Author Archives: Marcia Devlin


When uni drop out happens, it can be tempting to balme the student. But this is simplistic thinking at its worst. The ways in which students from low socio-economic status in Australian higher education are thought about and talked about need some careful examination.  There are deficit conceptions of students from low socio-economic backgrounds and […]

Free money and help for uni students

The caps are coming off and university administrations are nervous. Just what a demand driven system means for university recruitment, no-one really knows for sure.  What I know for sure is that as well as ensuring recruitment targets are met, we need to be ready to ensure the success of the students we recruit, especially […]

My University Website

Julia Gillard will today announce the launch of the My University Website. Following on from the positive response from the public to the My School web site, the My University web site was inevitable.  Parents are delighted with the accessibility of the information, the simplicity of the data, the ease with which comparisons can be […]

Social inclusion, ideology, Lady Gaga and higher education

A couple of weeks ago, I read in a magazine that successful Mad Men actress January Jones was told by her ex-boyfriend Ashton Kutcher (now married to the impossibly youthful Demi Moore – do try to keep up) that she would never make it as an actress.  Last week, I heard on the radio that […]

Performance funding; federal government

The federal government have released their discussion paper on performance funding for universities: Overall, it raises lots of pertinent questions and had it not been released just before Christmas Eve to a change weary sector, it might have provided the opportunity for the sector to have genunine input into how teaching perfromance is measured […]

Alternative university entry: New, fresh, clever and innovative?

There’s a lot of talk about ‘alternative’ entry to university at the moment.  Debate in this area always makes me smile, particularly when arguments about it are presented as if they are new. The federal government agenda in relation to widening participation in higher education has led to some excited commentary about moving away from […]

What will Australian universities look like in 20 years?

What will Australian universities look like in 20 years?   I was asked this recently after giving a keynote address at a conference, during which I outlined the federal government agenda in relation to higher education.   It’s a difficult question to answer but I thought I’d give it a whirl as most people reading […]

Women and the Academic Profession

I am woman, hear me roar. A conference last week on the future of the academic profession had, according to the associated website, 20 speakers, only 4 of whom were female.  I would have gone, but as I prepared to register and read through the line up, I became so irritated that I decided to […]

What value does university study add?

The federal government has released the discussion paper that will underpin the arrangements for funding for universities for the immediate future.  Mission-Based Compacts for Universities: a Framework for Discussion (   The arrangements that result from compact agreements will have far reaching effects on individual institutions and on the Australian higher education sector as a […]

Student engagement is on the federal government agenda

I have been at two national forums on student engagement in the last 3 weeks – one here in Melbourne and one in New Zealand.  I’ve been talking about student engagement for about 3 years now and was just beginning to give up hope that it would ever catch on.  But catch on it appears […]