiveness of your organisation 6.8 28.8 10.2 15.3 3.4 10.2 25.4 100.0 Table 5: Relationship between expected impact of ERA journal rankings on employment relations field and whether rankings advantage or disadvantaged respondents in achieving A* or A publications (%) Non-negative impact on employment relations field Negative impact on employment relations field Positive Balanced Total or no nonimpact negative 13 0 5 3 Disadvantaged 0 in achieving A* or A publications 18 11 63 Neither/ don’t know 88 82 84 34 Total 100 100 100 100 N 8 11 19 38 Advantaged in achieving A* or A publications 82 organisation. A very large majority of respondents (61 per cent) indicated that the impact of ERA journal rankings on the employment relations field would be negative (Table 4). This in turn flowed through to the attractiveness of employment relations for students: 37 per cent saw a negative impact there, compared to 7 per cent seeing a positive impact. The negative impact of ERA journal rankings on the employment relations field was clearly related to the disadvantage respondents felt in achieving top tier publications. Amongst those who saw a negative impact on the employment relations field, some 63 per cent believed they were disadvantaged in achieving A* or A publications, whilst none felt advantaged. By contrast, amongst those who saw a balanced or no impact on the field, only 18 per cent felt disadvantaged in achieving A* or A publications, and amongst the small number who saw a positive impact on the field, none felt disadvantaged in achieving A* or A publication and 13 per cent felt advantaged (Table 5). Many respondents consider that too few relevant journals have been ranked A, and especially A*, in the The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research, Suzanne Young et al. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I Table 6: Impact of the ERA journal ranking exercise on respondents’ publication strategy Change in journals to submit to (%) Submission in journal based overseas (%) Submission to more generalist management, HRM or other journals (%) Change of the field of research (%) YES 80.6 71.7 47.4 12.3 NO 19.4 28.3 52.6 87.7 field of employment relations in Australia – there were 21 spontaneous quotes about this issue. The vast majority of respondents (81 per cent) indicated that they would change the journals to which they submitted articles (Table 6). By implication, those 81 per cent will reduce their submissions to C journals (including Australian C journals). Indeed, because of the ERA journal rankings, most respondents (72 per cent) declared that they will increase their submissions to journals based overseas at the expense of Australian journals. Almost half plan to increase their relative use of more generalist management of human resource management journals, which in turn implies a change in the focus of their research, as such journals tend to have less of an interest in policy issues. However, even if they are able to refocus their publication strategy towards more generalist management and non-Australian outlets, another issue appears. As explained by the following respondent: To a large extent research in industrial/employment relations is more context-dependent than research in the other disciplines or fields of study… In the Australian context, the recent focus of much industrial/employment relations research has been connected with the Australian laws, policy, and developments. Consequently, Australian research is tied to the Australian context, and thus generally of diminished relevance to non-Australian journals. As a result, this deters both publication of Australian focused research in more highly ranked journals. For example, no Australian journal is ranked ‘A*’ in the Business and Management (1503) rankings, and only two Australian journals are ranked in the ‘A’ category. The qualitative methods often used in employment relations research also create significant issues for Australian researchers wishing to publish in highly ranked journals, with the A* and A journals often preferring quantitative research. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Impact on publishing and careers We asked respondents about various impacts of the journal ranking exercise. For individual researchers, the highest negative rating directly concerned their careers and promotion prospects. Some respondents spontaneously declared that the journal rankings could create issues during the recruitment process or for the attributions of grants/ research funds. One respondent explained that So few employment relations journals are A*, the quality of many of our As are well above other disciplines’ A*, applying for ARC grants under Business & Management makes it very difficult to access Discovery funding. This is despite the massive ‘impact’ and resonance of our work with ‘end users’ (including business, employees and regulators). Respondents were asked to assess the impact of the ERA Journal ranking exercise on their own careers, with a large percentage, 48 per cent, evaluating it negatively. Only 17 per cent of the respondents gave a positive assessment (Table 7). As the ERA journal ranking has been developed to assess the quality of journals in order to maintain a high research quality, it is noteworthy that for academics involved in employment relations this ranking was perceived as having a strongly negative impact. Table 7: Perceived impact of the ERA journal ranking exercise for the respondents’ career in general (%) Strongly negative 7.8 Negative 40.6 Evenly balanced between positive and negative 15.6 Positive 9.4 Strongly positive 7.8 Don’t know 18.8 Total 100.0 In particular the difficulties encountered during the publication process for Australian researchers may have significant consequences for their career progression. Table 8 shows that 28 per cent feel that, overall, their being in employment relations has disadvantaged them in reaching their career levels and positions, whereas only six per cent see themselves as advantaged. The lower percentages here, compared to Table 7, probably reflect the fact that the ERA journal rank- The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research, Suzanne Young et al. 83 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V Table 8: Impact of focusing on employment relations in reaching career levels and positions (%) Advantaged 5.5 Disadvantaged 27.5 Neither advantaged or disadvantaged 52.7 Don’t know 14.3 Total 100.0 ings are only one of several influences on the impact that being in employment relations has had on their career progression to date. Its impact, however, can be expected to increase in future. The career impact of the ERA system as indicated in Table 8 was strongly related to the impact that ERA had in downgrading the rating of employment relations journals, in particular the resultant difficulty in obtaining publication in A* or A journals. Amongst those who saw their opportunities to publish in A* or A journals hampered by the ERA journal rankings, as many as 77 per cent believed the impact of ERA on their career would be negative (Table 9). By contrast, amongst those who believed the ERA had not disadvantaged them in achieving A* or A publications, perceived career impacts were quite evenly split between E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W those who saw a negative career impact (27 per cent) and a positive career impact (33 per cent) with 40 per cent not identifying a career impact (either evenly balanced or ‘don’t know’). Underlying this problem is the downgrading of the employment relations field through the ERA process. The factor driving the negative career impact of ERA on employment relations academics is the impact that ERA has on the field. Amongst those respondents who saw ERA journal rankings having a negative impact on the employment relations field, some 71 per cent felt that ERA would have a negative career impact. Amongst the small sub-group who saw that ERA journal rankings would benefit the employment relations field, four fifths expected a positive career impact for them (Table 10). In other words, those who saw a negative impact of journal rankings on the employment relations field were three times as likely as anyone else to see a negative impact on their career, and only one eighth as likely to see a positive impact on their career. But because most employment relations academics felt that the impact or ERA journal rankings on the employment relations field would be negative, the largest number also believed that the impact on their career would be negative. Table 9: Relationship between career impact of journal rankings system and whether respondent disadvantaged in obtaining top tier journal publications through being focused on employment relations (%) Non-disadvantaged in achieving A* or A publications Advantaged in achieving Neither advantaged nor A* or A publications disadvantaged Total Non-disadvantaged Disadvantaged in achieving A* or A publications Negative career impact 0 29 27 77 Evenly balanced or don’t know 50 39 40 23 Positive career impact 50 32 33 0 Total 100 100 100 100 N 2 28 30 26 Table 10: Relationship between expected impact of rankings on employment relations field and career impact (%) Non-negative impact on employment relations field Positive Balanced or no impact Total Non-negative impact Negative impact on employment relations field Negative career impact 0 27 19 71 Evenly balanced or don’t know 20 55 44 24 Positive career impact 80 18 38 5 Total 100 100 100 100 N 5 11 16 38 84 The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research, Suzanne Young et al. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Table12: Expected impact of the ERA journal ranking on respondents’ work areas (%) Strongly negative Negative Evenly balanced Positive Strongly positive No impact Don’t know Achieving an Internal/External promotion 6.5 37.1 8.1 19.4 6.5 14.5 8.7 Obtaining a position in another university 8.1 35.5 11.3 16.1 8.1 6.5 14.5 Internal evaluation at work 11.5 34.4 16.4 19.7 4.9 8.2 4.9 Wage and compensation allocation 4.9 19.7 11.5 4.9 4.9 34.4 19.7 Teaching load 8.3 16.7 21.7 6.7 5.0 33.3 8.3 Internal grants/research funds allocation 5.1 30.5 15.3 11.9 10.2 15.3 11.9 External grants/research funds allocation 9.8 34.4 16.4 9.8 6.6 9.8 13.1 OSP/Sabbatical leave 5.0 13.3 21.7 6.7 5.0 25.0 23.3 In spite of the challenges now facing the employment relations field, many researchers involved in this area remained faithful to it. They defended and advocated the value added that their work could have in public debate and in management in general, and most would like if possible to stay within their current field of research (last column, Table 6). One respondent clearly expressed the value of his research area and the risks of the ERA journal ranking by explaining that ‘I am a successful researcher who mentors many. The ERA is very negative for future researchers. It focuses on narrow instrumental goals, rather than doing good research, on important issues’. The recognition and importance of this domain, however, remains problematic in the university sector. Some respondents declared that employment relations is not well valued compared to other fields of research. Some respondents talked about a less ‘fashionable’ field compared to research that advances the interests of the employers. One respondent explained that Competing against accountants and marketing bodies, it is a different playing field. We do rigorous research; there are different measures for other business disciplines. Even when I have managed to get into an A* journal, I have been told that it is ‘just’ an IR journal, and doesn’t rank against Organization Science , Organization Studies, Management journals ranked at the same ERA level. Very demoralising and bad for career! These impacts seem stronger for people with long university tenure (more than 10 years).They especially regret the strong impact of the ERA journal ranking which sometimes replaces traditional ‘quality’ criteria and explained the negative consequences that this process could have in attracting new students (especially graduate and post-graduate students) in this vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 area. The employment relations field illustrates the problems with being engaged in policy and politics, thereby appearing to some external reviewers as a ‘less serious field of research despite… the rigor of papers’ developed in it. One respondent explained that I held senior positions in 2 universities in the past decade. I chose to shift my career overseas, because I found the ERA mindset and processes narrowing and ultimately destructive of scholarship and engaged research. That said, once overseas my career was not damaged by the negative judgment overseas universities have of ERA and its impact on scholarship. Another described how he was ‘originally advantaged because of a consistent publication track record but now disadvantaged because the Department only recognises A* publications as significant’. Some researchers have decided to adapt their research strategy to the ERA journal ranking by focusing on multidisciplinary research or by developing creative ways of combining different fields of research (especially for young researchers who integrate this at the very beginning of their career). The ‘non-recognised value’ of the employment relations field is perceived by many other academics who are afraid of the potential risk of disappearance of a highly complex but ambitious and influential field of research. Impact on other aspects of academic work We also investigated the particular areas of work in which the impact was most likely felt. These results (Table 12) demonstrate that the impact of the ERA journal ranking is expected as mainly negative in The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research, Suzanne Young et al. 85 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V ‘internal evaluation at work’ (46 per cent of respondents expected a negative impact here, nearly double those expecting a positive impact), ‘external grants/ research funds allocation’ (44 per cent), ‘achieving an internal/external promotion’ (44 per cent),‘obtaining a position in another university’ (44 per cent) and ‘internal grants/research funds allocation’ (36 per cent). While positive effects were expected by respondents for ‘promotion’ (26 per cent) or ‘internal evaluation’ (25 per cent), in both cases the negatives clearly outweighed the positives. Conclusions The fetishism with journal rankings, exemplified in the ERA journal rankings process, will have adverse impacts on Australian research and on the careers of Australian research in this field of social inquiry. There appear to be strong consequences in terms of ‘funds allocation’, ‘evaluation and promotion’ as well as for ‘recruitment’. The negative outcomes identified by respondents are mainly related to the difficulties of reaching A* or A journals in employment relations, considering the small number of high ranked journals devoted to this subject that are based in Australia, and the compounding of difficulties arising from the downgrading of highly rated international journals (and some Australian and New Zealand journals) in the final ERA journal rankings. Moreover, the opportunities of publishing in international publications appear limited due to the characteristics of the employment relations research which frequently has a qualitative approach and a focus on the Australian context. Overseas (especially American) journals are often heavily quantitative, more so in the ‘management’ fields that universities are often trying to push employment relations researchers into, not least because of the now low representation of employment relations journals in the top ranks. Moreover these international journals tend to remain stubbornly nationally oriented, reinforcing the hegemony of knowledge from the West or, in particular, the USA (Nkoma 2009; Merilänen, Tienari, J., Thomas, R. and Davies, A. 2008; Jack, Caláa, Nkono and Peltonen 2008). This is especially problematic in the social sciences as the USA is itself often portrayed, controversially, as ‘exceptionalist’ in industrial relations and several other areas of social policy (de Tocqueville 1945; Voss 1993). As Kaufman (2004, p.5) points out, ‘in reality every country’s industrial relations system is exceptional in 86 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W the sense of having numerous unique practices and institutions’, but it is that combination of common threads and cross-national differences that makes it so important to retain a capacity for context-specific social research. The data critically indicate that the respondents will switch from Australian journals to publication in overseas journals. This is likely to substantially disadvantage B ranked Australian journals and be highly threatening to C-ranked Australian journals. Indeed, if academics follow the incentive structures put in place by their universities (as the data indicate they are doing), then it is difficult to see some of these journals surviving, as they can be expected to suffer from an intensifying drought of submissions. We have already heard first hand from editors of Australian journals ranked B and C that have experienced a substantial fall, or even a drying up, of submissions (while submissions to A ranked have increased). This anecdotal evidence of the impact on journals supports the conclusions we draw from our survey data. A corollary of the possible closure of these Australian-based outlets is the disappearance of much Australian-based policy-relevant research into employment and industrial relations and, we would expect, other areas of social inquiry. Overall, approximately half of all journals are ranked C and this gives an indication of the possible magnitude of the drop in Australianbased research. Overseas-based, B or A journals are frequently not interested in Australian research, especially that which is very specific to the sometimes unique circumstances of Australia. Yet it is often the unique aspects of Australian policy and practice, which cannot be understood from overseas studies, that Australian policy makers (and practitioners) are interested in. It is doubtful, then, that this was the intended outcome. If this field is also sometimes criticised because of ‘politically oriented’ engagement, the respondents remind us of the importance of studies in this area especially for public policy and the progress of Australian institutions.They regret the negative consequences that the ERA journal ranking could have for the future of the employment relations attractiveness and evolution. It also seems important to underline the fact that the respondents regret the way that university decision-makers are using the ERA journal rankings. Indeed, they blame the universities for not considering the balance between the various tasks that comprise their function and underline, especially, the lack of recognition of teaching, programs, administration The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research, Suzanne Young et al. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V and professional development tasks. Academics would not necessarily move away from publishing in lower ranked Australian journals if universities were not using the rankings to affect careers to such an extent. Overall, we can conclude that the ERA journal ranking system is strongly and negatively affecting the employment relations field and could lead to the diminution of the number of Australian journals and researchers, and the amount of Australian research, in this field. Such consequences would likely be harmful for social progress in Australia. As Kaufman (2004, p. 631) argues, industrial relations must have a future because real life capitalism cannot survive without it. This lesson had to be learned the hard way in the first age of globalisation a century ago; it is hoped that it will not have to be re-learned the same way during the second age of globalisation we are passing through now. Our study showed that a field of research with policy applications that have specific relevance to Australia is significantly affected by the ERA journal ranking process. What happens in employment relations can be expected to happen in a number of fields of Australian social inquiry. Suzanne Young, is an associate professor at the Graduate School of Management, La Trobe University, Australia. David Peetz is a professor in the Department of Employment Relations, Griffith University, Australia. Magalie Marais is a PhD student from IAE Aix-en-Provence, France. E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Graham, G. (2008). 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(2010). Nervousness over research ratings. Campus Review. 27 September. Merilänen, S., Tienari, J., Thomas, R. & Davies, A. (2008). Hegemonic academic practices: Experiences of publishing from the periphery. Organization 15(4), pp. 584-597. Nkomo, S. (2009). The Seductive Power of Academic Journal Rankings: Challenges of Searching for the Otherwise. Academy of Management Learning & Education 8 (1), pp. 106-112. Olssen, M and Peters, M. (2005). Neoliberalism, higher education and the knowledge economy: from the free market to knowledge capitalism. Journal of Education Policy 20(3), pp. 313-345. Osterman, P., T. Kochan, R. Locke & M. Piore (2001). Working in America: A Blueprint for a New Labor Market. Cambridge MA, MIT Press. Oswald, A. (2006). An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-makers. Economica 74, pp. 31-31. Ozolins, J. (2008). A Response to the ERA paper. Educational Philosophy and Theory 40(7), pp. 816-18. Rowbotham, J. (2010a). Research assessment to remain unchanged for second round. The Australian. 3 November. Rowbotham, J. (2010b). Journal rankings praised amid criticism. The Australian. 17 November. References Sappey, R., J. Burgess, M. Lyons & J. Buultjens (2006). Industrial Relations in Australia: Work and Workplaces. Sydney, Pearson. Adler, N. & Harzing, A. (2009). When Knowledge Wins: Transcending the Sense and Nonsense of Academic Rankings. Academy of Management Learning & Education 8 (1), pp. 72-95. Svantesson, D. J. B. & P. White (2009). Entering an era of research ranking - will innovation and diversity survive? Bond Law Review 21(3): article 7. Australian Research Council (2008). ERA Indicator Principles. Canberra, ARC: 19 December. Bailey, J. (2003). IR? You must be joking!. HR Monthly August, pp. 44-45. Cooper, S. & Poletti, A. (2011). The new ERA of journal ranking: The consequences of Australia’s fraught encounter with ‘quality’. Australian Universities’ Review 53 (1), pp. 57-65 de Tocqueville, A. (1945). Democracy in America. New York, Vintage Books. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Voss, K. (1993). The Making of American Exceptionalism: The Knights of Labor and Class Formation in the Nineteenth Century. Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press. Watson, L. (2008). Developing indicators for a new ERA: Should we measure the policy impact of education research. Australian Journal of Education 52(2), pp.117-28. Wicks, D. (2004). The institution of tenure: Freedom or discipline. Management Decision 42(5), pp. 619-627. The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research, Suzanne Young et al. 87 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W FoR codes pendulum Publishing choices within Australian research assessment Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow Curtin University This paper reports on an exploratory case study that considered the impacts of journal ranking and Fields of Research codes on the publishing decisions of Australian authors. The study also considered the level of alignment between authors’ allocation of Fields of Research codes and the codes assigned to the journals in which they were published. The conclusion is reached that authors are still coming to an understanding of the impact of research assessment on their publishing choices and the process of scholarly communication within their discipline. Findings point to a number of concerns about the impact of both journal ranking and discipline-specific research codes. Introduction A number of countries have implemented frameworks for assessment of research productivity in their higher education sectors. These include the PerformanceBased Research Fund in New Zealand and the United Kingdom’s Research Assessment Exercise (soon to be superseded by the Research Excellence Framework). In Australia, the Australian Research Council (ARC) has developed Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) as a key component of its drive to produce greater accountability in the Australian research environment. Central to the ERA is the process of assessing the quality of research outputs using two independent but linked mechanisms. First, the ranking of scholarly journals into one of four tiers, with articles differentially ‘rewarded’ according to the tier assigned to the journal in which they are published. And second, the creation of eight disciplinary clusters, identified by two-digit Fields of Research (FoR) codes (derived from the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ABS, 2008)). Each cluster is then subdivided into sub-disciplines identified by four-digits FoRs. These two mechanisms provide the framework for each journal article to be assessed in relation to quality and discipline, and their use is unique in the context of a national research assessment exercise. 