Herdsa 2010

Policy - Transforming Australia's Higher Education System

Academic practice - Lecturer

Academic practice - Tutor and students in laboratory

Research - Medical researcher

Leadership - Professor

Student outcomes - Students

Conference theme: Reshaping Higher Education

Policy – Where to next with higher education policy?

Whether at national, state, institutional, faculty and/or department/school level, policy has a critical part to play in shaping and reshaping higher education globally. From national policy and targets through institutional missions and commitments to coalface staff enactment of particular foci, policy is central to higher education. In Australia, the Commonwealth Government, in line with the Bradley Review Recommendations, has outlined recent policy directions and national higher education funding priorities and allocations will be affected by these policy directions. This sub-theme invites conference contributions that highlight any of the multiple and central roles of policy in higher education and how these impact on the various aspects of our sector and work. Exploration of the potential for policy to affect traditional values such as academic freedom could also be explored.

Academic practice – How are the changing contexts of higher education redefining effective academic practice?

Academic practice encompasses many elements of academic activity: teaching, teaching support, learning, learning support, engagement and all aspects of the ‘practice’ of higher education across universities, and the vocational education and training sector. Within these areas we face a myriad of changes in pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, collaboration, academic identity, technology, research-informed learning, student and other stakeholder expectations as well as the challenges of managing the volatility of the international student market. Contributions to this sub-theme will enhance our understanding of how this essential function of higher education has shaped, and been shaped by, the various contexts in which the higher education sector operates.

Research – What research into higher education is needed and how is it, and could it be, undertaken?

Research has a critical role to play in higher education both through contributions to theory and empirical work related to various aspects of higher education. Contributions under this sub-theme will focus on research into higher education, including research into higher education funding and policy broadly; equity, including cultural diversity, indigeneity and socio-economic status; renewing pedagogy and curriculum; improving teaching and learning; monitoring and enhancing student engagement; internationalisation; changing use of technology; research practice, communities and challenges, and similar issues.

Leadership – How are notions of leadership changing to meet new challenges in higher education?

Leadership in higher education includes directions and requirements set by federal and state governments, institutional governance and management and the roles of positional, teaching and learning, research and other leaders within institutions. Contributions to the conference within this sub-theme will focus on hierarchical, distributed and other notions of leadership and the ways in which these enactments of leadership impact on the shaping and reshaping of higher education.

Student outcomes – What capabilities do higher education graduates require to excel in the changing world of work?

Higher education must continue to examine its educational purposes in the face of the changing worlds of work and notions of global citizenship. Contributions to the conference within this sub-theme may focus on attributes and capabilities required of graduates, academic standards, approaches to work-integrated and experiential learning contributing to the development of graduate attributes, new approaches to partnering with industry, government and the professions for the achievement of valued learning outcomes, and new conceptions of what it means to be a well educated citizen living and working in a global economy and interconnected communities.