Tue, 27 May 2003 19:56:31 GMT

behind the razzle dazzle. That the debate over the higher education institutions in Australia is conducted in very utilitarian terms should come as no suprise, since Australia's public philosophy is utilitarian one. Currently, the key issue in the debate is the private/public funding of the university. The funding issue mostly ignores any consideration of the impact of the corporatisation of the liberal university that we find here. And what is rarely spoken about is the connection between the university as an ethical institution in civil society and the broadening of liberal democracy. Consider this response to Brendan Nelson's proposed reforms to higher education. Davidson makes two points. First: “Behind the razzle-dazzle, with the promise of an injection of an additional billion dollars of taxpayer funds, is a scheme for creating a two-tier system that will intensify the competition for a place in the top tier based on family wealth and, hence, ease the competitive… [philosophy.com]

This is an excellent and interesting analysis of events… But lets realize that australia has always had two classes of universities, they had the technical universities as second class citizens for a long time, then suddenly, technical capacity was prioritized and i wonder what happened next….