88 Commentary on assessment methodology has speculated about the likely impact of journal ranking as a component of research assessment (Howard, 2008), and the effect of assigning journals to a hierarchy of ‘merit’ that rewards publication in journals deemed to be of high quality (Genoni & Haddow, 2009; Redden, 2008). Critics have argued that one impact of ranking will be to compel authors to target obsessively the comparatively small number of highly ranked journals without regard for their desire to direct articles to the journal and readership to which they are best suited; and that this will in turn have a detrimental impact upon more lowly ranked journals as their viability is threatened by the diminishing supply of papers (Cameron, 2005). In this regard some commentators indicate that journals with a national focus are particularly vulnerable, as has already been witnessed in the Australian context by the cessation of the journal People and Place (Lane, 2011). It has also been argued that there may be adverse implications for the highly ranked journals, with editors and reviewers finding it difficult to manage the greater number of submitted papers (Genoni & Haddow, 2009). As a result it has been suggested that journal ranking could distort the process of formal scholarly communication that has evolved over several centuries. This may include cases where editors and FoR codes pendulum, Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V authors alike are enticed to manipulate the ‘system’ in order to maximise the rewards on offer (Cameron, 2005; Jasco, 2006; Cooper & Poletti, 2011), and to meet the changing demands of higher education institutions (Gye, 2009;Wright, Bennett & Blom, 2010). Other recent research has pointed to the disparity in the way in which the ERA ranking process has treated different disciplines, and it has been claimed that these inequitable outcomes may ‘have a detrimental effect in disciplines that lack sufficient journals ranked as A*’ (Vanclay, 2011, p. 273). FoR codes Attracting less attention within the ERA discourse is the impact of the FoR codes that are used to assign research outputs—including journal articles—to a particular subject area. FoR codes are allocated to both individual researchers and research outputs, with all outputs that constitute part of an ERA assessment being assigned at least one such code. As the ARC has explained, ‘ERA is a disciplinary research assessment exercise. As such interdisciplinary research will be disaggregated to its discipline components’ (Australian Research Council, 2008, p. 3). There are, however, differences in the manner by which the FoR codes are assigned to different types of research output, and the method by which they are allocated to journal articles differs substantially from other outputs. Whereas FoRs for other outputs such as conference papers or book chapters are individually selected by authors and/or university research managers, journal articles are limited to those FoRs allocated to the journal in which they are published. Three issues arise from this difference in method of FoR allocation. First, non-journal outputs can be allocated up to three FoR codes, in order to reflect their multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary elements. Most journal articles on the other hand can be allocated no more than the number of FoRs that have been applied to the journal in which they are published. The problems for journal articles in terms of reflecting their multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary components are apparent when it is considered that only 26 per cent of journals in the ERA list (of over 20,700) are allocated two FoR codes, and even fewer (6.4 per cent) are allocated three. There is some allowance for diverse subject coverage or multidisciplinary journals, in that these journals may be allocated a two-digit FoR code or given an multidisciplinary (MD) designation. For the vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W journals allocated a two-digit FoR code institutions are responsible for assigning up to ‘three four-digit FoR codes from within the two-digit FoR code for that journal’ (ARC, 2009, p.28). For journals with a MD allocation, institutions can again apply up to three FoR codes selected from any four-digit FoR. However, this degree of choice applies to comparatively few journals. Only a little over 10 per cent of journals have been given a two-digit FoR, and the MD designation has been applied to just 2.9 per cent of all journals. Despite these attempts to address the ‘issue’ of multior interdisciplinary journals, it remains the case that most articles are dependent upon the FoR code(s) allocated to the journal in which they are published to accurately reflect their disciplinary focus. It is also the case that the majority of articles can receive no more than one FoR code, which has been determined not by authors or their institutions, but by the FoR allocated to the journal in which they are published. Given that non-journal outputs have up to three FoR codes, and that the stated purpose of the FoR codes is to reflect the subject focus of research, it is a nonsense to believe that a journal article will be any more focused on a single FoR than a book chapter or conference paper. Second, it is apparent that if the FoR codes assigned to journal articles must be selected from the FoRs of the journal in which they are published, then accuracy at the article level will only be achieved if: • The FoRs are allocated to journals accurately and consistently. • Individual articles conform to the subject focus of a journal as it is expressed in the FoRs. As will be examined in the research reported below, there are problems in both regards. These problems seemingly arise from the small number of FoRs allocated to most journals being insufficient to reflect their disciplinary breadth. Third, as the ERA process involves allocating FoR codes to individual researchers as well as to their research outputs, there is likely to be pressure to align research and publishing in ways that support both personal ambitions and institutional priorities.As has been noted, ‘under national assessment schemes, departments are required to develop areas of strength and show research themes’ (Kandiko & Blackmore, 2009, p. 91). In the ERA the principal way in which an individual, research group or institution can demonstrate commitment to a research theme is to ensure that outputs are consistently aligned with the relevant FoR code(s). For non-journal outputs this can be achieved FoR codes pendulum, Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow 89 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E through the process of FoR selection by authors and research managers, but for journal articles it can only be achieved by selecting a journal that has already been allocated the desired FoR code. This third issue is not directly addressed by this research and requires further investigation. In order to understand the implications of the first two issues fully, it is necessary to explore the alignment between authors’ perceptions of subject content of their article and the FoR codes assigned by the ERA to the publishing journal.The findings of this study will indicate whether the use of FoRs may have an impact upon discipline-based authoring and editing practices in ways similar to those that have been claimed for journal ranking, in particular the likelihood that they will influence the flow of articles to and from particular journals. Approach to the study This paper reports on an exploratory case study that considered the impacts of journal ranking and FoR codes on the publishing decisions of Australian authors, taking as its context the field of music education.The key areas of research interest were: • The degree of alignment between author-allocated FoR codes and those allocated to the journals within which their work was published. • Authors’ awareness of journal ranking and FoR codes; and • The extent to which authors believed these ERA mechanisms may influence future publishing decisions. The case study focused on authors with recently published journal articles in a single discipline area. The chosen discipline was music education, which draws upon the disciplinary expertise of one of the researchers. Music education was also selected because of its trans-disciplinary nature; covering as it does both music and education, the discipline straddles Cluster Four, Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences (SBE), and Cluster Two, Humanities and Creative Arts (HCA). R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Cluster Four (SBE) incorporates Education, which includes the following four-digit FoRs: 1301: Education systems (including early childhood education, community, school and higher education), 1302: Curriculum and pedagogy (including pedagogy theory and development), 1303: Specialist studies in education (including special and teacher education), 1399: Other education. Cluster Two (HCA) includes Studies in creative arts and writing. Within this is: 1904: Performing arts and creative writing (including music performance, composition and music therapy). Music education is represented in the ERA journal list with fifteen journals, each of which had been allocated between one and three four-digit FoR codes. From these, a sample of five journals was selected for analysis based on the following criteria: Australian researchers were regularly published within the journal; representation of Australian and international journals; representation of a range of ERA journal rankings. Table 1 lists the journals included for analysis with their final ERA ranking, FoR code(s) and publisher. It is notable that no single FoR code is common to all five titles. The journals are also treated with considerable difference in that the number of FoRs allocated ranges from one to three. These inconsistencies are puzzling given that, as the journals’ websites indicate, all five titles claim to publish research in the same area of education and with very similar aims. International Journal of Music Education (IJME): ‘… enhances knowledge regarding the teaching and learning of music with a special interest toward an international constituency… (and) enhances the practice of music teaching and learning at all age levels…’ Table 1: Sample of music education journals Journal title Final ERA ranking FoR code/s Publisher International Journal of Music Education (IJME) A* 1302; 1303; 1904 SAGE British Journal of Music Education (BJME) A 1302; 1904 Cambridge Research Studies in Music Education (RSME) A 1399; 1904 SAGE Australian Journal of Music Education (AJME) B 1303; 1904 Australian Society for Music Education Music Education Research (MER) B 1302 Routledge 90 FoR codes pendulum, Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V British Journal of Music Education (BJME): ‘… to provide clear, stimulating and readable accounts of contemporary research in music education worldwide…’ Research Studies in Music Education (RSME) ‘… promotes the dissemination and discussion of high quality research in music and music education’. Australian Journal of Music Education (AJME) ‘ … to provide clear, stimulating and readable accounts of current issues in music education’. Music Education Research (MER) ‘… provides an international forum for cross-cultural investigations and discussions relating to all areas of music education’. A search of papers published in the five journals between 2007 and May 2010 revealed 44 articles authored or co-authored by Australian researchers. This study therefore covers the period from the initial deliberations regarding the ranking of journals in Australia, up until the commencement of the study.The organisational affiliation and contact details for the authors were drawn from information provided with the journal article. Four papers were excluded from the study as the authors were no longer working in higher education, and two additional papers were excluded because the authors were already included in the sample. Authors of the remaining 38 papers were invited to complete an email survey (see Appendix 1). In the case of coauthored papers, the invitation was issued to the firstlisted Australian author. The response rate was 57.9 per cent, with 22 surveys returned. Respondents returned completed surveys to a third-party email address to ensure anonymity, and they are identified here by their respondent number (R1–R22). E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W The survey elicited both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data were collected to examine the difference between the FoR codes allocated to journals within ERA and the FoRs assigned by author-respondents to their own articles. Scale and dichotomous responses were gathered for respondents’ level of awareness of ERA journal ranking and FoRs, and for whether these mechanisms influenced the placement of journal articles. Two open-ended questions gathered qualitative data. The first related to the choice of journal and the second elicited general comments about ERA. Analysis of quantitative data was undertaken using simple coding and the software program SPSSv18 to calculate descriptive statistics. Qualitative material was independently analysed by all three researchers and the results were compared using Glaser’s constant comparative method of analysis (Flick, 2002) to determine a final coding set. Results and discussion Allocation of FoR codes by authors In order to measure the degree of alignment between FoR codes allocated to the music education journals and the articles they contain, authors were asked to allocate up to three FoRs to their individual journal articles, and to give each FoR a percentage. Authors were provided with the details of thirteen FoRs from Clusters Two and Four, and they were also provided with a link to the full ANZSRC list should they wish to indicate FoRs outside of those included in the survey instrument. The results are presented in Table 2 and show the authors’ allocations of FoRs as a percentage of all FoR allocations to articles in the same journal. Bolded numbers indicate where each author’s FoR allocation aligns with that of the journal. As Table 2 indicates, the authors selected a total of nine different FoRs to describe their articles as com- Table 2: FoR allocation by authors (%) Journal Authors (n) 1301 1302 1303 1399 1701 1702 1904 2002 Other IJME 9 2.2 17.8 26.7 17.8 6.7 0 24.4 0 4.4 BJME 3 16.7 10 40 0 0 0 33.3 0 0 RSME 1 0 40 0 0 0 0 60 0 0 AJME 8 0 18.8 40 0 13.8 2.5 18.8 6.3 0 MER 1 0 35 0 0 0 0 35 30 0 vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 FoR codes pendulum, Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow 91 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V Table 3: Alignment of author FoR allocations with FoRs allocated within ERA Journal FoR alignment (%) IJME 68.9 BJME 43.3 RSME 60.0 AJME 58.8 MER 35.0 Overall alignment 53.2 pared to the four FoRs allocated to the journals within ERA. Table 3 summarises the percentage of alignment between author allocations and the FoR codes allocated within ERA for each of the five journals. In all, 46.8 per cent of the allocations made by authors did not align with the FoR codes applied to these journals. Understandably the percentage of compliance is highest (68.9 per cent) within the International Journal of Music Education, the only journal with three FoRs. Calculated across the other four journals, the percentage of FoRs allocated by authors that aligns with the journals’ FoRs declines to 49.2 per cent. When examining each author’s allocation of FoRs to their article, twelve (54.5 per cent) assigned the highest or equal highest percentage to FoRs outside those assigned to the journal within ERA. This suggests a marked mismatch between authors’ perceptions of the subject of their articles, and the ERA discipline assessment of the journals in which they are published. This mismatch is hardly surprising given the breadth of the five journals, as described on their websites. Disciplines indicated as falling within the journals’ scope include: special needs education; technology; psychology; policy; curriculum design; assessment; sociocultural issues; sociology; philosophy; comparative studies; teacher education; and theoretical/methodological concerns. Few of these areas can be adequately covered within even the maximum allocation of three FoRs, let alone the one or two that are applied to most of the journals. Awareness of journal ranking and implications for publishing The survey included two closed questions asking respondents to nominate their level of awareness (‘very aware’, ‘somewhat aware’, or ‘very unaware’) of the ERA journal ranking process and its implications for research publishing. A follow-up question asked 92 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W whether journal rankings had been ‘taken into consideration when placing [their] article’ (‘yes’ or ‘no’). Of the 22 respondents, twelve (54.5 per cent) were ‘very aware’ and seven (31.8 per cent) ‘somewhat aware’. However, only seven (31.8 per cent) reported that journal ranking was taken into consideration when placing their article. As some of the papers (n=4) date from 2007 it is not unexpected that there was a lower awareness of journal ranking at that time than was the case following the publication in 2008 of the first ranking outcomes. Respondents also provided qualitative comments relating to awareness of journal rankings when placing their article. Only three respondents specifically identified journal rankings to indicate why they had selected a particular journal. One (R3) noted that the journal ‘was rated A* when we submitted it’, but they seem to have been undermined by the provisional nature of the rankings, noting that their selected journal ‘Changed to A in [the] final rankings’. Another respondent (R9) noted that their chosen title (Australian Journal of Music Education) is a ‘wellrespected B grade journal’, a comment that acknowledges the considerable standing in which at least some ‘B’ journals are held.This is particularly relevant in that the journal referred to is the foremost national Australian title in the field of music education, highly valued for its Australian—if not its international—reputation. Issues of journal quality and reputation were also raised in responses that did not refer specifically to the ERA rankings, with one respondent noting that the choice of journal (Music Education Research) had been determined by the ‘Status and quality of the publication’. (R11) In response to the final open-ended question inviting authors to ‘comment further about any aspect of the ERA framework’, one respondent indicated concern regarding the value of ranking, and pointed to a particular example of a disputed ranking. I am unconvinced about the ranking process for journals which does not fully represent the standing of journals or the difficulty in being accepted. I find it strange that IJME is ranked above MER. (R9) Another respondent pointed to two related issues with the rankings: that ‘niche’ journals of high quality and reputation in a specific field may find it difficult to compete with more general journals, and that the fate of the highly regarded national journals is uncertain within a system that depends upon international benchmarks. FoR codes pendulum, Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V In my area of specialism, not all music education journals are ranked. Some journals for example International Journal of Community Music is the big community journal yet it is only ranked ‘C’, rather disappointing like a good many others. The AJME is also just ranked B. This is clearly our national Australian journal in music education research and has an international peer review panel. It should be ranked A. So I am not sure how these are listed/ calculated to be on the ERA. (R22) Awareness of FoR codes Respondents were also requested to report their level of awareness (‘very aware’, ‘somewhat aware’, or ‘very unaware’) of FoR codes and their implications for research publishing. The results indicate a lower level of ‘awareness’ of FoR codes than journal ranking, with half (50 per cent) of the sample indicating they were ‘somewhat aware’, and another 31.8 per cent (compared to 54.5 per cent for journal ranking) considering themselves ‘very aware’ of FoR codes and their implications. However, only three respondents (13.6 per cent) indicated they were aware of the FoRs allocated to the journal at the time of placing the papers and only two of these took FoRs into consideration. Given the time elapsing between submission and publication of papers, and the time taken to finalise the allocation of FoRs to journals, these results are not surprising. It would, however, be interesting to revisit this line of research as the ERA becomes an established part of the Australian research environment. A comment from one respondent indicates the extent to which some researchers are only now coming to understand the disciplinary focus of the ERA: ‘FoR is a term that I didn’t know existed. I’m guessing it stands for field of research? I have just learned something new’. (R17) Selection of journals by authors When respondents were asked to indicate the reason why they selected the journal in which their article was published, they raised a number of issues including audience, reputation and journal focus. For most of the respondents whose articles appeared in the Australian Journal of Music Education (AJME), it is apparent that the local focus of the journal’s research and readership were important. Five of the eight authors who had published in AJME remarked upon this issue in some way. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Local nature of research and strong educational focus. (R7) Because of its relevance in the Australian context to music education and also the audience that I wanted to reach with the paper. (R8) . . . relevance to the Australian context. (R14) The journal was a reliable Australian music education journal. (R15) This was a . . . study that addressed issues about music education and technology in Australia and an Australian journal was an appropriate audience. (R16) These responses—particularly those remarking specifically on the importance of an Australian readership—suggest that authors will continue to seek publication in Australian journals irrespective of their ranking. This preference for Australian journals could also demonstrate a belief that international journals may be reluctant to publish articles with an Australian focus. A further consideration is what might be seen as a related advantage of local journals, in that they are sometimes perceived (rightly or wrongly) as less competitive than their international equivalents: ‘As an early career researcher it was going to be an easier journal to get an acceptance …’ (R14). As this comment implies, it is likely that early career academics will target journals using criteria different from those of established authors. This might include selecting lower-ranked journals on the basis of perceived acceptance rates; publication timeframes; and a lack of confidence to target more highly ranked journals. There were, however, also responses indicating that journal choice had been driven by a desire to expose research to an international audience. For one respondent this was described as simply a desire to ‘present the article to an international journal’ (R1), but others indicated that the issue of ‘internationalism’ was related to perceptions of quality and/or prestige: Because it was a truly international journal in music education with a large readership and impact. (R12) International standing. (R18) It [IJME] was divided into a pure research area and a practice area. My focus is on the practice of singing performance and teaching so it made sense to choose IJME first. I have also submitted and had accepted articles in RSME and BJME. I consider FoR codes pendulum, Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow 93 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V these three journals to be the top in the field and the most desirable to publish in. (R13) Interestingly, this final response is one of only three that referred specifically to the particular focus of the selected journal.Two other respondents, who had also published in the same journal (IJME), made similar comments, noting that it ‘has the strongest interest in music practice issues’ (R6); and, ‘I chose IJME because of its focus on practice’ (R20). IJME incorporates two distinct streams (‘research’ and ‘practice’), each of which has its own editorial board. Both streams have been assigned the same FoRs. The influence of ERA journal ranking and FoR allocation on future publishing choices Several respondents indicated that their future choice of journals would be dictated by the ERA allocation of rank and/or FoRs, even if they hadn’t been a consideration at the time the article in question had been submitted. A respondent who was positive about the benefits of journal ranking, nonetheless described problems with the process that resulted in anomalies in the allocation of both tiers and FoRs. I think the notion of ranking journals . . . is a good thing. However, from my understanding, very little notice has been taken of responses back to the ERA ‘people’ in relation to FoR codes, and even the existence of some journals. Some journals in music education (MER and Psychology of Music for example) are not even listed under the 1904 [‘Performing arts and creative writing’] code! In music and arts education there are other journals which have been listed as A journals, and they don’t even exist, and international journals with really fantastic boards, excellent articles and huge impact, which have been ranked as C! Quite ridiculous. (R12) The mention of psychology is relevant given that Research Studies in Music Education (RSME) and Psychology of Music have since 2008 been sold together as a joint institutional subscription, on the basis that, ‘as the journals are linked in subject matter the content of both are relevant to music psychologists and music educators alike’ (Research Studies in Music Education, 2010). Similarly, the scope of MER extends to ‘philosophy, sociology, psychology and comparative studies’ (Music Education Research, 2010). Despite these the explicit links between these journals and psychology, borne out by both author FoR allocations and comments, none of the music education journals include a psychology-based FoR code. 94 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Two respondents specifically commented on the influence of the ERA mechanisms on their future publishing activities: I did not consider ERA at the time of submission, but do so now for pretty much everything I write and try to publish. [This is] thanks to numerous emails and talks from the faculty head of research. (R20) . . . from now on I will be considering journal rankings and FoR assignment when submitting journal articles for publication. (R2) Further evidence of the strategic approach some authors are taking to the ERA came from another respondent who made a similar point about the increased flow of articles to an elite group of journals, noting that it was linked to the FoR codes as well as the rankings. I have done a study of all ERA ranked journals into which I publish and included this list in my performance management. All of these are 13, 1301, 1302, 1303 – and one 1904. The pressure on these journals will increase and competition for acceptance shall likewise increase. (R14) This same respondent also expressed concern that the comparatively low ranking of Australian journals may disadvantage Australian researchers and research: ‘The placement of AJME as a B rank will seriously disadvantage early career