The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 53–74 | Cite as

Academics and their work under dawkins: A study of five NSW universities

  • Grant Harman
  • Fiona Wood


This paper reports views of academic staff from five Australian institutions of higher education on a number of issues relating to teaching and research and changes affecting their work since the introduction of the unified national system. While most academics are satisfied with their jobs, staff morale is given a low rating. Academics cite a number of limitations experienced in carrying out their research and teaching. The academic work week is just under 50 hours, but there are clear differences between the established and newer universities in the apportioning of time to research and teaching related activities. This pattern is repeated in the publication record, grant success and perceived pressure to upgrade professional qualifications. The data suggest that the newer universities feel under pressure to emulate the structure and organisation of the traditional “elite” universities rather than seeking a legitimate niche for their particular type of operations within the unified national system. This means that for some years they will find considerable difficulty competing with traditional universities using the standard measures of research performance.


Academic Staff Undergraduate Teaching Publication Record Senior Lecturer Staff Morale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, D.S. (et al.) (1975),Regional Colleges. A Study of Non-Metropolitan Colleges of Advanced Education in Australia, vol 2, Canberra: ERU, Australian National University.Google Scholar
  2. Black, S. (1972), “Interactions between Teaching and Research”,Universities Quarterly, 26, pp. 102–118.Google Scholar
  3. Blackburn, R. T. and Havighurst, R. J. (1979), “Career Patterns of U.S. Male Academic Social Scientists.”,Higher Education, 8, pp. 553–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bleything, W. B. (1982), “On the Workload of Faculty”,Journal of Optometric Education, 8, pp. 11–17.Google Scholar
  5. Bowden, J. and Anwyl, J. (1983), “Some Characteristics and Attitudes of Academics in Australian Universities and Colleges of Advanced Education”,Higher Education Research and Development, 2, pp. 39–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Centra, J. (1983), “Research Productivity and Teaching Effectiveness”,Research in Higher Education, 18, pp. 379–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cole, S. (1979), “Age and Scientific Performance”,American Journal of Sociology, 84, pp. 958–977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals (1972)Report of an Inquiry into the Use of Academic Staff Time, London.Google Scholar
  9. Creswell, John W. (1985),Faculty Research Performance, Washington D.C.: ASHE.Google Scholar
  10. Department of Science and the Environment (1980),Project SCORE, pp.423–433, Canberra, AGPS.Google Scholar
  11. Elton, L. (1986), “Research and Teaching: Symbiosis or Conflict?”,Higher Education 15, pp. 299–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Everett, J. E. and Entrekin, L. V. (1987),Academic Attitudes, North Ryde, NSW: Methuen, Australia.Google Scholar
  13. Gmelch, W. H., Lobrich, N. P. and Wilke, P. K. (1984), “Sources of Stress in Academe”,Research in Higher Education, 20, pp. 477–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Flood Page, C. (1972), “Teaching and Research — Happy Symbiosis or Hidden Warfare?”,Universities Quarterly, 26 pp. 348–352.Google Scholar
  15. Halsey, A. H. and Trow, M. A. (1971),The British Academics, London, Faber.Google Scholar
  16. Higher Education: a Policy Statement (1988), (Circulated by The Hon J.S. Dawkins, MP Minister for Employment, Education and Training). Canberra, AGPS.Google Scholar
  17. Inquiry into Management Education (1982), Canberra, Commonwealth of Australia,.Google Scholar
  18. Jones, W. and Ainley, J. (1987),Research and Development in Colleges of Advanced Education, Hawthorn, Victoria, ACER.Google Scholar
  19. Macdonald, S. and Mandeville, T. (1982), “Who Cares About the real Costs of University Research?”,The Australian Universities’ Review, 25, pp. 42–50.Google Scholar
  20. Meek, V. L. (1990), “Policy Change in Australian Higher Education”, paper presented at the University of Turku, Turku, Finland, 4–6 June.Google Scholar
  21. Meek, V. L. and Goedegebuure, L. C. (1989),Higher Education. A Report, Armidale, University of New England.Google Scholar
  22. Moses, I. (1988),Academic Staff Evaluation and Development. A University Case Study. St. Lucia, University of Queensland Press.Google Scholar
  23. Over, R. (1982), “Is Age a Good Predictor of Research Productivity?”,Australian Psychologist, 17, pp. 129–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Over, R. (1987), “An Early Retirement Option for Australian Academics?”,Australian Universities’ Review, 30, pp. 11–15.Google Scholar
  25. OECD (1981),The Future of University Research, Paris.Google Scholar
  26. OECD (1987),Universities Under Scrutiny. Paris.Google Scholar
  27. Pelz D. C. and Andrews, F. M (1976),Scientists in Organizations. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Institute for Social Research, the University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  28. Robbins Report. (1963),Committee on Higher Education, Higher Education, London, HMSO.Google Scholar
  29. Saha, L. (1973), “Teaching and research: a real or imagined conflict”,ANZJS, 9, pp. 22–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Selby Smith, C. (1975),The Costs of Post Secondary Education. Melbourne: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  31. Teather, D. (1987), Academics Teaching Externally in Australian Universities. Unpubli shed thesis. UNE, NSW.Google Scholar
  32. Trow, M. (1975),Teachers and Students: Aspects of American Higher Education. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  33. University of Queensland,Survey of Teaching Staff Work Load, annual.Google Scholar
  34. Williams, G., Blackstone, T. and Metcalfe, D. (1974),The Academic Labour Market-Economic and Social Aspects of a Profession. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  35. Williams Report (1979),Education, Training and Employment: Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Education and Training. Canberra, A.G.P.S.Google Scholar
  36. Wood, F. (1990), “Factors Influencing Research Performance of University Academic Staff”,Higher Education, 19, pp. 81–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Australian Association for Research in Education 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grant Harman
  • Fiona Wood

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations