The Era of Universal Participation in Higher Education: Australian policy problems in relation to cost, equity and quality

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Belinda Probert
Published by 
Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Publication year 

The move towards universal levels of participation in higher education has been widely welcomed in Australia, as has the focus on improving the participation of under-represented equity groups. Although the challenges posed by universal levels of participation are becoming apparent, they are rarely analysed as a set of interdependent problems that threaten the quality of Australian higher education in the future. This paper uses the work of key thinkers such as Trow, Barnett and Douglass to identify the global structural pressures facing university systems at this time, before proposing some policy options to address the general problems of cost, equity and quality that might be relevant to the Australian context. The paper is addressed not only to policy makers, but to the academic community itself.

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