academics and place the Australian context to the periphery’. (R14) Acknowledging the influence of the journal rankings, one respondent argued that the ERA process may lead to a distortion of established (and desirable) patterns of scholarly publishing as journal choice is increasingly determined by rankings rather than the need to reach the most appropriate readership. I became aware of ERA journal rankings after I submitted this article and [this] certainly had an effect on where I submitted my next two articles. There are some journals in which I would probably like to submit work because they would have a greater dissemination to teachers and performers in my area of research, but I doubt I will bother submitting because either they don’t appear on the ERA rankings or they have a low ranking. Eventually if all academics take this stance it will definitely advantage the big already successful journals against the smaller journals that might have one editor, no staff and yet are widely read by the people in the field who matter. … in some aspects it is the ERA framework that is causing this to happen. (R13) The concern about the influence of journals rankings and FoRs was not, however, universal. As one FoR codes pendulum, Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V respondent indicated, he will continue to publish for a preferred audience rather than be dictated to by the vagaries of research assessment: For me, the most important issue was who I wanted to reach with the message contained within the article. I didn’t think about FoR codes because ultimately, the ERA doesn’t determine who is interested and perhaps wants/ needs to know about the issues discussed in the paper. (R8) Discussion The research reported above indicates there may be problems associated with the current method of allocating FoR codes to journal articles. A number of respondents raised issues that arise from the imposition of FoRs based on their allocation to journals rather than to articles, and the inability of FoRs to reflect the complex reality of the multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary research that prevails in the humanities. The evidence suggests that authors are only just beginning to fully comprehend the impact of the ERA mechanisms (both journal rankings and FoR codes) on their publishing choices and career progression. They are realising that both rankings and FoR codes will create pressure to publish in a small number of journals that are appropriately approved and categorised. Authors are also beginning to understand the downstream impacts that may result, not only for their community of authors, but for journals, readers and disciplines. The data reported here support the argument made by other commentators (Cooper & Poletti, 2011; Lamp, 2009) that there is the potential for the key ERA mechanisms to disrupt the healthy exchange of research publishing. Whereas disciplinary communication has previously depended on authors carefully selecting journals because of the desire to reach a particular audience within complex disciplinary and interdisciplinary networks, in future they may be impelled to choose certain journals by the imposition of a mechanistic formula that is insensitive to the needs of the authors, readers and disciplines. Research assessment in Australia is still in its infancy, and the evidence collected in this research suggests that authors will come to fully understand the impacts of the ERA progressively. In the initial stage this is likely to be a realisation of the personal impact, as authors are allocated or select their personal FoRs and review the results of the journal ranking process in their own fields of research. Irrespective of their personal opinvol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W ions on the research assessment mechanisms, individuals will realise that—unless they are to take a cavalier approach to their career progression—the results will inevitably shape their future publishing choices. A second level of impact will be encountered as universities adjust their incentives and rewards to the ERA drivers.The effect of journal ranking will be to encourage institutions to target research funding in support of outputs destined for suitably ranked journals, and to apply the same measure in the recruitment and promotion of staff (Mather, 2011).The use of discipline-based assessment is highly likely to see institutions supporting research aligned with particular FoR codes that are believed to attract government funding, and research groups and individuals will in turn be required to focus publishing on those journals that have been allocated the ‘appropriate’ FoRs. A third level of impact will be felt by the disciplines as they strive to adjust their channels of formal communication to cope with the highly managed research environment. As has been noted the ranking of journals is likely to skew submissions in favour of highly ranked journals and in the process may well threaten the viability of journals that fall into the B and C tiers. Not only authors, but editors and referees will find little value in being associated with lower-ranked titles. And authors and editors alike will also feel the impact of the FoRs as journals that once encouraged and attracted multidisciplinary contributions find that contributed articles are increasingly tailored to the narrow range of the allocated FoRs. It is also likely that Australian journals with a regional focus will be particularly susceptible. As has been discussed elsewhere (Genoni & Haddow, 2009) the definitions given to each of the journal ranking tiers are expressed in such a way that they disadvantage national or regional journals. This occurs because whereas the definition for tier A emphasises ‘real engagement with the global research community’, the tier B definition focuses on ‘regional journals with high acceptance rates’. The likely effect of suggesting tier B as the ‘default’ rank for national and regional journals is supported by respondents’ comments on the Australian Journal of Music Education. It is also the case that whereas international journals relying on a much broader contributor base will be largely unaffected by a regional assessment scheme such as the ERA, journals with a national or regional focus and drawing the majority of their contributions from a pool of Australian authors may find their oper- FoR codes pendulum, Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow 95 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V ating environment greatly altered. These authors will either be forced to adjust their research to make it more internationally focused, or to relentlessly target the small number of Australian journals that have fared well in ERA, regardless of the appropriateness of the editorial policy or readership. In either case the circumstances bode ill for Australian journals that, irrespective of their importance to national scholarship, have been found wanting when exposed to an assessment regime that relies upon standards of international quality. E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W At the time of writing the ARC has requested input into a revision of both the journal rankings and the FoR codes allocated to journals and other outputs. It is important for future confidence in the research assessment process that as a result of the review a means is found for expressing the complexity of humanities scholarship. Dawn Bennett is in the Faculty of Humanities, and Paul Genoni and Gaby Haddow are in the School of Media, Culture & Creative Arts, Curtin University, Western Australia. Journals used in the study Conclusion The title of this article, ‘FoR codes pendulum’, is obviously a pun on Foucault’s pendulum, the name given to the device deployed by French physicist Leon Foucault in the mid-nineteenth century to demonstrate the rotation of the earth on its axis. The point of Foucault’s pendulum was that it made possible the proof of a phenomenon that had hitherto been deduced by observation and inference. In this, Foucault and his pendulum have something in common with the attempt to assess the nation’s research performance. That research occurs in Australia is known, and that its impact is beneficial is understood. For those with an instrumentalist and bureaucratic bent, however, it is a phenomenon that requires proof. The productivity of the system must be measured, its components labelled and ranked, the rewards targeted. At this point Foucault and the FoR codes part company. For whereas Foucault’s pendulum was an elegant solution that stunned scholars with its simplicity, the current use of the FoR codes are part of a complex empiricism targeted at a phenomenon—research quality and impact—that is intractably ill-suited to measurement. And while Foucault’s pendulum could never have an impact on the phenomenon it so convincingly demonstrated, the FoR codes may well influence— and potentially do harm—to the very system they are intended to measure. The ERA mechanism that has caused most alarm to date is journal ranking with its reliance on constructed hierarchies of merit. From this exploratory study it is also apparent, however, that the artifice of categorising journal articles by linking them to discipline codes that fail to express the complexity and diversity of humanities scholarship will be to the detriment of healthy research and publishing cultures. 96 Australian Journal of Music Education. (2010). Retrieved 22 February 2011 from http://www.asme.edu.au/publications.htm British Journal of Music Education. Retrieved 22 February 2011 from http:// journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=BME International Journal of Music Education. Retrieved 14 July 2010 from http://ijm.sagepub.com/ Music Education Research. Retrieved 25 December 2010 from http://www.tandf. co.uk/journals/titles/14613808 Research Studies in Music Education. Retrieved 14 July 2010 from http://rsm. sagepub.com References Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008). 1297.0 - Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC). Retrieved 14 February 2010 from http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/1297.0Contents120 08?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=1297.0&issue=2008&num =&view=. Australian Research Council. (2008). ERA Indicator Principles. Retrieved 22 February 2011 from http://www.arc.gov.au/pdf/ERA_Indicator_Principles.pdf Australian Research Council. (2009). ERA 2010 Submission Guidelines. Retrieved March 25th 2011 from http://www.arc.gov.au/era/key_docs10.htm Australian Research Council. (2010). ERA 2010 Evaluation Guidelines. Retrieved March 25th 2011 from http://www.arc.gov.au/era/key_docs10.htm Cameron, B. D. (2005). Trends in the usage of ISI bibliometric data: Uses, abuses, and implications. Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 5(1), 105-125. Cooper, S., & Poletti, A. (2011). The new ERA of journal ranking: the consequences of Australia’s fraught encounter with ‘quality’. Australian Universities’ Review, 53(1), 57-65. Flick, U. (2002). An Introduction to Qualitative Research. London: Sage. Genoni, P., & Haddow, G. (2009). ERA and the ranking of Australian humanities journals. Australian Humanities Review, 46, 5-24. Retrieved 22 February 2011 from http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org/archive/Issue-May-2009/ home.html Gye, L. (2009). Education and the arts: media arts: Positive initiatives, problematic implications. RealTime, 92. Retrieved 17 January 2011 from http://www. realtimearts.net/article/92/9523 Howard, J. (2008). New ratings of humanities journals do more than rank—they rankle. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 55(7), A10. Jasco, P. (2006). Deflated, inflated and phantom citation counts. Online Information Review, 29(5), 297-309. FoR codes pendulum, Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E Kandiko, C. B., & Blackmore, P. (2009). Institutionalising interdisciplinary work in Australia and the UK. Journal of Institutional Research, 14(1), 87-95. Lamp, J. (2011). Journal ranking and the dreams of academics. Online Information Review, 33(4), 827-830. Lane, B. (2011). Global focus stills vital local voice. The Australian, 2 March 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011 from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/highereducation/global-focus-stills-vital-local-voice/story-e6frgcjx-1226014345226. Mather, J. (2011, March 28). ERA influences talent search. Financial Review Education, pp. 28-29. R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Redden, G. (2008). From RAE to ERA: Research evaluation at work in the corporate university. Australian Humanities Review, 45, 7-26. Retrieved 6 January 2011 from http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org/archive/IssueNovember-2008/home.html Vanclay, J. K. (2011). An evaluation of the Australian Research Council’s journal ranking. Journal of Informetrics, 5, 265-274. Wright, D., Bennett, D., & Blom, D. (2010). The interface between arts practice and research: Attitudes and perceptions of Australian artist-academics. Higher Education Research and Development, 29(4), 461-473. Appendix 1: Survey 1. Please allocate a percentage to up to three (3) FoR codes that you believe best describe your article. The total percentage should add up to 100. FoR Codes Education 1301 Education Systems 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy 1303 Specialist Studies in Education 1399 Other Education % 0 0 0 0 Studies in Human Society 1605 Policy and Administration (includes education policy) 1608 Sociology (includes sociology of education) 0 0 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences 1701 Psychology (included educational psychology) 1702 Cognitive Sciences 0 0 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing 0 0 Language, Communication and Culture 2001 Communication and Media Studies 2002 Cultural Studies 0 0 Philosophy and Religious Studies 2202 History and Philosophy of Speciﬁc Fields 0 Other FoR(s) and % All FoR codes can be viewed at: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/6BB427AB9696C225CA2574180004463E?opendo cument 2. vol. 53, no. 2,Did 2011you consider placing your articleFoR in other journals?Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow 97 codes pendulum, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/6BB427AB9696C225CA2574180004463E?opendo cument A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S â€™ R E V I E W 2. Did you consider placing your article in other journals? Yes No If Yes: 2.1 Which journal/s? 3. How would you describe your level of awareness of the ERA journal ranking process and its implications for research publishing? 2.2 Why did you ultimately choose this journal? Somewhat aware Very aware Very unaware 3. How would you describe your level of awareness of the ERA journal ranking process and its implications for research publishing? 4. Very Did you take the ERA journal rankingaware into consideration when placing this article? Somewhat Very unaware aware Yes No 4. Did you take the ERA journal ranking into consideration when placing this article? 5. Yes How would you describe your level of awareness of the FoR codes and their implications for No research publishing? Very aware Somewhat aware Very unaware 5. How would you describe your level of awareness of the FoR codes and their implications for research publishing? 6. Were you aware of the FoR code/s assigned when placing this article? Somewhat aware to the journal Very unaware Very aware Yes No Yes: you aware of the FoR code/s assigned to the journal when placing this article? 6. If Were 6.1 Did you take the Yes No FoR codes into consideration when placing the article? IfYes Yes: No 7. Please about any when aspect of thethe ERA framework. 6.1 Didfeel you free take to thecomment FoR codesfurther into consideration placing article? Yes No 7. Please feel free to comment further about any aspect of the ERA framework. Thank you again for your input. We very much appreciate you being involved with this study. 98 FoR codes pendulum, Dawn Bennett, Paul Genoni & Gaby Haddow vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Thank you again for your input. We very much appreciate you being involved with this A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W OPINION ERA: adverse consequences Brian Martin University of Wollongong Excellence in Research for Australia has a number of limitations: inputs are counted as outputs, time is wasted, disciplinary research is favoured and public engagement is discouraged. Most importantly, by focusing on measurement and emphasising competition, ERA may actually undermine the cooperation and intrinsic motivation that underpin research performance. Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) has the laudable aim of improving the quality of Australian research. Its approach is straightforward: measure the quality and quantity of research in different fields, with the prospect of funding attached to good outcomes, and this will stimulate better outcomes. However, this approach has many adverse consequences. Misleading journal rankings In the first ERA round, assessments of the quality of research teams were based, in part, on the quality of articles published in journals, assumed to correlate with the journal rankings of A*, A, B or C. On 30 May 2011, Senator Kim Carr announced that these rankings would be dropped and replaced by ‘journal quality profiles.’ How ERA panels will use these profiles is not clear. In any case, it is worth reviewing shortcomings of journal rankings. On the surface, it seems sensible to judge the quality of research by the journals it is published in. However, trouble arises in the steps between journal rankings and the quality of research. The first step is to establish a ranking for each journal, with expert panels relying on input from people in relevant disciplines. Inevitably, subjective factors are involved. For example, panel members might be inclined to rank highly a journal in which they had vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 published and not so favourably inclined towards an unfamiliar journal. Then there is the assumption of a unitary ranking of a journal. Many journals are less than regular in their treatment of submissions, due to invited articles (sometimes published without refereeing), guest editors and special issues filled with papers from conferences. The reputation of a journal often depends on its impact on the field, which in turn is due to a small number of articles that are widely known and cited. Other articles in the journal may be unexceptional. Another problem is that impact factors can be manipulated (Arnold and Fowler 2011). Even if journal rankings were accurate, this doesn’t translate into accurate quality ratings of articles, because journal standards only set minimums. An article’s quality does not go down just because it is submitted to a C or unranked journal rather than an A* journal. Judging quality by where an article appears is like judging a person’s wealth by their address. Moving to a lower-status suburb doesn’t reduce one’s income. Simon Cooper and Anna Poletti (2011) argue that ERA’s journal-ranking process actually undermined the production of high quality research, by discouraging collegiality and international networking and by not recognising the way academics access materials digitally. Many academics saw journal rankings as the most objectionable feature of ERA. Although dropping the ERA: adverse consequences, Brian Martin 99 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V rankings may give the impression that the rest of ERA is acceptable, there are plenty of other problems, some of them just as serious. E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W In Australia, grant successes seem to be treated as a measure of research success more than most other countries (Allen 2010). Peer review of grant applications is one measure of quality, but grant monies themselves are inputs to research, not outputs. ERA continues the emphasis on grants. An alternative would be to look at output/input ratios. Imagine a scholar who spends one-third of their time on research, valued at $30,000. A scholar who has a $30,000 grant then should be expected to produce twice the outputs, or much higher quality outputs. But this is not how the game is played. Big grants are seen as more prestigious, even when there are no more outputs. fiction, especially in fields like the humanities where researchers seldom work in teams. The narratives serve the interests of the ARC. Groups are expected to show high-quality outputs from ARC grants, so outputs are attributed to grant support even when they might have happened anyway. Researchers without grants are downgraded. The result is a selffulfilling process: in essence, the ARC sets the expectations for ERA reporting that shows how wonderfully effective ARC funding is for research. Many researchers give misleading pictures of their own research — on their CVs and grant applications — for example by claiming more credit for their work than deserved. ERA institutionalises incentives to create misleading narratives about research groups and concentrations. Creative research managers might be tempted to deceptively reclassify outputs, for example by dumping articles in lower-status journals into a ‘reject’ category in order to boost rankings in other categories. Time wasted Peers, not the public Preparing and assessing ERA submissions is time-intensive.It involves many of each university’s most productive researchers who are diverted into ERA administration rather than doing more of their own work. Because the benchmark for research quality is what impresses other researchers, there is an incentive to be more inward-looking. By default, applied research and public engagement are discouraged (Brett 2011; Shergold 2011). Public engagement — including writing articles for newspapers, blogs and other online forums — requires a different style than the usual academic journal. Value is placed on accessibility and relevance. Jargon is to be avoided. Public engagement is a vital contribution to society, but is given little or no credit in ERA. Similarly, applied research useful to outside groups — government, industry or community — receives less kudos than research pitched to peers. ERA gives no formal attention to social impact, which might favour applied research. Inputs counted as outputs Disciplines dominant ERA categories are built primarily around disciplines. Interdisciplinary researchers often publish in a range of journals. Their outputs are spread over several different research codes, thus weakening a university’s claim to have concentrations of excellent research. The result is that more narrowly specialised research is encouraged at the expense of cross-disciplinary innovation. Many of today’s most pressing issues cut across traditional academic boundaries. By sending a signal that interdisciplinary research is less valued, ERA encourages a retreat from engaging with real-world problems. Misleading narratives ERA rewards the existence of groups of researchers in nominated fields. This provides an incentive to create, on paper, artificial groupings of researchers whose outputs collectively seem significant. Then, to fit ERA expectations, a narrative needs to be composed about how the research of these groupings fits together in a coherent package. Many of these narratives are largely 100 ERA: adverse consequences, Brian Martin Susceptibility to misuse ERA is supposed to be used to measure the performance of institutions and research groups, not individuals. However, it did not take long before university managers began enforcing ERA-related measures on individual academics, for example by rewarding those who published in A and A* journals or brought in research grants. Academics are at risk of missing out on appointments or promotions, or even losing their jobs, if their performance falls short in ERA measures, vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W no matter how outstanding they might be otherwise. The psychological effect on those whose outputs are deemed irrelevant to ERA performance can be severe. ERA may inspire better work by some but at the cost of demoralisation of many others. University managers could be blamed for inappropriate use of ERA measures. On the other hand, the conception of ERA itself is part of the problem, because it is so susceptible to abuse. the quality or quantity of research? There is no evidence that it does. The effort and attention given to ERA might be better spent on programmes directly designed to improve research. Collectively, the Australian academic community has immense knowledge and experience concerning research. Sharing this knowledge and experience could be promoted through training and mentoring schemes. Research suggests that the key attribute of successCompetition ful researchers is persistence, not intelligence (Hermanowicz 2006). Stories of continued effort despite The ERA system is competitive, with every university failure would provide motivation for junior researchand research unit trying to do better than others. Howers. However, senior researchers seldom tell the full ever, no one has presented evidence that competition is story of their struggles — including rejections of their the most effective way of boosting research quality and work — as this might detract from their lustre (Hall output.Alfie Kohn (1986) in his classic book No Contest 2002). In a more cooperative, supportive research found competition is the environment, such lessons guiding philosophy in eduwould be easier to provide. Competition stimulates some undesirable cation and work despite a Most experienced behaviours. Universities, in their race for lack of supporting evidence. researchers are driven by status, put considerable effort into bidding Competition stimulates intrinsic motivation, includfor top performers, yet this does not some undesirable behaving intellectual challenge, increase overall output in the system. iours. Universities, in their fascination in developing race for status, put considernew understandings, and able effort into bidding for satisfaction in working on top performers, yet this does not increase overall output something worthwhile. Intrinsic motivation can be in the system. In a highly competitive system, researchundermined by offering external sticks and carrots, ers are more likely to hide or disguise their ideas to prewhich is exactly what ERA does. Too many rules and vent others from obtaining an advantage. Universities external incentives can be counterproductive. Barry emphasise protecting intellectual property rather than Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe in their book Practical contributing to the public domain, even though few uniWisdom describe how this can happen in law, educaversities make much money from intellectual property. tion and medicine. They say ‘Rules are set up to estabCompetition puts an enormous strain on researchers lish and maintain high standards of performance, and to and can lead to excessive and damaging work practices, allow the lessons learned by some to be shared by all. a type of self-exploitation (Redden 2008). But if they are too strict or too detailed or too numerous, The alternative is cooperation, well known to be a they can be immobilizing, counterproductive, and even stimulus for research in collaborations and research destructive.’ (Schwartz and Sharpe 2010: 255). teams. Cooperation in producing software has generSchwartz and Sharpe (2010) say that people need ated some of the highest quality products in the world, opportunities to exercise discretion, balancing rules such as the Linux operating system. Online tools now and circumstances to wisely help achieve the goals of enable easy collaboration across continents. MIT has put the activity. Arguably, one of the reasons for the vocal its course materials on the web, leading a move towards opposition to journal rankings was that they removed sharing rather than hoarding intellectual outputs. discretion from academics for deciding where best to publish their research. Although journal rankings have Measurement not improvement been dropped, the basic incentive system remains. It would be paradoxical if ERA’s apparatus for measuring The massive effort involved in ERA ends up with output and providing incentives for particular types of assessments of research excellence. That is all very output actually sabotaged the very thing it is supposed well, but does measurement actually improve either to improve. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 ERA: adverse consequences, Brian Martin 101 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V What to do? Some academics have accepted ERA as a fact of life and seek to comply with directives of university managers, for example to submit papers only to the most prestigious journals. Others, though, think ERA is so flawed that they must resist, either individually or collectively. One option is to carry on with research as before, ignoring ERA imperatives, for example submitting papers to the most appropriate journals, whatever their academic status. This option is easiest for those who have opted out of the struggle for promotions and status through the research game, or who are senior enough so there is no need to impress others. Another option is to refuse to participate in ERA exercises, for example declining to lead panels, do peer assessments or contribute statements and publication lists to ERA panel leaders. These forms of individual resistance make a statement but have limited impact unless they become widespread. A different sort of response is voicing dissent against ERA.This includes careful deconstructions showing its damaging effects and vocal complaints to anyone who will listen, including letters and articles in newspapers and blogs. Academics know a lot of people from different walks of life, which means that informal complaints to friends and critiques in professional forums will filter through to politicians and other decisionmakers. As well as rigorous critiques, criticism of ERA can take the form of humour: creativity is needed to generate the most powerful forms of satire. (I wrote this paragraph before journal rankings were dropped from ERA, a change directly reflecting the power of complaint). Another response is to set up alternative systems for promoting research and assessing performance, systems that address ERA’s shortcomings. This is a big challenge but definitely worth the effort. Critique is all very well, but critics need an answer to the question ‘If not ERA, then what?’ E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W ERA is all about promoting research, but curiously enough there is little research available to justify the approaches adopted by ERA itself. It is not evidencebased; indeed, there seems to have been no systematic comparison with alternatives. Rather than the government imposing a competitive measurement scheme, a different approach would be to open up space for diverse proposals to improve research. Acknowledgements For useful comments and discussion, I thank John Braithwaite, Judith Brett, Don Eldridge, Anne-Wil Harzing, Tim Mazzarol, Anna Poletti, Guy Redden and others who prefer to remain unnamed. Brian Martin is Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Wollongong, Australia. References Allen, J. (2010). Down under exceptionalism. University of Queensland Law Journal, 29(1), 143–154. Arnold, D.N. & Fowler, K.K. (2011). Maths matters: nefarious numbers. Gazette of the Australian Mathematical Society, 38(1), 9–16. Brett, J. (2011). Results below par in social sciences. The Australian, 9 February, 36. Cooper, S. & Poletti, A. (2011). The new ERA of journal ranking. Australian Universities’ Review, 53(1), 57–65. Hall, D.E. (2002). The Academic Self: An Owner’s Manual, Ohio State University Press, Columbus, OH. Hermanowicz, J.C. (2006). What does it take to be successful? Science, Technology, & Human Values, 31, 135–152. Kohn, A. (1986). No Contest: The Case Against Competition, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA. Redden, G. (2008). From RAE to ERA: research evaluation at work in the corporate university. Australian Humanities Review, 45, 7–26. Schwartz, B. & Sharpe, K. (2010). Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing, Riverhead, New York. Shergold, P. (2011). Seen but not heard. Australian Literary Review, 4 May, 3–4. Conclusion Some of ERA’s limitations are matters of design, for example counting grants as outputs rather than inputs. Others are matters of orientation, notably the emphasis on disciplinary research. Yet others are deeper: ERA assumes that competition and measurement are worthwhile, though both are questionable. 102 ERA: adverse consequences, Brian Martin vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Painting monkey or painting elephant? Some comments on measuring research in the creative arts Ron Elliott Curtin University I recently went through the Excellence in Research for Australia evidence gathering process. The measurement of creative work as research output as part of this process has raised a number of issues for me, as a creative scholar, which I feel will be useful to share. Introduction ‘The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative assesses research quality within Australia’s higher education institutions’ (Australian Research Council, 2010 p.1). In 2009 a trial of the ERA evaluated physical, chemical and earth sciences, and humanities and creative arts clusters. The identification of the creative arts first recognised during the Research Quality Framework process (set up by the previous Federal Government to assess research quality), signals acknowledgement of the growing importance of the creative arts as a discrete area of research. The spotlight on creative arts presents many opportunities but has also highlighted the complexity of measuring the arts as research. Various creative arts have had a place within university life where they have been celebrated and studied, however the systematic training of future creative artists has been a relatively recent development. In Australian universities, the introduction of creative arts might have been due partly to structural changes with the government directed college and university amalgamations in the 1980s (Wright,Bennet & Blom, 2010). However student interest in training for theatre, fine vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 arts, creative writing and screen production saw many universities around the world developing and maintaining areas of creative arts courses, usually within the humanities. Industry practitioners and ‘creatives’ were often brought into the academy to teach specific technical skills and oversee projects while existing humanities academics taught related liberal arts subjects and research skills. Media studies departments developed alongside journalism degrees, sometimes within literature departments. Traditional academics continued their own research output while drawing on increased student numbers from the ‘popular practical’ courses. Practitioners used their research time to continue creative endeavours and/or industry/arts affiliations. The separation of practice and theory is artificial and continues to be a fractious border between departments and ideologies. On the one hand, academics from a traditional research background have increasingly explored facets of the creative arts including textual analysis, culture and industry. Works of art and craft have always been objects and texts for study. On the other hand, the creative and industry trained academics have been increasingly encouraged to complete higher degrees. There has been a correspondPainting monkey or painting elephant? , Ron Elliott 103 A U S T R A L I A N U N I ing rise in undergraduates undertaking honours and higher degrees in the creative arts, often with a creative component. Some university trained artists, and artists as university academics, are now using theoretic frameworks in order to produce research of their own in the creative arts. Others continue just to teach and produce their art. However, understandings concerning practice - that is the processes and techniques used by creative artists and craft persons in order to create - have been largely ignored by both the creative academic (often assuming them) and the traditional researcher (often denying their existence.) The need to articulate and validate creative practice has been made more urgent by the inclusion of the creative arts in the ERA process. The proof of research quality is tied to government funding and universities have strategically sought to increase their share of funding by targeting their own research output. A variety of research fields have been working through their own unique methods and discussing the decisions of criteria, especially regarding the ranking of journals as a measure of quality. Traditional researchers are confronting problems within these new definitions and alignments. The creative arts are also working through a variety of complexities of measurement including those of collaborative works such as in music, dance, theatre and screen production. For instance, consideration is being given to the weight of contributing artists to the finished collaborative art works and there are also difficulties to face in proving and validating live performances. Some things are common amongst the creative arts and some vastly different. We may readily agree that a dance is not a painting, but the varieties of measuring criteria that derive from this obvious observation are manifold. And some creative fields are more advanced than others in the language that is used to articulate output. However, it is in the practice of creative art where some of the greater difficulties of definition are emerging. Some of this difficulty derives from the historic place of the creative arts within the humanities and the existing expertise in the critical study of creative artefacts and consequent adherence to a qualitative methodology. ‘Established qualitative and quantitative research methodologies frame what is legitimate and acceptable,’ aligning different approaches to measurement (Haseman, 2006).This is of course an oversimplified dichotomy.A variety of combinations of qualitative 104 Painting monkey or painting elephant? , Ron Elliott V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W and quantitative approaches to research have also proven useful, as well as other recognised research methodologies such as action research and participatory research. However, in the creative arts (and health sciences) practice-led research (also known as practice-as, practice-based, mixed-mode) is an emerging tool for exploring certain kinds of creative work. It involves a combination of theoretic research and propositional thinking in combination with a creative work, perhaps answering the same proposal/question, often with some critical reflection concerning the process and efficacy of the result. In many respects it is experimental in approach. In terms of student work within the academy there is an exegetic component and a creative work. (Leahy, 2009; Kroll, 2008) Relative weighting concerning the quality and interplay of the components can vary between institutions and of course between departments within the same university. The validity of practice-led research continues to be a subject of debate, not so much within creative areas as with the committees of traditional research fields who oversee research output. Pressure continues to be placed on creative academics to conform to a traditional humanities qualitative methodology even when the existence of a practice-led model is acknowledged, forcing research to be ‘about the arts rather than of them’ (Kroll, 2008). And this raises a further crucial question regarding the practicing artist within the university. To what degree is creative output the actual research output and not just an addendum, parallel or tangential to the real research? What is the status and value of discoveries made ‘in the studio’ and what are valid ways of articulating those discoveries? The ERA process has focused the notion of measurement on the creative arts and it is up to practicing creative academics to articulate the standards and defend the validity of the way ‘creatives’ also create new knowledge. It is an opportunity to argue that the process of creative text creation is a form of research output in itself, not merely a text that is analysed conceptually, somehow before it exists. This paper is intended as a case study focusing on my own experiences in being measured for the ERA. It is therefore, necessarily personal. Yet, I seek to share the fruits of this encounter and subsequent analysis with creative and traditional researchers in the belief in common ground rather than difference. Please bring your own paint brushes. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Painting Monkey include Research Background, Research Contribution and Research Significance. While it is encouraging that I was a practicing film and television director and screencreative work is being counted as research, the models writer for some twenty years, during which I directed used to measure it are inappropriate. In order to answer for ABC television, directed a feature film, wrote an AFIthese statements, it was necessary to heavily massage nominated telemovie and wrote amongst other things, descriptions of creative work so they complied. many hours of children’s television. Approximately The University of Sydney (2010) offered suggestions seven years ago, I took a position at Curtin University in its Research Statements for Creative Works Submitwhere I teach production and writing. I continue to ted for Peer Review which my university used. Under write for television with the blessing of my school and the heading Research Background it was suggested I have recently written a novel entitled Spinner. use one sentence to explain the research field and traThere is a video clip on YouTube: Painting monkey, dition, then a sentence explaining the works aim and accessed on 11 February 2011 at <http://www. intent, especially in terms of a gap in the knowledge. youtube.com/watch?v=i_qlt_qbfYw>. A zoo keeper Finally I was asked to write ‘the research question’. gives a monkey some paints and the monkey uses Research questions can be useful tools in research a brush to smear paint on a page and eventually on of a certain kind - certainly at say Honours level where the back of the keeper. I relatively simple questions have come to identify with can lead to simple answers A zoo keeper gives a monkey some paints this monkey. It is, I believe, within a known field. They and the monkey uses a brush to smear how I am seen by those are sometimes useful in paint on a page and eventually on the back people within my univerformulating creative works of the keeper. I have come to identify with sity who collected data on but they are not always this monkey. It is, I believe, how I am seen my research output for the the most useful approach by those people within my university who ERA process. for creative projects, even collected data on my research output for There’s another video for students. (Combrink & clip from YouTube, Painting Marley 2009; Boyd 2009) the ERA process. elephant, accessed on 27 I certainly had no July 2011 at <http://www. research question when I youtube.com/watch?v=He7Ge7Sogrk>. A keeper leads approached my novel, Spinner. Now, you can attempt an elephant to an easel and gives it paint. The elephant to simplify the process, in retrospect if you wish, but I takes the brush and slowly, but clearly paints the outpromise you I had no clear question in mind. I ‘jumped line of an elephant. You can hear tourists gasp as the in’. I had an idea about a twelve year old who might be likeness emerges. I have come to realise that it would the greatest cricket spin bowler in the world. For a varibe easier to measure my creative output for the ERA ety of reasons which I don’t have time to go into here, I if I were more like the painting elephant rather than placed my story in the later 1920s. I decided on a quest the painting monkey. Clearly, the elephant is painting structure based on previous work and readings such as another elephant.This is a talented elephant. ConcernVogler’s The Writer’s Journey (2007). I embarked on ing the monkey’s skill, I’m not so sure.There’s paint and research into the historic period in Australia and Westthere’s a brush, but the monkey’s daubs and smears, ern Australia. I also researched spin bowling and cricket while colourful, do not look like another monkey… or techniques. In terms of narrative and story structure, an elephant. I drew on a great many films, literary works and my I’d like to use a number of my creative works, includexperience as a screen writer. I soon discovered I also ing my novel, Spinner and an episode written for the needed to research elements of the First World War. television soap opera ‘Home and Away’ to explore As Jeri Kroll in Creative Practice and/as/is/or creative research and measuring output especially in Research: An Overview (2008) cites Tripp (2003), ‘we regards to the multiple disadvantaging of the academic see a cycle of asking questions, generating methodolartist. In doing so, I hope to also defend the place of ogy, collecting data, creating, revising, reflecting, and the painting monkey in the Academy. modifying practice, which then moves to another level The ERA asked that creative works be accompanied to clarify significance through systematic (or theoretiby a research statement. This statement needed to cal) evaluation’ (Kroll 2008, p. 6). vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Painting monkey or painting elephant? , Ron Elliott 105 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V In creating works it is not so much a single research question but ‘a conversation’. This model explaining the creative process as a kind of research comes from Donald Schon’s Double Loop Thinking which was first applied to business practice. Nicola Boyd in A Creative Writing Research Methodology (2009) actually draws this non-linear process as a spiral. She also uses the Escher drawing, Drawing Hands, to highlight this ongoing interactive process of realisation. (Boyd pp. 7-8) Many questions arose during the act of writing Spinner. I had never written a novel before. I wrote it outside direct Academic mentorship. In fact the novel was written without a specific sage or tutor.That is not to say in a critical vacuum. I studied literature at university. I know what point of view is. I know what the term unreliable narrator means. I understand the term willing suspension of disbelief. I do know what things are called. More importantly, I have read a lot of novels. But I entered the writing of this novel as a trial and error process. For instance, I spent three whole chapters describing my character’s first test match and I think it works. It’s there in the finished novel. But when it came to the next match, I didn’t want to go there again in the same way. Call it instinct, or the sum total of experience and learning, but I got bored with telling that part of the story in that same way. Maybe the reader might get bored too. (Again, this is a Schon concept. These issues are widely explored, I believe, but I found Steven Scrivener’s Reflection in and on Action and practice in creative production doctoral projects in art and design (2000) and Hart Cohen in Knowledge and a Scholarship of Creativity (2009) also useful.) The solution to that problem also solved another problem. I wanted to break out of the limited point of view from which I’d been telling the story, that is from a naïve twelve year old perspective, for some three hundred pages. This solution led to another discovery and to a key issue of Spinner. The finished novel is about story telling as well as the story, diegetic and ultimately self-reflexive. The spinner is a cricket bowler, but his uncle is a spinner of tall tales, as is the novelist. Yet I had no conception that this story would become about story telling itself until the decisions around page three hundred. And this meant returning to the beginning and teasing out some latent threads there too. These series of questions arose and were shaped and experimented with and amalgamated. And they came not from a set survey of the field (although by implication that occurs) nor by any consideration of 106 Painting monkey or painting elephant? , Ron Elliott E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W the gap in the field (although I didn’t think there was a book around like it), but as Brad Haseman puts it in A Manfesto for Performative Research (2006), by jumping in. Incidentally, a most useful article for those interested in the academic artist is ‘The Interface between arts practice and research: attitudes and perceptions of Australian artist-academics’ by Wright, Bennett and Blom (2010). They survey the field in Australia and demonstrate art as research before interviewing a number of academics working in the creative arts. The notion that dance choreography operates on this same model is illustrative in terms of the process being part of the output, but is also the research – which also involves collaboration and experimentation. The other really useful article I found amongst the many grappling with art as research is by Combrink and Marley called ‘Practice-based research: tracking creative creatures in the research context’ (2009). It has a great survey of works on practice based research and develops a model of what practice-based research might look like. Of course, the above aside does make explicit some of the research contribution and background which has contributed to this paper. Even in attempting to refute the research question model, I have become a painting elephant. But here’s the thing. I shouldn’t have to. I grant that reflective practice is a useful model for our creative students… even our PhD students. Part of the learning is an awareness of a variety of methodologies and processes and kinds of research and practice being used in creating the work and commenting on both the work and the act of creating. This is most useful when training creatives as well as scholars. It is not the only way, but perfectly valid. In fact, it would be quite strange to ask a student to create a work and then write an exegesis but forbid them to comment on their work. This would deny the learning process in creating the work and the research gained from all stages of the process. However, I claim to be a grown up. I’ve directed nationally and written internationally for decades. I’ve taught for nearly another decade. I have knowledge. I have methodologies and am aware of others. I reflect. Why is the ERA now asking me to demonstrate this? Wright, Bennett and Blom (again) cite Gye citing Professor Ross Gibson, who says ‘It [ERA] will benefit artists who are able to engage in some extra, fairly traditional routines of academic scholarship, adding some linguistic discourse onto their productions. The ERA vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V probably won’t benefit artists who happen to teach in academies but who are not that interested in being the new-style creative arts academic. The rules are pretty clear – knowledge has to be explicit and communicated’ (Wright, Bennett & Blom, p 472). My criticism is that it has to be explicit and communicated in a way that someone who is not in my field will accept. This is akin to demanding liquid volume can only be expressed in linear metric units of measurement. In other words the knowledge must be translated into the language of the traditional research scholar… not left in the language of the creative medium in which it was created. I’ll come back to this because I believe other issues in the ERA measurement may help in articulating this notion more clearly. The ERA’s next category is Research Contribution in which the creative must explain why their work is innovative and original. How original? In what way original? I would not know where to begin in explaining Spinner’s originality. It seeks to be familiar in many ways. What if it were less different? How would you quantify the innovation of Baz Lurhman in Romeo and Juliet to someone who didn’t understand film making or Shakespeare? It’s an old play, been done to death really – and Lurhman uses pastiche rather than new forms. Remember, you’re only allowed a couple of sentences. There was this artist once who put a urinal up on an art gallery wall. I don’t believe Duchamp would be able to explain himself adequately to the ERA. How many words would you need to spend to explain the originality (and I believe it was) of a reproduction of a Campbell’s soup can? And the reproductions of the reproductions? I don’t know whether Spinner is original, but I am sure I will find a way to massage it into that category for my next academic demonstration of research output. I have no choice. There were a number of other double standards I encountered within my university’s collection of data for the ERA measurement which I would also like to highlight. (I should make clear at this point that I dealt with a team within my university charged with assisting in the collection and measuring. These people answered to others within the humanities, who I am sure, worked upwards again. I acknowledge that I have no way of knowing what the ERA may or may not have judged, but only the face of that encounter within my own university). First, I was only able to enter a number of episodes I wrote on one particular television series as one item. