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© 2010 Diana G.
Future national and global development goals should recognise the role of higher education, and universities in both developed and developing countries should draft clear strategies and share expertise more effectively to support the Millennium Development Goals, vice-chancellors from across the Commonwealth declared in Cape Town last Tuesday. The declaration was made at the end of the Universities and the Millennium Development Goals conference of the Association of Commonwealth Universities executive heads, held from 25-27 April at the universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch. The declaration said universities strongly supported the eight Millennium Development Goals , or MDGs, developed by the United Nations and agreed in 2000 by most countries around the world.
For 400 years, higher education in the US has been on a roll. From Harvard asking Galileo to be a guest professor in the 1600s to millions tuning in to watch a team of unpaid athletes play another team of unpaid athletes in some college sporting event, the amount of time and money and prestige in the college world has been climbing. I'm afraid that's about to crash and burn. Here's how I'm looking at it.
The university today is far different from that of the early 1990s and the work of academics has changed considerably, driven by the efficiency and accountability agenda. Often the cry for efficiency and accountability has been used as a mechanism for control, cost reductions and to drive policy agendas. In broad terms, management practices in tertiary education have shifted from a collegial to a corporate or commercial paradigm. A by-product has been a shift in power from academia to the hierarchy, with a managerial emphasis on deploying staff to meet strategic goals and cost effectiveness. In Australian Universities Review , John Kenny discusses the state of tertiary education in Australia, linked to an account of experiences at the University of Tasmania, to consider the cumulative effects of changes and to question whether the prevailing management is the most appropriate way forward.