APU founding member Peter Tregear writes about academic freedom and the Australian public university in The Conversation!
Dear reader. Welcome to our new Academics for Public Universities web site and please feel free to check it out. There are several things that you might be interested in. For example, if you are a researcher and eager to get involved check our “get involved page”. Here you will find a whole research kit, especially designed for you. It will help you to conduct your own research on the state of the Australian universities. If you do so, please don’t forget to get in touch as we are in this together, and send us your work, so we can upload it here and disseminate it far and wide.
Of course, if you haven’t done so yet, we are warmly inviting you to sign our open letter. It highlights the incredible wrongs of the current autocratic university managerial government culture and the lack of academic and student self governance. The universities have been throughout history governed by academics and students and are still largely governed by them in most of the world. But not so in Australia.
Then there is also our small but growing library of resources. Go and check it out. We love libraries and aim to develop ours as a substantial resource in the future. Each week we will add more and more good things. As Margaret Simons in her article in The Monthly (also featured in our library) wrote: ” Australian universities have become unhappy places. It’s the saddest thing. Tragedy is not too strong a word.” The situation is largely related to our Australian universities loosing it’s public mission, even the ability to fulfill their primary role in the world. A mission and ability to educate and to develop rigorous research that benefits the public. After all, these institutions are formally and officially called “public universities”.
This is where we (and hopefully you) come in as well. Through research, dialogue and collaboration we can do our bit and show what is wrong, why it is wrong and how to make things right again.