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Although I was part of the children’s drama television series creation of Parallax and wrote five of the first six episodes and a number of other episodes including the last, episode 26 (which is an honour in the television industry), this was only counted as one research output. Effectively, the first episode I write is full of research and is an output of that, but subsequent episodes are like those mass produced soup cans or photocopies of the first. I began to see a pattern. Or should I say a repeated absence – a void.The process of the artistic output was being counted neither as research nor as output. And if you don’t count narrative, character, drama, themes and episodic convention mastering, then you are actually only measuring the traditional research topic component of the work. So instead of Parallax being an extended twenty five minutes multiplied by the eight episodes, which would be a four hour explication of the research – it is only counted as the first twenty five minutes ... and nothing.The other episodes don’t even have echo status. Let me move to the measurement of two of my episodes of Home and Away (episodes 3,518 and 3,519). You’re smiling. Me too.That’s a lot of episodes.And I’m going to have to demonstrate originality? Significance? It’s already low rather than high culture – (unlike the novel, of course). If I had a research question for my episodes for Home and Away, it would have been something as general as ‘Can I write an episode of soap?’ I was honoured to be asked actually, by someone I knew, to write for this internationally televised war horse of the industrial model of television story telling – extreme long form drama. It’s hard to get a gig on television shows, but I also understand a little derision. It ended up not my cup of tea either. But I studied the show. I examined other television soap operas. I met with the story designers and other writers, and I wrote three episodes following the story lines provided. And I used my years of practice in writing for many other television shows. Is it innovative? Perhaps not. But is episode 3,518 of Home and Away less original than article 2,500 on Thomas Hardy? Why should an esteemed colleague have to go through enormous gymnastics to demonstrate that her fifth novel is not just another one about old ladies in love, when another colleague is lauded for his 50th article on Shakespeare without the same demand to explain? The reaction of the ERA proof collection team to Home and Away was very illustrative in terms of Painting monkey or painting elephant? , Ron Elliott 107 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V coming up with a research question. My research could not be into soap opera writing because my scripts were not deemed to be an output, but rather a delivery system, a little like a telephone line, perhaps. There was a tiny element of alcohol abuse by one character and a little tough love given by whatever doctor was in the show at the time, so it was helpfully suggested that my research question be, ‘How can this entertainment oriented television genre be used to convey crucial social messages regarding teenage alcohol abuse and make an impact on a mass television audience?’ Worthy, yes. True? No. I declined the assistance on this output. However, the pattern was being repeated. Research was only being perceived in terms of topic, not in terms of the process of creative work. Alcoholism is a research topic. Writing soap isn’t apparently. The process is denied in the explication. Only the traditional research components are seen and easily made explicit and communicated. It needs to look like an elephant. Here is something you won’t encounter in a scene from Home and Away. ‘Foucault’s archaeology of the emergence of modern, Western man as a problem of finitude, inextricable from its afterbirth, its Other, enables the linear, progressivist claims of the social sciences – the major imperialising discourses – to be confronted by their own historicist limitations’ (Bhabha, 1994 pp 46,47). The passage clearly needs some serious unpacking. Why doesn’t Bhabha have to explain? I’m not asking that he do, by the way. In other contexts, he has. And we accept that some degree of expertise needs to be brought to most academic writings. However, we might also apply that understanding to the creative scholars. The academy might stop treating me for instance as a dim witted honours student, and consult an expert in Home and Away. Let’s call that person a peer: a peer in television writing by the way and not one in watching. This peer is most likely not going to be a cultural theorist. In effect, not only are creatives being called on to go through extra stages of explication and communication, but we must also deny the value of the creative process itself and only highlight the traditional research components, expending double the work and half the kudos. I think there are things that can and need to be done towards establishing a fairer measurement of creative output as research output. This paper is an attempt to contribute to that discussion. 108 Painting monkey or painting elephant? , Ron Elliott E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W In terms of screen practice, a number of Australian universities have sought to develop their own peer assessment process in order to provide expertise in the measurement of creative output. The Australian Screen Production, Education and Research Association (ASPERA) have developed national peer assessment panels for screen projects (Diegetic Life Forms II, 2010). All scholars working in creative areas need to build or strengthen peer reviews, which stand up to outside scrutiny. In the short term this may require a lot of extra work from practitioners. But artist academics must also continue to argue with the traditional research academics concerning creative output as research output. We need to gather together some of the work being done around the world on practice as research and creative work AS evidence of research output, which I felt I needed to do as a consequence of my inability to engage with the ERA proof collectors at my university. I hope some of the readings mentioned are useful to other creative scholars in framing legitimacy and parity. I also care for selfish reasons. I teach and am happy to do my share. But I want to keep my research day. The ERA is converted to my university’s research points system called the Research Performance Index. By these guidelines, a non-fiction work of scholarship is worth 500 points, whereas Spinner as a creative work is worth 150 points. (This value was changed in 2011 to 225 points for a novel, but only if the publication is deemed equivalent to certain journal rankings). If I have to produce the work, then write about the work and then only count some of the work and then only get credits for one fifth of the work, my likelihood of proving I am a productive researcher is significantly reduced. I will lose my research day, and therefore lose my space to be creative while teaching in the academy. This is also a loss to my university. Outside of undergraduates wanting lecturers who have and do make films in a screen arts course, there are a variety of values in enhancing the stock of human knowledge in human experience, not just facts and not just in short term economic terms. Indeed Wright, Bennett and Blom point to Krieger’s Social Science and the Self (1991) concerning the need of social science that is ‘soft, subjective, idiosyncratic, ambivalent, conflicted, about the inner life, and about experiences that cannot be measured, tested or fully shared.’ As Edward de Bono says in How To Have Creative Ideas (2007, p.8), ‘Our culture and habits of thinking vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V insist that we always move towards certainty. We need to pay equal attention to possibility.’ I’d like to go out on another image: it’s from the documentary Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock? (Moses, 2006). It’s a clip of him painting. For those of you who don’t know his work, it is quickly plain that he is not painting anything that looks like an elephant. He smears and trickles and splashes and flings. The images, of course, evoke the impenetrability of the painting monkey. I don’t know much about art, but people who do say his work is significant. This is difficult to measure, of course. Ron Elliott is a lecturer in Film, Television and Screen Arts at Curtin University, Western Australia. Acknowledgement A version of this paper was delivered at Diegetic Life Forms II: Creative Arts Practice and New Media Scholarship, September 2010. References Australian Research Council (2010). Overview of ERA. 3.1 Introduction ERA 2010 Evaluation Guidelines. Retrieved on 16 February 2011 from www.arc.gov. au/pdf/ERA2010_eval_guide.pdf Bhabha, H. (1994). The Location of Culture, Routledge, pp 46, 47 vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Boyd, N. (2009). A Creative Writing Research Methodology: new directions, Strange Loops and tornados, Margins and Mainstreams: Refereed conference papers of the 14th Annual AAWP Conference, 2009. Cohen, H. (2009). Knowledge and a Scholarship of Creativity, proceedings of: Diegetic Life Forms and Dietetic Logic: NASS Conference. Combrink, L. & Marley, I.R. (2009). Practice-based research: Tracking creative creatures in a research context, Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies, Retrieved on 2010 from www.thefreelibrary.com De Bono, E. (2007). How to Have Creative Ideas. Vermilion p 8. Diegetic Life Forms II: Creative Arts Practice and New Media Scholarship, (September 2010), Conference, Murdoch University. Haseman, B. (2006). A Manifesto for Performative Research, Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, Theme Issue: Practice-led Research, 118, pp 98-106 Kroll, J. (2008). Creative practice and/as/is/or Research: An Overview, Creativity and Uncertainty: AAWP, pp 1-13. http://www.aawp.org.au/files/Kroll.pdf Leahy, G. (2009). Moving Towards a Common Criteria: Assessing Creative Works in Universities, Deigetic Life Forms and Diegetic Logic, IM/NASS 2010. Moses, H. (2006). Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock, video recording. Scrivener, S. (2000). Reflection in and on action and practice in creative-production doctoral projects in art and design, Working Papers in Art and Design, v 2. http://sitem.herts.ac.uk/artdes_research/papers/wpades/vol1/scrivener1.html University of Sydney (2010). Research Statements for Creative Works submitted for peer review. Retrieved on 17 March 2010 from: http://www.usyd.edu.au/ research/era/research_statements.shtml Vogler, C. 2007. The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, Michael Wiese. Wright, D. & Bennet, D. & Blom, D. (2010). The interface between arts practice and research: attitudes and perceptions of Australian artist-academics, Higher Education Research and Development, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp 461-473. Painting monkey or painting elephant? , Ron Elliott 109 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W News flash: 149 ERA reviewers located in inner city compound Joseph Gora After many months of searching for the 149 ERA Research Evaluation Committee (REC) reviewers, intelligence services have finally located them holed up in a compound in central Woolamaloo right under the noses of three metropolitan universities. Sources reveal that the walled compound had been the site of many comings and goings over recent weeks, with local shop keepers reporting that two people from the compound regularity frequented local shops to purchase groceries, DVDs and alcoholic beverages. ‘They looked quite normal to me’, said the proprietor of Handy-Dandy Corner Mart. Local Federal Member of Parliament for Cowpat, Doris Sternface, has raised questions about why it took intelligence services so long to locate the 149: ‘It must have been obvious to anyone living locally that something was going on in there.’ Sources confirmed yesterday that lights in the compound were often on late into the night, especially over the past month. It is believed that late night meetings took place over several days in May, probably in response to tensions generated by thousands of submissions to the ERA from disgruntled academics and professional bodies regarding the journal ranking system. On the evening following Senator Kim Carr’s announcement on 30 May that the ranking system was to be scrapped screams could be heard from the compound. One local resident said she could hear cries like: ‘Not after all that bloody work!’ and ‘I’m never doing that again! I can’t stand it!’ Intel- 110 ligence experts indicate that once they breach the compound walls they expect to find a treasure trove of information, which will provide important insights into the state of mind of its residents before, during and after the cessation of the journal ranking exercise. But the most important intelligence gathered thus far has been the release of transcripts recorded from a telephone conversation involving two reviewers in the early hours of 30 May. The following edited extracts reveal the tensions that existed in the compound shortly after the ranking had been dropped: Tony: Do you think we are being bugged? Margaret: Aw, give over Tony, you’ve been watching too many of those James Bond movies. Tony: You know how bloody sensitive this stuff is Margaret. Margaret: Get over it mate.The minister will smooth it all over in no time. Tony: Yes, but those bloody academics keep insisting they want to know more about us, apart from the propaganda that on the ERA website. They want to know what assumptions we brought to our assessments.They want to know why, for example, as critical scholars in the fields of arts, humanities and the social sciences we went along with the ERA project. Surely, they insist, you could see what a load of empiricist bull the journal ranking system is? We’ll be exposed and subjected to ridicule, I can just see it, my career will be in ruins, I… News flash: 149 ERA reviewers located in inner city compound, Joseph Gora vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I Margaret: Tony, Tony, get a grip mate. If you carry on like that, we’re all finished. Look, we got into this because we believe in what we were doing, right? We believe in bibliometrics, yes? We’re strong, committed positivists, dedicated to the empirical cause, right? Tony: Well, I have my doubts. Margaret: What?! Don’t start with that bull Tony. We took on the job because we believe that we can measure stuff, right? Tony: Well, maybe, but I… Margaret: And we believe that this will improve research and scholarship in our universities, yes? And that it will ensure accountability and transparency, and improve quality, right? Tony: Well, er, er, I suppose it… Margaret: And we always knew that the airy-fairy brigade of academics in the arts, humanities and social sciences would say you can’t measure this or that? Right? Tony:Yeh, I knew that bit. Margaret:And think of how this will look on your CV Tony: a marvellous example of how you self sacrificed for the greater good of academic excellence! Tony: And promotion of course! Margaret: Goes without saying Tony. We’re in a winwin situation whichever way you look at it: if this exercise falls apart we’d have done our level best to make academics accountable. If it succeeds, we’ll be feted and given lots of awards. Tony: But there are so many people out there who think we’ve screwed up and that this attempt to measure output is a crock. They’re even saying that if we want accountability in research how come we’re so secretive. I’ve even been called a collaborator for going along with the whole ghastly business. Margaret: Tony, Tony. We’re only the foot soldiers not vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W the planners. The ARC and Senator Carr will get it in the neck, not us.We’re covered mate.As you say, no one knows who we are! You and I know that the project has flaws, but it’s part of something much bigger than you and I; bigger than all of us. Tony: But if hardly anyone thinks its viable way of assessing quality then what does it all mean? Margaret: It means, my dear Tony that we have to close our ears off to the criticisms and proceed regardless. Tony: But we have people accusing us of having brought ruination to the world of academic publications. We’ve got journals that have been trashed, academics who won’t publish in C ranked journals, and the sector in a general state of confusion. On top of that, there’s the sheer waste of time and money. If we calculated how much the dropping of the journal ranking has cost the sector, well, it’d run into zillions, would it not? Couldn’t some of that money have gone into base funding? Universities have had the begging bowl out for years. Margaret:Tony,Tony.You really don’t understand this quality assurance business do you? Tony: Frankly Margaret, no I don’t! The conversation was then interrupted by someone shouting: ‘Margaret, Margaret, it’s the Minster on the phone. He wants to talk to you now. He’s incandescent. He’s saying that the ranking is in tatters and asking whose idea was it was to rank journals and…’. Intelligence sources believe that at this point the bug located under the dining table was discovered. Joseph Gora: they seek him here, they seek him there! He is the Scarlet Pimpernel of Whackademia. Rumour has it that he once taught at a regional university somewhere in Australia. News flash: 149 ERA reviewers located in inner city compound, Joseph Gora 111 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W REVIEWS Life at the top? Lessons Learned: Reflections of a University President by William G. Bowen Princeton University Press, 2011, Princeton, NJ, USA. ISBN: 9780691149622 Review by Bernard O’Meara This book should be read by all Australian Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors and those aspiring to these roles. In his long career President emeritus Bowen joined Princeton in 1958, was provost at Princeton from 1967–1972, President from 1972–1988 and President of the Mellon Foundation from 1988–2006. This book follows his journey through this period and the lessons he learnt along the way. He happily discusses both his achievements and errors as he shapes messages to future university Presidents and leaders to help them deal with this complex and high profile role. While his time at Princeton finished in 1988 much of the book is devoted to the time he spent there. He acknowledges that even in America Princeton is unique. Basically, Princeton is a private arts and sciences university that has only one faculty that is divisionalised into smaller specialised units and, as such, is highly centralised. It is wealthy and has an outstanding reputation. Notwithstanding the uniqueness of Princeton the advice given in the book can still apply to Australian Vice-Chancellors. It is noteworthy that on the topic of shared governance the former President states that the Trustees (University Council members) have ultimate authority in all matters. The relationship between himself and the Chair of Trustees was important as they worked together on many topics. However, in Australia, University Councils have been reluctant to exercise much power as the concept of shared governance is different in that Australian Vice-Chancellors take on both operational and strategic roles. O’Meara and Petzall (2007) noted in their research that it was not uncommon for a University Council to seek a Vice-Chancellor who could set the strategic direction of their university. Such councils would have the new incumbent present them with a recommended strategic direction rather than work with the 112 Life at the top?, Review by Bernard O’Meara Vice-Chancellor to set the direction jointly. University Council members come from a variety of backgrounds and have different skill sets and experiences. They are mainly part-time, meet only when a meeting is required and it is not a requirement that councillors live within the university community or to have studied at a university. The relationship between the Chancellor of RMIT, Don Mercer and the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Ruth Dunkin and the relationship between Chancellor Jerry Ellis at Monash and Vice-Chancellors Professors Robinson and Larkins effectively demonstrate how fragile such relationships can be.The relationship between the President and Trustees of Princeton was developed over many years and while it is emphasised that the President works for the Trustees it is also emphasised that the Trustees chose not to exert the power they do possess. The book also charts the history of Princeton from 1967-1988 and outlines the processes in place to determine if Princeton should become embroiled in societal and political issues. During the Vietnam War, the Navy,Air Force and Army Reserve Officers’Training Corps (ROTC) programmes at Princeton came under intense scrutiny. Initially the staff voted to treat such programmes as non-credit bearing activities which effectively eliminated any incentive for Princeton students to engage in such activities. However, the President engaged in intensive communication with Trustees, staff and students and argued that the University should not deprive any group of students wishing to engage in such long standing activities.The underlying issue was not one of discrimination but one that highlights the role of the modern university in society. The exchange argument used by Cole (2010), that education institutions provide society with research and talent, and in return universities including staff vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V and students can speak out on any issue they choose, is at the core of the former President’s philosophy. Universities should be the home of the critic not the critic itself. Thus debate on social and political topics was encouraged at Princeton and other universities in America as a means of developing students who could engage in enlightened critical thinking. Of course speaking about contentious issues also means listening to differing points of view and examples of the perils of this philosophy are aired. One example concerns the invitation for President Mahmoud Anmadinejad from Iran to speak at Columbia University in 2007. The book outlined how the President of Columbia, Lee Bollinger skilfully approached the uproar this invitation caused and why he allowed the Iranian President to speak. President Bollinger sent an email to all staff and students reminding them that ‘We do not honor the dishonourable when we open the public forum to their voices’. The commitment to freedom of speech by individuals within universities is contrasted with the more restrained commentary when university Presidents speak on behalf of their universities. In this instance President Bowen makes it clear that in such instances he only spoke to education-based issues and in particular those that affected Princeton. He was careful not to overly complicate discussions by introducing his own views as distinct from the views he expressed on behalf of Princeton. While the book contains many vignettes and examples of how a President of an American university exercises his/her role, it is interesting the President of Princeton was still expected to teach in areas within his discipline base. This is a mechanism that attempts to keep the person grounded, in touch with the student base and abreast of both advances in the discipline area as well as the design and delivery of curriculum. At Princeton this meant that as the President chaired many of the university committees and was involved in the appointment and retention of staff he understood the practical implications of introducing new policies, practises and the need for new technology. He was seen as accessible by staff and students and his role was not purely administrative. This gave him a unique insight into what was happening at Princeton and what needed to be done.Thus, when addressing teaching staff, he did so as a current teacher and academic not just as a corporate functionary. He could articulate arguments that addressed the issues of the constituents he was addressing. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Another point of interest is the view that the President and Trustees of Princeton did not want their university to be a ‘me too’ university. In reviewing what courses and programmes to conduct at Princeton the executive would identify what similar courses existed at other universities close to New Jersey. If an exemplar course was found elsewhere then Princeton would not attempt to replicate that course. As such, courses such as business, medicine, education and law have not been constructed at Princeton. The Princeton Executive mapped out a long-term strategic direction for the University that ensured that strengths and resources were appropriately dispersed on targeted courses. This strategy also factored in the size and demographics of the immediate community and their needs. The University has debated the need for a medical school on several occasions but the population of the immediate community has been considered too small to serve as a clinical base. However, building upon its strength in science it was decided that Princeton could make a valuable contribution to the field of medicine by creating courses such as molecular biology, neuroscience and genomics. These courses spring from the core strengths that Princeton has developed and tend to fill in existing knowledge gaps rather than replicate existing courses. This American Ivy League university has the prestige and wealth to be able to successfully navigate such a strategy. Princeton is the fourth oldest university in the US and was chartered in 1746. Despite its impressive age and history, Princeton has 1,100 staff and teaches 5,000 undergraduates and 2,500 graduate students. The University Executive and Trustees believe that a strong graduate student base is needed to serve the longer term requirements of its community. The connection between the University and its community is strong. President Bowen believes that university Presidents should stay in the role about eight to ten years in general but this should be qualified by health, age and the success of incumbents. This is slightly higher that the mean incumbency tenure of Vice-Chancellors in Australian universities in 2000 which was 7.2 years overall. He does note that the most common error is to stay too long in such roles as incumbents ‘run out of gas’. This is, no doubt, the same case in universities across the world as is the issue of finding the right leader in the first place. This book is well worth reading and with less than 200 pages it does not take long to read. The personal Life at the top?, Review by Bernard O’Meara 113 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V reflections of the former Princeton President are clearly and concisely presented and the lessons learnt are those you would expect from any good university leadership. He does not pretend to have all the answers and is upfront about his mistakes and this is particularly refreshing and hopefully will encourage other university leaders to write candidly about their experiences. This would help each new generation that moves into such roles and prevent them from making similar mistakes. Universities will benefit from such discussion. In any event, if President emeritus Bowen decides to E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W move to Australia one is sure he could find a university here to lead… Bernard O’Meara is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ballarat and a member of the Academic Advisory Board at Carrick Higher Education. References Cole, J. (2010). The Great American University. New York: Public Affairs O’Meara, B. and Petzall, S. (2007). The Recruitment and Selection of Australian Vice-Chancellors. VURRN Publishing, Ballarat. Who you know and where you know! Educational Opportunity: The Geography of Access to Higher Education by Alexander D. Singleton Ashgate Publishing Limited, Surrey, England, 2010. ISBN 9780754678670 Review by Jennifer Oriel Since the election of the Australian Labor Party in 2007, the question of equal access to higher education has loomed so large in the public imagination that it is difficult to imagine there is more to be said about it. Alexander Singleton’s Educational Opportunity: The Geography of Access to Higher Education illustrates that we have much to learn from recent British government efforts to widen participation. Singleton’s contribution to the debate of whether people from economically deprived backgrounds should enjoy the level of access to higher education afforded to their wealthier peers crash lands onto a British political landscape under new Tory rule. The major policies and programmes funded by New Labour to widen participation in higher education have been reduced to rubble in a period of months. Can Singleton hope for any oxygen in this conservative cultural milieu? Yes, but perhaps only because he has adopted a methodological approach favoured by conservative administrations: deduction. Singleton interrupts the conversation between the Left and the Right on higher education as a public or 114 Life at the top?, Review by Bernard O’Meara private good with a statistical analysis of what causes unequal access to universities. He considers individual data on parental income and occupation, and geodemographic analysis of variables such as neighbourhood type in an attempt to create classifications that could be used to measure institutional performance against indicators. The language is, at times, dense and will likely hold the attention primarily of those with an interest in the mathematics of social change. However, the conclusions are broadly applicable to public policy and provide a new set of instruments with which to consider how where we live and the schools in which we are educated affect our life chances.While Australia has had national indicators for higher education equity since 1994, school origin has not been considered adequately in Australian government policy on higher education access. The question of whether school origin can be incorporated into a composite indicator of disadvantage is currently being considered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations as a part of its compact negotiations with universities. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V Singleton’s book offers those of us with an interest in the more philosophical aspects of public policy a chance to rejoice also. Prior to delving into the mysteries of socio-spatial multivariate classification and indicators [stay with me] he explores the history of higher education access and unearths a conversation that is rarely heard in public debate. Singleton contends that the binary system, separating liberal arts education found commonly in the Ivy Leagues from vocational education in polytechnics, stems from ideology. He associates liberal arts universities with a form of elitism and polytechnics as an expression of Marx and Engels’‘liberal vocationalism’.The latter is aligned with the widening participation agenda. Singleton would find some opposition to his correlation of widening access practice with a vocational curricular focus in a 2010 anthology Liberating Learning: Widening Participation that features writers such as philosopher AC Grayling and historian Niall Ferguson (Derham & Worton, 2010). These writers suggest that the fault of unequal educational outcomes lies with government education systems that do not allow for a comprehensive school education in the liberal arts. It is this lack of preparatory school education, they suggest, that causes the exclusion of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds from Ivy League universities. Singleton’s analysis of the socio-spatial realities of higher education access lead to the idea that improving social mobility will alleviate educational inequality. Social mobility is a concept popularised by sociologists interested in human capital theory. Singleton outlines a brief history of the concept’s evolution and vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W concludes that it enables a more linear understanding of the relationship between the challenge of higher education access and socio-spatial inequality. However, if social mobility is to be adopted as the new paradigm for improving access to higher education – and there is good evidence to suggest that is should be – the question of unequal access to preparatory school curricula will need to be considered. The application of a scientific methodology to the question of higher education access marks the ascent of science into the realm of the social. In significant part, the ascent has been marked by increasing statistical analysis of what was previously a political domain founded on Left-wing appeals to humanism. Alexander Singleton’s Education Opportunity offers a significant contribution to expanding our understanding of the mathematics of inequality and how the acceptance of deductive methods in the field of education will enable the development of policy instruments that separate fact from fiction.To create government policy that accords with the knowledge arising from deductive methods, however, will require more than faith in naked rationalism. Jennifer Oriel is a higher education analyst and manager of student access and equity at Deakin University. Reference Derham, P. & Worton, M. (eds) (2010). Liberating Learning: Widening Participation. Buckingham, The University of Buckingham Press. ISBN 9780956071682 Who you know and where you know!, Review by Jennifer Oriel 115 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Do they like it plain and simple in Europe? Higher Education Management and Development: Compendium for Managers by Jeroen Huisman and Attila Pausits (eds) ISBN 978-3-8309-2286-5 Waxmann Publishing Co. P.O. Box 1318, New York, NY 10028, USA Review by Maree Conway This edited collection on higher education management covers the gamut of management functions in higher education, from its setting, leadership, strategic planning, finance, research, lifelong learning, human resources, quality, marketing, and information and knowledge management. We are first advised that the book emerged from a Master of Science in European Higher Education Management and Development, which in turn emerged from a project of the same name. The content of the book broadly follows the course curriculum.This origin partly explains the tone of the book which is more conversational than scholarly, which was welcome. There is no correlation between overdone scholarly tone and quality, but I do think that some writers forget that. The book is designed to be used by ‘reflective practitioners and potential programme participants’ (p. 11) and combines theory and case studies in each chapter. The introduction gives us the broader context for higher education in society, and how its shape and form is being influenced by broader trends.The rationale for a book on higher education is provided (p. 9): Professional management is required for higher education institutions to act as autonomous organizations and to behave entrepreneurially and proactively rather than as subordinate to central governments. Professional management also enables higher education institutions to co-operate more frequently and more effectively with partners...As higher education institutions grow larger and more extensive, the functions demanded of them multiply, and academic administration and management become increasingly complex; the need for skilled management and administrative personnel becomes more acute. We are reminded throughout the book of the institution’s place in the broader global education system: 116 Higher education systems can be described as complex adaptive systems that are permanently interacting with their environment and changing their behaviour as needed in order to survive, to thrive or to avoid deterioration. Both internal and external factors play an important role in determining their capacity and willingness to change (p. 51). ...one may argue that a key leadership problem in contemporary universities is adapting our institutions to the requirements of globalization, to demands for change and to the social and current economic context while making sure that we don’t lose sight of the values and processes that make a university distinctive (p. 75). This sort of reminder is important, because we can quickly become fixated with the industry trends which affect our day-to-day work, and forget that those trends are driven by much broader global drivers of change. And we are reminded of the purposes of a university, one of which is:‘a place where...habitus and values are passed on to new generations of students (p. 15). This characteristic is surely getting lost in the market driven philosophy that drives much of higher education management today. There’s no argument that many of the still heard complaints about managerialism in higher education stem from the incompatibility of a market driven system with a system driven by deeply held education values. Even though my most taboo term in the higher education lexicon appears, I have to endorse the call to move beyond the apparent divide between academics and administrators: ‘to manage something in its entirety means that both academic and non-academic segments are inseparably entangled and connected’ (p. 18). It has to be said that it is a pity that university academics continue to describe the university staff majority in terms of what they are not. Do they like it plain and simple in Europe?, Review by Maree Conway vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V Interestingly enough, a values perspective overlaid onto higher education might see academics and administrators closer together than the current discourse would have us believe. Right now, the ‘divide’ is promoted because the administrator is largely seen as the purveyor of managerialist approaches into institutions and these approaches, we know, are seen as antithetical to traditional academic norms and ways of working. This ‘divide’ then permeates communication, generates untested assumptions about roles and values and builds often officious relationships, about which everyone complains, but about which we seem powerless to spend the effort changing. Each chapter on its own is valuable in terms of the discussion of each topic and how it is managed today. In this respect the book has achieved its aim to ‘help interested readers to understand the WHYs, WHATs, HOWs of their daily tasks’ (p. 11.) My sense is what is missing is a discussion of how to draw the myriad functions together in a way that makes sense for individuals and the institutions in which they work. There are elements of such a discussion in many of the chapters, and the chapter on organisational change reminds us that operations and change in one area cannot be considered in isolation, and that we need to view the institution as a system (p. 54). Without such an integrative step, however, we risk almost unconsciously reinforcing functional silos and the often quite pointless and dysfunctional behaviour that we create by not questioning our constructed organisational boundaries. I like this book.While it’s clearly European in origins and case studies, its discussions remind us of the need to take a big picture view of how we need to manage institutions and to understand the nature of change in our work and the higher education system as a whole. Of course, being a foresight practitioner, I would have liked to see a discussion in each chapter about what’s coming over the next 10 years, but that wasn’t the book’s primary purpose. For me, the real value is in the theory discussion rather than the case studies. While case studies are intended to illuminate the theory, I’m increasingly of the view that they might actually dilute our thinking vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W about that theory. That is, providing a case study could work to limit our thinking about relevance of issues and possible responses at the local level. Case studies are about today, and the content is generally familiar to us.They send us down a similar path to benchmarking, which is about doing things well today based on someone else’s view of the world, rather than focusing our limited energy on reflecting, thinking and considering how to respond to challenges in our context.The future won’t be business as usual and change will be rapid, so any case studies and benchmarks will soon be irrelevant. Better to spend the time reflecting on how the need for, and management of, the functions discussed in this book will change into the future, and beginning to consider possible responses today. I would also have liked more discussion about how individuals might need to challenge their assumptions about their work, about the nature of institutions in which they work, and to explore whether or not their worldviews constrain their ability to do their jobs effectively. The ability of people to resist change is noted: ‘We have to understand that organisations, or rather people in organisations often resist change and may use quite sophisticated avoidance techniques.’ (p. 56). And this resistance will continue unless we spend time helping people to change the way they think about how they do their work and manage their institutions. If we don’t start to think beyond the models and structures we have today, we will be teaching people to manage for the past, not the future. That said, the book does its job well, and provides a good discussion of management ‘work’ in higher education institutions today. I hope there might be a sequel of equal quality on how to manage the higher education institution of the future, because the skills we need then are unlikely to be those we need today. Maree Conway is CEO of Thinking Futures, a Melbournebased strategic foresight practice that helps people build their environmental scanning, strategic thinking and strategic planning capabilities to develop stronger futures ready strategy today. www.thinkingfutures.net Do they like it plain and simple in Europe?, Review by Maree Conway 117 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Lifting the curtain on the land of the rising sun Reimagining Japanese Education – borders, transfers, circulations, and the comparative by David Blake Willis & Jeremy Rappleye (eds) ISBN: 9781873927519 Symposium Books, Oxford, 2011 Review by Damian J. Rivers Before commencing this review, it is perhaps important to put my own experience into perspective to permit the reader a better understanding of where my own point of view originates in relation to this edited volume. After over a decade working within the Japanese education system I find myself at the crossroads in terms of perceptions concerning its respective realisms, drawbacks, merits, legacies and futures. During my PhD studies (applied linguistics/sociolinguistics), which focused on modelling the role of facets of Japanese national identity within the context of the university foreign language classroom, I was influenced by the work of psychological and political anthropologist Brian J. McVeigh. McVeigh’s critical dissection of Japanese tertiary education practices, especially in relation to the learning of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and the implications created for conceptualisations of the national-Self and the national-Other, mirrored many of the teaching environments in which I was positioned. However, more recently, and consistent with a growing professional interest in the global challenges and responses created by discussions concerning increased diversity within the Japanese education system, I have evolved toward a more micro-sociological level approach, actively seeking to appreciate the fluidity and constant state of change within educational practice at the local-level. In other words, I have been attempting (and struggling) to move away from the dangers resident in adopting a position which views the Japanese education system as a static, predictably ridged construct devoid of contextual variation, one that glosses over certain complexities and muddled realities often for the sake of generalisation and research convenience. Indeed, the belief that the modern Japanese education system is often acknowledged for what it is imag- 118 ined to be, rather than what is actually is. This is nicely illustrated by the volume editors in Chapter 1 (pp.1550) where they assert – ‘our urgency in organising this volume has its origins in these twentieth-century views of the world, but it also departs from them in its explicit rejection of research paradigms that have fostered so many of the current misconceptions’ (p.16). In calling for the ‘reimagining of Japanese education in the global conversation’ (p.18), the authors set-forth their rationale behind the edited volume in a persuasive and articulate manner giving the reader, even one new to discourse concerning Japan, a solid grounding in Japan’s historical relations with other nations and peoples. The authors also make a compelling case for the need to shift toward new paradigms of thinking, framing, and analysing the various elements of the Japanese education system from a comparative perspective in response to the forces of globalisation. For example, the editors highlight the mission statement given to the contributing authors – ‘we asked for conceptual and theoretical innovation, a focus not only on ‘what’ has changed, but on ‘why’ and how this relates to reforms worldwide’ (p.27). The remaining sections of this review will attempt to briefly address the main focus of each chapter considering this mission-statement. In Chapter 2 (pp.51-83) Jeremy Rappleye and Takehiko Kariya present a detailed exploration focused on revisiting the notion of ‘catch-up’ (and the assumptions created within a vast body of academic scholarship) that has dominated discourse concerning Japan’s historical relationship with the Western world. With a strong emphasis on the dynamic relationship created between the Self and the Other in relation to Japan’s ‘Three Great Reforms’, the authors construct an intriguing argument using a wide range of documented sources from broad academic and political spheres. Lifting the curtain on the land of the rising sun, Review by Damian J. Rivers vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I In describing the current state of the Japanese education system as one in ‘lost wanderings’ (p.51) important questions are raised with regard to what should come after the process of ‘catch-up’ has been achieved. In other words, the authors identify a significant lack of an alternative Other for Japan and Japanese education to model, meaning that the future of Japanese education (and processes of identity creation through comparison) is not immediately clear beyond the acknowledgement that it is currently being re-imagined and reconfigured by so-called insider and outsider entities. The complexities involved in relations between the Self and the Other are further re-examined within Chapter 3 (pp.85-106). Marie Höjlund Roesgaard explores political conceptualisations of ‘the ideal citizen’ conveyed through ‘moral education’ (dõtoku kyõiku) in relation to external (globalisation and cosmopolitanism) and internal (conservativism and traditionalism) pressures as well as the 2006 reform of the 1947 Fundamental Law of Education (FLE). Throughout the chapter, and with implications drawn from the reawakening of Japanese patriotism and nationalism within the school curriculum, the author constructs a persuasive argument which concludes that - ‘the moral education revision is an attempt to have one’s cake and eat it as well: to retain Japanese national identity and values while also integrating with the world’ (p.104). In Chapter 4 (pp.107-126) Ryoko Tsuneyoshi explores two paradoxes, formed through scaled dimensions of real and imagined perceptions of realities, issues of multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic and multiracial diversity, and processes of categorisation within Japanese education. Specific attention is given to how the term ‘internationalisation’ ‘appears everywhere in statements of seemingly opposing camps’ (p.108) confirming its status as a somewhat ambiguous buzzword lacking any consensual definition and thus, accountability. The chapter presents statistics concerning foreign children within Japanese schools, as well as the number of students on the basis of their mother-tongue status. A particular point of interest within this chapter is how Tsuneyoshi highlights a variety of ‘diversity enclaves’ (p.113) throughout Japan in which descendents or immigrant communities from particular localities reside in relatively large numbers (e.g. Koreans in the Kansai region and South Americans in Gunma Prefecture). Moreover, discussions concerning diversity are also linked to issues of human rights education vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W (jinken kyõiku) and how local policies and positions in respect to newcomer populations have ‘opened up Japan to the ‘global’ permeability at the local level’ (p.119). The chapter concludes by emphasising how although increased diversity within Japan is in fact a very real phenomenon, entrenched habits concerning how diversity is imagined remain shackled by former discourse which has characterised Japan as a relatively homogenous nation. Robert Aspinall expands upon the negative consequences awaiting Japan in maintaining poor performance levels in English language education in Chapter 5 (pp.127-145). Informative links are made to foundations established earlier in a 2003 chapter in which Aspinall tackled the arguments of popularised Japanese cultural nationalists such as Tsuda Yukio and Suzuki Takao in relation to the need for the Japanese people to improve their English abilities. In furthering the debate, this chapter addresses reasons for Japan’s ‘institutional inertia in public-sector educational institutions by focusing on the case of MEXT [the education ministry]’ (p.129), and questions the extent to which the private sector is capable of solving some of the most fundamental problems in English as a foreign language education. As explored within Chapter 3, Aspinall explores issues associated with the negotiation of cultural and linguistic identities by drawing attention to the kind of polemic thinking which has become so common in debates of Japan’s ongoing English problem. That is, the challenge of finding ‘a way of combining…contradictory forces in a positive way without sacrificing one to the other’ (p.132), this of course refers to the need to foster English language abilities in response to economic demands stimulated by globalisation while at the same time retaining a focus on the ‘need to strengthen Japanese identity and love of country’ (p.137).Although the views espoused by Aspinall were very familiar due to their close association with my own research agenda and direction, this chapter still contained many wellinformed and persuasive arguments. Moreover, the chapter concludes with a thoughtprovoking statement, which should be noted by all educational policy makers and institutions, regardless of their nationalistic orientation or underlying motives in promoting the widespread use of English. ‘The tragedy for Japan as a nation’, says Aspinall (p.141) ‘may be that while it continues to muddle through with inadequate English language education provision, both its prosperity and its role as a global power will continue Lifting the curtain on the land of the rising sun, Review by Damian J. Rivers 119 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V to be undermined’. Just what the consequences of this continued muddling will be provides an ideal foundation for future research exploration. After exploring the links between English language education, the university sector and Japan’s position in the world order of nations in Chapter 4, I expected the following chapter to focus on the ‘Global 30’ project (Chapter 8). However, in Chapter 6 (pp.147-169) Christopher Bjork takes the volume in a slightly unexpected direction and focuses on the reforms surrounding the once radical notion of ‘relaxed education’ (yutori kyõiku). This chapter makes use of empirical data in arguing that the actual changes made to educational practice as a result of ‘relaxed education’ are actually less significant than the imagined changes perceived by teachers and parents. In this respect, the theme of real versus imagined, present throughout the volume to this point is continued.Another theme that continues within this chapter concerns the act of challenging commonly accepted norms within ‘an education system that is often mischaracterised, sensationalised and misunderstood’ (p.149). The level of detail provided on ‘relaxed education’ makes this chapter of particular interest to those who wish to understand in greater depth how Japanese educational reforms function in practice and the ‘system-wide state of crisis’ (p.166) which many reforms have a tendency to evoke. In Chapter 7 (pp.171-191) Aaron L. Miller explores another slightly unexpected, although immensely stimulating, dimension of the Japanese education system – sports policy. Anyone even slightly familiar with Japanese education will be aware that sports plays an important role in childhood socialisation experiences and the development of hierarchical peer relations which are replicated throughout adulthood. Sports within the context of Japan also play a significant role in identity creation on a number of levels and represent an historical source of national pride and Japanese character development. Drawing upon data from a range of sources, Miller argues that sport, like science, is considered to be ‘inherently western’ (p.174) implicating Japan’s tendency to borrow or copy from western educational models. The author further contends that while Japan’s borrowing is real, the need which this borrowing is believed to meet is often only imagined, especially in the process of transferring ministry level reforms into local level practices. Like the chapters before, this chapter is written with an impressive level of depth and explores processes within Japanese sports policy from a range of stimulating perspectives. 120 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Chapter 8 (pp.193-223) by Mayumi Ishikawa attempts to dissect the concept of internationalisation in Japanese higher education as expressed through the ‘Global 30’ project (G30) which among other things, attempts to create global universities within Japan to be more internationally competitive. The author carefully introduces a variety of concerns which were given due diligence in the construction of this chapter including the origins of the G30, the changing meaning attached to the term ‘internationalisation’ and the uncertainty surrounding Japanese policy making. The following sub-sections are all relevant to some of the most widely criticised aspects of the project including the need to provide undergraduate courses in English and the concerns raised by Japanese students and parents, questions of Japanese faculty recruitment, and issues of quota systems of students and staff. In the concluding section Ishikawa asserts that - ‘without appreciation of multicultural interactions and learning experiences, there may even be a hidden danger of new nationalism emerging as scholarship opportunities and jobs seem to be going to foreign students and graduates’ (p.214). However, the limited terms upon which foreign scholars and students are able to participate in the G30 program are not fully discussed or elaborated upon.Therefore, my own opinion would be that the ‘new nationalism’ which Ishikawa warns of is in fact the same ‘old nationalism’ (only with a more public face) which has been keeping foreign scholars and students out of Japanese higher education for years, except on limited tokenistic terms. However this argument develops, it seems as though one of the biggest challenges to overcome with the G30 again relates to the problem of polemic thinking at the ministry level. People have tended to be divided and categorised almost exclusively on the basis of nationality and first-language status. Perhaps, one can hope that the voices raised in concern by people such as Ishikawa (in terms of seeking to protect Japanese interests) will lead to a greater level of critical self-awareness of the similar long standing concerns shared by foreign scholars and students who have been positioned on the periphery of Japanese higher education for far too long. Internationalisation efforts within the rhetoric concerning the G30 program have so far failed to acknowledge or attempt to change this status-quo position. In Chapter 9 (pp.225-246) Manabu Sato returns to the notion of ‘relaxed education’ (yutori kyõiku) previously outlined in Chapter 6, although the contents Lifting the curtain on the land of the rising sun, Review by Damian J. Rivers vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V of this chapter concern a much broader investigation into the changing ‘roles of responsibilities assigned to teachers over the past 25 years’ (p.225) with specific attention given to imagined neo-liberalism in education policy reforms. In other words, ‘this chapter reveals the implicit – and hidden – dilemma of teachers coping with school reform mandated from the outside’ (p.226). In linking the declining status of teachers to the high number of poor children within Japanese cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, Sato is particularly critical of the policies of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (2001-2006). He highlights knock-on effects in terms of standardised testing and a greater level of school choice for parents, plunging ‘nearly all schools into a ‘ranking game’’ (p.227). The author gives an interesting overview of neo-liberal educational policies and how they have contributed to teachers being made scapegoats for general educational declines. In fact Sato suggests that the blame should be attributed more toward the mass media for creating the most serious problems by manufacturing educational crisis on a variety of issues – ‘therefore, the most urgent agenda facing Japanese schools is to defend the professionalism, autonomy and dignity of the teaching profession’ (p.230). The midsections of this chapter are detailed and well constructed. Sato competently addresses the collapse of the East Asian style of education which Sato describes as a product of ‘compressed modernisation’ (p.232). The final sections of this chapter turn toward hope for the future by exploring teacher strategies for implementing change at the local level. The author also draws attention to a number of critical issues to consider for future educational design, one of the most notable being the view that solutions can be enhanced through ‘building linkages and fostering permeability to ideas from other educators involved in similar progressive struggles’ (p.244). As the final chapter of this edited volume, Chapter 10 (pp.247-280) by Keita Takayama addresses reconceptualisations and the reimagination of comparative studies in Japanese education through the provision of a conceptual framework for the emerging new politics of Japanese education. Takayama begins by highlighting, in a similar manner as Sato in Chapter 9, the role of the media as well as political figures in creating a sense of permanent crisis in Japanese education. In relation to previous educational reforms efforts, Takayama suggests that the current situation reflects a ‘post-post-war (posuto sengo) landscape wherein the politics of education is increasingly driven by internal vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W contestation with right economic rationalists, cultural nationalists and [MEXT]’ (p.248). The focus of the chapter then shifts to a detailed critical sociological deconstruction of the English language literature concerning the ‘Third Great Education Reform’. There is a specific focus on how ‘many English language comparative education studies on the ‘Third Reform’ hold on to the frameworks premised upon the post-war continuity of Japanese education and consequently do not fully grasp the nature of its fundamental transformation’ (p.249). Through examining various tensions and contradictions the author presents a compelling case illustrative of how in comparison to previous decades ‘the emerging political landscape is characterised by ideological fluidity and ambiguity unimaginable in post-war immobility politics’ (p.259). Takayama then extends the discussion to the ongoing theme of the real versus imagined in relation to global influences, in particular the powerful influence of the OECD. In bringing the chapter to a close, the author stresses that intellectual insularity of the field of comparative studies of Japanese education must be seriously questioned, a position ‘which has been achieved partly through the researchers’ constant mutual referencing among Japanese education specialists and the dominance of a particular kind of anthropology that tends to celebrate Japanese ‘uniqueness’ and refuses to ‘read the global’’ (p.269). An Afterword (pp.281-284) by Takehiko Kariya brings the volume to an appropriate end. Kariya positions the relevance of this edited volume within the wider scope of comparative social research and makes a number of observations concerning the potential readership and the historical significance of the ‘hybridity of Japanese modernisation’ (p.283). One particular reference which aptly summarises the volume from my position as a reader is where Kariya asserts that it is hoped that readers of this volume – ‘will come to understand their own modernity in education better by observing Japan’s experiences and the rich data of the social engineering-cum-experiments and the unintended consequences that all of the chapters included here address’ (p.284). I have no doubts at all that they will. One of the most apparent features of this edited volume is the courage each author demonstrates in confronting and uncovering a broad range of assumptions associated with the Japanese education system. Furthermore, as an active author and researcher within the Japanese education system, I found the timing and Lifting the curtain on the land of the rising sun, Review by Damian J. Rivers 121 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V welcome complexity of this volume most appropriate. The original mission statement given to the contributing authors was well addressed throughout although I thought perhaps more conceptual and theoretical links could have been explored in relation to contexts beyond Japan as a means of emphasising the comparative nature of educational change. Despite this, I would position the current volume, within the literature available on the subject of Japanese education, as one of the most innovatively engaging and stimulating. From a personal perspective, I believe that a good measure of any publication is whether it forces the reader to question or revisit prior assumptions and beliefs. This volume has certainly contributed to a questioning and increased understanding of my own assumptions in regard to the Japanese education system, and the dynamic created by real versus imagined forces. As a E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W result of reading this volume, I have become more convinced that the Japanese education system represents a multifaceted, complex system of interwoven, and often conflicted, cultural, political and linguistic quasirealities acting in a constant state of flux.To conclude, I wholeheartedly recommend this volume to any reader with an active interest in the future direction of the Japanese education system in addition to the complexities within which it is imagined and realised. Damian J. Rivers is a ‘specially appointed’ Associate Professor at Osaka University, co-editor of The Language Teacher (Japan Association for Language Teaching), and co-editor of the forthcoming volume - Native-Speakerism in Japan: Intergroup Dynamics in Foreign Language Education published by Multilingual Matters. A Foresight Saga? Facing the Fold: Essays on scenario planning by Jay Ogilvy ISBN 10: 9781908009227 / 9-78-190800-9, ISBN 13: 9781908009227 / 978-190-800922-7. Triarchy Press Review by Maree Conway This is not a book to read in one sitting, nor will it give you quick answers about scenario planning, particularly if you are misguidedly looking for a checklist. Each chapter is a previously published essay in its own right, and each requires a good chunk of time to read, digest and ponder.The scope of the book is broad, and reflects the background and work of the author. The reviews on the back cover describe that background, and make it clear why Ogilvy is held is such esteem in the futures field. Each of the chapters collectively represent not only an insight into the work of an exceptional thinker, but also in many ways, provides us with a history of the emergence of scenario planning as a tool to help us think systematically and deeply about the future, and its positioning with other disciplines and approaches. Many business books on planning for the future seem to be designed to remove as much depth as 122 possible and provide a formulaic approach to the method, reducing it to a tool anyone can use. This compilation of Ogilvy’s essays demonstrates that scenario planning, to be done well, requires an expert hand, and is not a quick fix to allow the planner to be able to tick the box for ‘have you considered the future in your planning?’ This book is therefore probably not for anyone new to scenario planning as, even though the first section provides an overview of sorts, the content does, in my view, require some familiarity with the method. It is therefore a book of most value to practitioners and researchers in the futures field, or people who are willing to spend the time to take an intellectual deep dive into the material. Ogilvy played a key role in developing what I refer to as the GBN (Global Business Network) scenario planning method. It’s the method I was trained in, and it Lifting the curtain on the land of the rising sun, Review by Damian J. Rivers vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V forms the core of my scenario planning practice today. The method works for me because it provides a clear and quickly understood process for people who have never before thought about scenarios, to engage with thinking about the future, while being underpinned by robust design and proven practice. Chapter 1 in the book provides an overview of the method – even a checklist! - but your understanding of scenarios and how they can be used will be all the poorer if that is the only chapter you read. The GBN method and scenario planning generally has been subject to criticism lately, because of its focus on what Richard Slaughter calls ‘out there’ in the external world, the world of the tangible, measurable and empirical. And it’s a valid criticism. If all our attention in thinking about possible and preferred futures is focused on the external, tangible, measurable world the world of trends and things we can see and touch - we are neglecting the interior dimensions of human consciousness and culture, where nothing is measurable, and where to understand it, you have to engage with individuals. People create the future in every decision they take about how to respond to the external world, and if their hopes, fears, values and beliefs about the future are not integrated into the thinking that goes on in a scenario planning project, then the likelihood of that project leading to changed thinking and innovative responses to today’s challenges is limited. Ogilvy’s essays make this point, referring to values, mental models and assumptions and new ways of seeing – all of which are held in the brains of each individual.This aspect of scenario planning may not be as overt as Slaughter would like, but that doesn’t detract from the value of this book. There are three sections. The first contains essays on scenario planning itself - the method in terms of what, why and how – the nuts and bolts. The second positions scenario planning in the larger context of human sciences, and the third contains a set of case studies. I hesitate to even try to summarise the content of this book because it is complex and it does require time to connect all the disparate dots we are exposed to in Oglivy’s writings. Some of the key points for me are in the introduction to the book. The title of the book – Facing the Fold – is about adopting a scenaric stance to the future. The explanation of the nature of this ‘fold’ in the introductory section gives us a hint as to the complexity of thinking vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W that we will find in the rest of the book. A scenaric stance is about understanding how to exist in a time of multiple scenarios: Now the future is flying at us both faster and less predictably than ever. Surprise is its middle name. There’s promise to be sure, but risk just as surely… The stakes are high. Choices matter. (page 5) And the value of scenario planning is that it helps us identify those choices by exploring the possible responses we can make, ahead of time. This scenaric stance is about retaining the ability to make strategic decisions to act while understanding very acutely the things that might go wrong. This allows us to look ‘at the dark side; you’ve seen the very real risk; and you’re able to move ahead constructively.’ This stance connects our abstract thoughts with our emotions – our hopes and fears, yet Oglivy maintains that this provides us with ‘a kind of emotional and intellectual maturity that is not available to the simple optimist or the simple pessimist…By holding in mind several different futures at once, one is able to proceed deliberately yet flexibly; resolutely yet cautiously.’ (pages 8-9) This stance is not what we are used to in our data driven decision making world, where we seek certainty and the one true outcome, where we assume linear extrapolation of trends, and where we stay within our comfort zones, because doing otherwise would require time and energy and a willingness to be scared and challenged. And, none of us like those feelings! Oglivy offers us three ways to build a scenaric stance or frame of mind (page 9): i. you need ‘a relentless curiosity, a willingness to learn, an eagerness to experience new frames of reference… a good scenaric stance shows you a way of looking at the world that you hadn’t seen before…Call this the outside-in dimension.’ It’s also about what Oglivy later calls ‘unconventional insight: the ability that some people have to connect the same old dots in new ways’ (page 39), and understand that not only can we assess the future using today’s measures, and even worse, we don’t even know what measures to use. ii. you gain ‘a capacity for commitment, a resoluteness towards action, and once having acted, a clarity of follow-through. Call this the inside-out dimension.’ iii. you ‘achieve a capacity to balance these in-coming and out-going flows. None of this can be learned using a checklist or reading a book. It requires you to immerse yourself in discussions and thinking about the future, over time. And time is the element we have least of, and the one thing A Foresight Saga?, Review by Maree Conway 123 A U S T R A L I A N U N I we find difficult to allocate to anything that doesn’t appear urgent or immediate. Another critical point for the futures field is the point Oglivy makes about the attempt of futurists to gain academic credibility: To the extent that we mimic scientists in claiming value-free objectivity in our view of the future, we deny the very thing that makes us good human beings and good futurists. We deny that we care. But we must care. If we do not, we are doomed to a dreadful future…we futurists (including all human beings trying to shape their own futures’ don’t have to learn how to play their game of objective, value-free science; they are learning to play ours. (page 78) And, further into the book, Oglivy comments: Scenario planning is a practice in search of a theory. Developed outside the university by thoughtful people with no disciplinary and departmental axes to grind, scenario planning solves the dilemmas of critical theory without ever having set out to do so. (page 160) The more we assess scenario planning using traditional academic criteria, the less we have the ability to understand and exploit its unique advantages – that of allowing us to escape the often crippling constraints of our ways of operating and doing business today, to consider what is possible and even preferable for us into the future, to explore risks and threats and possible responses ahead of time, and to collectively build images of futures that we can begin to work towards today. More importantly, it moves us out of the dominant economic paradigm of making profits, or faceto-face teaching, and into a world where anything is possible. 124 A Foresight Saga?, Review by Maree Conway V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W There is more in this book than I can do justice to in a single review. So, I won’t try but highly recommend that you read this book if you are serious about doing scenario planning to transform thinking about the future – as opposed to entrenching the status quo even more. If there is one thing that I would want added to a future edition, it’s more about how we need to integrate the individual, interior into scenario planning. Oglivy is clear about the role that values play in scenario planning, but if we are to ‘make change’ then we have to change the way people think about the future. That isn’t going to happen just by ‘aha’ moments or by exploring options for normative futures, it happens by methodically working through a series of steps to rewire the brain to move us out of our present and our comfort zones. We are creatures of habit, in thinking and action, and the biggest value of scenario planning, done well, is that it will shake us out of those habits by making us confront the simple truth that the future will not be business as usual. This book demonstrates how to go about creating the future we want. Because, no matter how good the outcomes of a scenario project are, if we haven’t changed the way people think about and respond to change, they will go back to work and do what they have always done. And then we will get the future we deserve. Maree Conway is CEO of Thinking Futures, a Melbournebased strategic foresight practice that helps people build their environmental scanning, strategic thinking and strategic planning capabilities to develop stronger futures ready strategy today. www.thinkingfutures.net vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Carpe Diem Frontiers in Higher Education. No. 72 in the At the Interface/Probing the Boundaries series by Tom Claes & David Seth Preston (Eds.) ISBN 9789042030961, Rodopi, Amsterdam & New York, 2010. Review by Patricia Kerslake Resulting from a collection of papers delivered at a 2008, inter-disciplinary conference in Budapest, this text brings together 17 academics, each electing to investigate one of the different obstacles facing higher education around the world today. Grouped approximately into three thematic areas, Claes and Preston have edited together 12 conference papers as chapters, nearly every chapter taking a case-study approach to a global issue, exactly what one might expect from an inter-disciplinary round table. The three themes of inquiry are Sociocultural frontiers, observing the effect of internationalisation and globalisation of the academy, with special discussion of case studies from Canada and Nigeria. Limitations and aspirations of the academy is next, which explores the underlying principles of higher education and reviews both the mission of today’s universities and the value of a degree in contemporary society. The final theme, technological frontiers, engages with the online learning debate. The text claims to direct itself at ‘researchers of topics such as the future of higher education, globalisation and cultural and social frontiers’ (blurb), and in itself, this sounds like a perfectly good idea. The Rodopi website states that it seeks to encourage ‘cutting edge’ discussion, and this may be so, however it does not seem to be adopting the same approach to timely publishing. Issues that feel critical in 2008 do not possess the same power to stimulate and influence when read three years later. The Academy has moved apace since the Interdisciplinary.Net conference in May 2008, and the book’s contents seem oddly dated reading them in 2011. Part I (Sociocultural Frontiers) offers four chapters that explore and discuss the challenges facing students who do not ‘fit’ into the mainstream flow of higher education. Seth A. Agbo analyses the inequalities facing non-white students in predominantly white societies, beginning with the acknowledgement that our schools vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 have barely changed in the last 100 years. Dale Kirby considers the distinctive Canadian Provincial system of higher education, which is ‘still far from universal’ in its ability to facilitate learning (p. 28), especially for the minority groups who have traditionally been excluded from the system. Philippa Hall questions the impact of globalisation in Nigerian universities who are increasingly vulnerable to the dramatic lowering of government funding, and argues that the State is guilty of embracing a ‘neo-liberal instrumentalism’ (p. 50) which ignores the education of the whole person, in favour of educating only the worker. Sarwet Rasul talks about universities as ‘agents of change’ in Pakistan (p. 76) where the educational development of the individual should encourage each person to take up their social responsibilities. Each of these papers offer a thoughtful discussion of their chosen issue, but their contents have been outpaced by change and their significance subsumed into the landscape of the past. As a window into a specific and parochial issue, these narratives are interesting but are already overtaken by more recent developments. Part II (Limitations & Aspirations of the Academy) gives us six chapters, which begin with Iva Apostolova’s consideration of relevancy for contemporary youth in today’s schools. Analysing the varied merits of traditional versus virtual education, Apostolova debates the desirability of balancing increased student engagement, with the maintenance of conventional learning methodologies. The need for visionary leadership in education is the central focus of Maria de Lourdes Machado-Taylor and James Taylor.Arguing that higher education is one of the ‘last bastions of intellectual, economic, cultural, technological and social life for the community’ (p. 167), Machado-Taylor and Taylor make a sound point that education today needs guidance based on proven management principles as well as academic ones in order to succeed. Carpe Diem, Review by Patricia Kerslake 125 A U S T R A L I A N U N I This section also raises the question of the ‘real’ value of a PhD, as Sonja Engelage and Andreas Hadjar use a Swiss survey to model the benefits of the academy for those contemplating a doctoral candidature. Gary Peters argues the case for the Arts, where an absence of knowledge is often more useful to one’s study than is an abundance of it, courtesy of today’s knowledge economy. Interrogating the mission of today’s university, Rita Fornari looks at the shift of higher education’s original place in society, to its more problematised contemporary location. Sonja Petkovska also examines the role of the university, though her argument is based on the grand narrative of the institution as she follows Jean-Francois Lyotard and asks why do our higher education institutes remain so unchanging? Part III (Technological Frontiers of Higher education) takes the reader where, in 2008, no man had gone before, into the interfacing realms of technology and the classroom. Bill Tait makes a sound point in suggesting that it is no longer sufficient for an academic to be fluent in their own discipline, as it is now essential to have both technology and digital pedagogical methodologies in the briefcase as well. More than three years after this paper was presented, many academics and teachers would no doubt be nodding vigorously at this 126 Carpe Diem, Review by Patricia Kerslake V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W observation, but out of hindsight, as professional development and ongoing learning needs of educators in today’s universities loom large around the globe, especially since many students demonstrate themselves to be far more tech-savvy than their teachers. Johnnes Arreymbi and Chrisina Draganova look towards the incorporation of mobile phone technology in learning and teaching and wonder if this is a desirable marriage, or simply another attempt to maintain engagement with the Gen-Y student. Looking specifically at classroom interaction, the paper offers a possible model to facilitate new technology into existing learning structures. Had this text been published closer to the time of these discussions, its value would be unquestioned, and, as an historical marker, the book still offers the researcher a point of beginning, a place where such discussions had not yet been overtaken by the realtime application of theory. Reading this publication today, there is a strange feeling of déjà vu but little sense of provocative debate. Patricia Kerslake in an Adjunct Research Fellow of CQUniversity’s Learning and Teaching Research Education Centre and a Senior Lecturer at CQU’s Melbourne Campus. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W It will all end in tiers Rankings and the Reshaping of Higher Education: the Battle for World-Class Excellence by Ellen Hazelkorn ISBN 978-0-230-24324-8, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndsmills, 2011. Review by Guy Redden This timely book tells the story of university rankings with a particular emphasis on the last decade. National league tables are now well-established. However, Hazelkorn dates the global ranking frenzy to 2003 when Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) was first released. The following year saw the first Times Higher Education rankings, and the rest is history – one that the author covers well. Today there are over fifty national league tables along with ten global ones. Hazelkorn shows how rankings and related thinking have become quietly but rapidly insinuated into public discourse across the world. Through their promise to reveal the quality of educational performance they have played a primary role in what she calls ‘the battle for excellence’. The immense value of the book is that it is based on exhaustive interviews, surveys and policy analysis in many of the countries whose institutions and leaders are vying for the increased relative status that rankings fetishise. It achieves a comparative perspective that reveals the impact of rankings on management, policymaking and institutional life across contexts. In this it captures the essence of a phenomenon that forces a diverse range of institutions to be commensurable whether we like it or not (and some of us do and some of us don’t, Hazelkorn confirms). The first major task of the book is to question the terms in which such commensurability is constructed. Hazelkorn points out with consummate common sense that none of the various indicators, weightings, assessment methods and statistical techniques used are based on incontrovertible evidence of their suitability. But once the data are shrunk into overall institution scores placed on an ordinal scale, minor statistical differences of questionable significance can appear both great and authoritative. Data from across jurisdictions exist in different forms and higher education institutions often manipulate that which they vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 report (76 per cent of insiders surveyed believed this to be the case). Take for instance, staff:student ratios, one of the most common indicators used as a proxy for teaching quality. Active teachers can be defined in different ways depending on who is asking.Yet that is not the only point. Having lots of them on your books tells us nothing about how many hours they teach and how well. Some rankings, like the ARWU, are based almost exclusively on hard data. But even the most obviously countable things can mislead. Databases such as SCOPUS that are used to aggregate the citations of entire institutions are incomplete and heavily favour biosciences. Institutional citation rates are massively boosted by the presence of large medical schools and publishing in English. ARWU is of course only really interested in signs of elite science. The use of academic peer review and student surveys in other rankings promises a more democratic and inclusive representation of quality, but the former is impressionistic (academics enjoined simply to rank the top 30 universities in their fields for example) and the latter is subject to students’ desires to enhance the reputation of their Alma Mater. Other indicators, such as spend per student, are measures of inputs.They fail to isolate value added by HEI activities and generally tell us little more than the fact that a university is wealthy. But then the real aim of most rankings is not scientific validity, but to sell papers, university guides and web advertising. Yet the book goes beyond this familiar territory of questioning ranking methodology. The fact is that despite widespread reservations, rankings operationalise the pursuit of excellence. The survey of higher education leaders revealed that seventy per cent of respondents wanted their institutions to be in the top ten per cent nationally. One can argue that despite being blunt instruments open to manipulation, rankIt will all end in tiers, Review by Guy Redden 127 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V ings at least provide incentives for the improvement of research and teaching. But the most distinctive contribution of the book is its interrogation of what excellence might actually be and whether it truly is to be achieved by using rankings to guide management or policy. In an environment where higher education is seen by governments as integral to national competitiveness in the global knowledge economy, ranking positions are being read as indexical of the strength of innovation systems. They fuel reform. However, albeit in balanced language that is far from polemical, Hazelkorn presents the case that the pursuit of excellence construed as global elite higher education institution performance may not be compatible with excellent, diverse and socially accessible higher education sectors. The second half of the book contains case studies that demonstrate how some governments are shifting to an elite excellence model. France and Germany in particular have recently invested billions of dollars in a handful of institutions intended to be among the world’s best. But one of Hazelkorn’s mantras is the ‘Matthew effect’ (see St Matthew’s Gospel 25:29, or read the book), which is the ‘virtuous cycle of cumulative advantage’ enjoyed by elite institutions that have the resources required to rank highly. Not only is it unclear by what exact mechanism super-elite research higher education institutions may transform national economies, if they suck resources, both financial and human, from their surrounding sectors, they may do so at significant cost to the overall systems to which they belong. And it would take significant public money, that by definition could be effectively spent elsewhere, for the nouveau riche to knock the Ivy League and Oxbridge institutions out of their top spots. 128 It will all end in tiers, Review by Guy Redden E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Perhaps of most interest to local readers is the fact that Hazelkorn favours the current Australian approach. Australia has excellent representation in rankings relative to population and funding, with between three and twelve of its universities having been in most of the noted world top 100 lists in recent years. She sees Australia as currently having policies that support distributed excellence, wide participation and successful collaboration while avoiding the pitfalls of high selectivity and the overconcentration of funding. However, despite having some of the very best public ones, Australia does not have a single superelite university, and who knows how long current policy arrangements will prevail amid the race to the top engendered by rankings? Hazelkorn estimates the cost of a world-class higher education institution to be about US$1.5 to US$2 billion per year. On these figures,ANU would stand a chance of becoming one with an annual funding boost of about $1 billion per year, but any such bid funded from current budgets would damage the sector, or if from new funds would constitute an incredible lost opportunity to build on its current strengths. And anyway, China, which gives about ten per cent of its national higher education budget to just nine of its 2,300 higher education institutions, will get there first anyway. Not to be confused with an argument against quality assurance, benchmarking or public data, this is an important book that deserves to be read by academics, managers and policy-makers around the world. Above all its lesson is to think deeply before you model higher education on tomorrow’s chip wrappers. Guy Redden is a Lecturer in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Making a case for equity initiatives Travelling towards a mirage? gender, leadership and higher education by Tanya Fitzgerald & Jane Wilkinson ISBN 9781921214684 Post Pressed, Mt. Gravatt, Australia, 2010. Review by Patricia Kerslake Reading this book reminded me of Salman Rushdie’s words upon reading Kipling, who had, said Rushdie, ‘the power simultaneously to infuriate and to entrance’ (Imaginary Homelands, p. 74).Tanya Fitzgerald and Jane Wilkinson offer a feminist reading of the current status of academic women in Australian and New Zealand universities: a view sufficiently grim to require little additional framing or politicising. It is at times the overegging of the cake that occasionally weakens, rather than enhances, this text, as the authors’ case is made perfectly well without necessary recourse to a feminist paradigm, or peripheral references. As a literary work, this text is parched and frequently over-argued. As a denunciation of the increasingly unbalanced equity of women in the academy, in academic research and in higher education management, it is unforgiving and relentless. The authors make no bones about their stance, and, for the entire 142 pages, return repeatedly to a profoundly pro-equity perspective, while taking the ‘enduring myth of equity’ (p. 9), and beating it to a bloody pulp. The narrative takes the form of an analogous geographical peregrination, with headings such as ‘Mapping the Terrain’ and ‘Charting the Territory’, although these headings are more for textual convenience than genuine indicators of content. Their argument is manifest and confronting. Fitzgerald and Wilkinson have undertaken a methodical review and analysis of the current state of academic staffing and management within Australian and New Zealand universities, and asked some obvious, yet critical questions. It is not their exposé of anomalies in higher education senior appointments that is so provoking, but rather, the fact that their subsequent concerns remain unresolved. A quick look at the variance between female vs. male staff ratios at higher levels in any antipodean university vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 makes it clear there is a potential problem, but how big a problem? Have women made any progress whatsoever into the male-dominated ‘bastion’ of higher education since the 1970s? That this question is still legitimate today is both suggestive and alarming. The text’s primary argument is that all professions and professional workers are ‘deeply gendered’ (p. 9), and that the authors wish only to ‘provoke the reader to think critically about the gendered nature of the academy’ (p. 11). This wish is successful, although the very force of the feminist mandate employed constructing such provocation produces almost an opposing effect: why so vehement? The answer becomes clear as one progresses through the chapters: a sharply defined and barely-capped anger and frustration at continuing gender iniquity is writ large upon each indictment. It is almost impossible to imagine this text written about the inequity of male rank and status with the academy, and, were it so, one can hear the political landslides from here. If men would find the situation intolerable, then why do women accept it? The text suggests that a view taken through three theoretical lenses may offer some insight: women in educational leadership; education policy analysis, and higher education itself. Fitzgerald and Wilkinson point to each element of their analysis to show how women in academia have been ‘corralled’ and ‘contained’ (p. 20), through the implementation of the new managerialism of tertiary education, where emphasis is focused on the educational marketplace and on ‘new regimes of accountability’ (p. 26). But what is wrong with an increased accountability or more pervasive management of the academy? ‘Power,’ say the authors, ‘has been redistributed upwards and this has produced a division of labour between academics and managers’ (p. 27), which, in Making a case for equity initiatives, Review by Patricia Kerslake 129 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V turn, creates ‘relentless sites of exclusion and elitism’ (p. 32). A simpler way of seeing the picture created by the authors is to scrutinise new academic values. Any function that affects the bottom-line of the university, usually connected to the generation of funding or costs, seems to wield more than its fair share of influence and importance. Women academics are more accepted into those positions deemed to require a ‘high level of emotional labour … involving the care (academic or pastoral) of students’ (p. 12) and lower levels of management, rather than prestigious research and governance appointments.While vital to the retention of students, such positions do not have access to this influence and power and run almost tangentially to those of their male colleagues. The text also examines the ‘illusion of inclusion’ (p. 22) across sixteen top tier universities in Australia and New Zealand, including the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne, across the Tasman to Massey, Waikato and Otago Universities. It is a wealthy and powerful group of academic institutions, all of whom appear pleased with their EEO initiatives. It becomes uncomfortable to read the long list of iniquities: while there has been massive change across all universities over the last thirty years (in terms of student numbers, funding and international ranking), there has been frighteningly little movement in the position of women academics in the same period. Why? Fitzgerald and Wilkinson appear to have covered all the requisite bases of research: they make no unprovable or outlandish statistical claims. Why then does this gender inequity still exist? Can today’s tertiary institutions still pander to the ‘men’s club’ mentality of the 19th century? The answer, unbelievably, may be yes. 130 E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W While women academics are over-represented in areas such as nursing, education, social work and the humanities, they are singularly absent from those senior roles, which carry influence and tenure.‘The presence of some women has masked the absence of groups of women who have been traditionally marginalised’ (p. 135).Talking about gender equity (in terms of compulsory EEO observance) appears to have taken over the actual enaction of EEO principles:‘saying … (equity)… is equivalent to ‘doing’ equity’ (p. 138). However, unless the principle of gender equity is embedded and integral throughout the hierarchy of the institution, one may as well leave gender off the agenda. The authors ask that we not be ‘seduced by [the] rhetoric that gender equality has been achieved … gender equality and gender equity are but a mirage’ (p. 142). Equal Employment Opportunity legislation requires that higher education organisations refrain from all forms of ‘unlawful’ discrimination, a nicely quantifiable measure. There is a significant difference, however, between following the law of such workplace rules, and implementing measures designed to advocate genuine equity. This is not an easy text to read. It is packed full of statistical analysis, legislative policy and dense studies, all of which underscore the essential argument that such data demand review. It is, however, a book that should be on every VC’s desk. Patricia Kerslake in an Adjunct Research Fellow of Central Queensland University’s Learning and Teaching Research Education Centre and a Senior Lecturer at CQU’s Melbourne Campus. Making a case for equity initiatives, Review by Patricia Kerslake vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W Active or passive? Student Activism and Curricular Change in Higher Education by Mikaila Mariel Lemonik Arthur Ashgate 2011; ISBN: 978-1-4094-0934-2 Review by Georgina Tsolidis This book is an exploration of the politics of knowledge and how this manifests in universities and colleges in the USA.The focus is on student activism and how this can lead to shifts in what is taught formally and what is learnt informally through social movements aimed at change.The book works on a number of levels but its core is an account of struggles to introduce women’s studies, Asian American studies and queer studies at six colleges and universities.This process is charted and reviewed in relation to what instigates a momentum to introduce these shifts in curriculum, the context that facilitates or inhibits the introduction of change and what this tells us about organisational change in higher education more broadly. The underpinning assumption of the book is that curricula reflect who we are and who we want to become because it helps to shape our identities and our values. This underlines the importance of studying curricular change. Arthur concludes on a note of optimism with the warning that although the corporatisation of higher education is going ahead at a rate of knots, ‘...perhaps the situation is not as dire as some analysis would suggest.There are still efforts to bring unheard voices into the curriculum.’ (p. 160) As evidence of this Arthur provides an account of the rising number of women’s studies and queer studies courses into a range of universities and colleges despite strong opposition. The second ground for optimism is the argument that the case-studies ‘…serve as a corrective to commentators’ frequent decrial of college student apathy.’ (p. 160) Arthur argues that although some of the movements for curricula change can be linked to the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s there is evidence that these have been given a new lease of life through the 1990s and into the 2000s despite changes in the character of the student population. Today students face added pressures such as working and studying and often looking after families, they are nonetheless willvol. 53, no. 2, 2011 ing to fight for an education that is relevant to their lives, including beyond the pragmatic. The book is clearly set out in three sections and includes an appendix where methodological issues are explained. The first section contains the framework for the examination. The idea of curricular change is introduced in the first chapter. In the second chapter, the development of women’s studies, Asian American studies and queer studies is traced. This is linked to differences between disciplines and interdisciplines. Arthur argues that disciplines are more evidently linked to career pathways, including within the academy. The interdisciplinary nature of the curricula with which she is concerned, has made it more difficult for these fields to become established. However, she argues that women’s studies could now be considered a discipline because it has achieved ‘stand alone’ status at so many institutions. The second part of the book outlines the development of these fields of study at six case-study colleges and universities. ‘By comparing three fields with very different overall outcomes but with similar pasts and similarly radical political positions, this study is better able to show the importance of political and organizational context on individual college and university campuses.’ (p. 38) In other words, what does the process of curricular change tell us about higher education and its capacity for organisational change? On the basis that the three fields of study remain constant but that the case-study institutions are different in character, Arthur hopes the study may be generalisable to other curricular and campus changes.The case study universities and colleges all offer four-year liberal arts undergraduate degrees. Three are public and three are private institutions. Some are described as the most selective in the nation while others accept over half of those who apply to enter at the undergraduate level. These colleges and universities are geographically spread - across the nation and within rural, Active or passive?, Review by Georgina Tsolidis 131 A U S T R A L I A N U N I V urban and suburban areas. The selection includes a female-only college and one described as ‘..governed by a conservative Catholic tradition.’ (p. 41) Each of the six chapters in Section Two of the book consist of a narrative of change campaigns. These are based on archival material and interview data. There is also a quantitative phase of the project that is on-going and is based on a dataset of 1251 colleges and universities. This is referred to in most detail in the methodological appendix in order to provide a context for the case study material. The third part of the book concludes through analysis of the case studies in relation to the change process. The analysis provided ‘… relies on thirteen instances of attempted curricular change in which there was some sort of initiative by students and faculty outside of the normal shared governance process to push for a particular curricular change..’(p. 143) In the cases of women’s studies and Asian American studies, the strategies used varied in response to the different institutional missions and levels of administrative openness and flexibility. Nonetheless, across the six case studies and over the period of struggle, strategies varied between assertive and assimilative. However queer studies was notably different with only one limited example of assertive strategies being used. Arthur concludes that despite the added risks involved in advocating for queer studies given the levels of homophobia evident, a case can be made for success. Ten per cent of the 523 colleges and universities considered for the overall study offer queer studies programmes and in the case of a case study college, a formal concentration of related subjects in the area, has been established after a long campaign that threatened the careers of queer faculty. Arthur concludes by acknowledging the role of the market in curricula change and gives the example of one case study university where Asian American studies was established because students enrolled in related courses above load and stayed enrolled despite attending only a few classes. Nonetheless, she concludes that while most analysts frame curricular change in relation to the market, neoinstitutionalism or leadership and initiative, she believes her research 132 Active or passive?, Review by Georgina Tsolidis E R S I T I E S ’ R E V I E W illustrates the significance of social movements or contentious politics. She argues that such movements formed by students and academics as insiders, challenge the view that links contentious politics to activists who are described as irrational actors. Instead, such activists are ‘..educated and strategic thinkers with sophisticated understandings of how the disciplines for which they are advocating can make substantial changes in the organizational structures and cultural practices of their colleges and universities’. (p. 165) She concludes that contention is a primary factor in creating organisational change. This is an interesting book and surprisingly so for those of us, who like myself have a limited experience of higher education in the USA. (There is some reference to developments outside the USA in the opening chapters, which are very broad accounts of the development of these fields and mention is made of women’s studies in Australia and Canada for example.) Thinking through what changing curricula in higher education says about our identity and values as a community is well worth the effort. Additionally this is done in order to comment on how change occurs in institutions, which by their nature, are intended to reproduce socially valuable knowledge. The book addresses the question of how activism shifts definitions of ‘valuable knowledge’. This is done in a subtle way tracing trajectories of social movement across six universities and colleges in three fields of study. It is a pity that some of the debates across and within social movements linked to these curricula shifts were not given a more thorough examination – the left and its view of feminism, feminism and its view of ethnic studies for example. Another aspect of this project, which was worthy of more attention, is the relationship between what is taught and how it is taught and assessed. How do attempts to legitimise ‘new knowledge’ consolidate old ways of teaching and assessing? Still there’s only so much that can be covered in any one book. Georgina Tsolidis is a Professor in the School of Education, University of Ballarat. vol. 53, no. 2, 2011 Strategic Planning for Flexible Learning Exclusive 10% discount for AUR readers! 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