Scanning Retrospective, No. 28

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 3

[Originally published] Issue 2, Dec 2000

  • Instititutional Entrepreneurship in Higher Education
  • The Changing Research Environment
  • Globalisation: a world without borders
  • TAFE and university graduates – what’s the difference?

Instititutional Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

(Carol Kozeracki)

The switch to a more entrepreneurial way of operating – of being innovative, responsive to the market, and of finding new ways to make money – began in the business world and is spreading to the non-profit sector, including academe. This transition is requiring college and university managers to examine the way they operate, to reconsider their many functions, and, even, to question some of their most cherished values such as academic freedom and access. As a result, some conflicts have arisen. But the trend is strong, and many higher education institutions, especially universities and community colleges, are experimenting with entrepreneurial programs and behaviour. This digest will summarise the reasons behind the growth of entrepreneurship in higher education and list some of the programs that have been developed.

The pressure for higher education to change has increased recently. Government support is shrinking while the costs of teaching and research remain high. Student fees are rising, and budget cutbacks threaten non-revenue producing departments. Employers complain that college and university graduates are not well trained, and students complain about the quality of teaching at their institutions (Daines, 1996). McWilliam (1990) cites three trends that are pushing educational institutions to be more market-oriented: a decrease in traditional sources of funding (especially government funding), government intervention (demands for accountability and pressure to prepare individuals and companies for global competition), and institutional initiatives. Clark (1998) frames the move to greater entrepreneurship as arising from “a demand-response imbalance in the environment-university relationship” (p. 5). Demands on the universities outrun their capacity to respond, and one way to reinstate the balance is for universities to become more entrepreneurial.

But an entrepreneurial mode of operating is often not welcome in higher education institutions. A commitment to tradition and a disdain of commerce, especially for thinking of students as clients, or customers, often dominates the thinking of faculty members. Peter Drucker outlines some of the obstacles that public service institutions must overcome. These organisations function on the basis of budgets rather than results, they are forced to satisfy a multitude of constituencies, and they tend to see their missions in moral or ethical terms rather than in economic ones (Keast, 1995).

[Excerpted from:]
Source: Kauffman Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership Clearinghouse on Entrepreneurship Education – This article is in the public domain, and is available at the web address:

The Changing Research Environment


The importance of research

At the close of the twentieth century Australia is developing in a rapidly changing environment, an environment which is increasingly influenced by international and global factors. Research is one of the major drivers of Australia’s economic growth and competitiveness in the global market. Economically, we are moving from a predominantly resource and commodity-based economy to a knowledge-based economy which achieves competitive advantage from effectively capitalising on its intellectual resources. The success of Australia as a knowledge-based economy will depend upon our ability to innovate – to generate new knowledge, ideas and technologies through research. The innovations arising from this research activity must be utilised to achieve economic, social and cultural benefits.

The significance of research’s contribution to innovation was recently recognised by the Australian Government in Investing for Growth. The Government has made it clear that it sees innovation as crucial to the future of our economic security and to the prosperity of all Australians. It has indicated that as a nation we need to involve the users of research in setting the research agenda, promote cooperative research and commercialise the results of research conducted in the public sector.

It is now recognised that generating of knowledge and developing new technologies for commercialisation can be considered only in terms of the national innovation system. The key to successful innovation is the flow of creativity, ideas, skills and people between players in the innovation system namely, the universities, public research institutes and private enterprise. Understanding this system can help identify leverage points for enhancing innovative performance and competitiveness.

[excerpted from:]
Source: The Australian Research Council Web Site
[Initially printed in compliance with Commonwealth Copyright 1999.]

Globalisation: a world without borders

(Keith Suter)

The Southern Hemisphere’s most violent demonstrations against globalisation – so far – took place in Melbourne on September 11 and 12. A number of people were hospitalised or imprisoned. The demonstrations were the most recent in a series that began in Seattle at the end of 1999, then moved to Davos, Switzerland in February, then London and Washington. The World Economic Forum conference organisers were aggrieved that the demonstrations had taken place – and yet also relieved that “S11” had not resulted in quite as much mayhem as some commentators had predicted.

Ironically, the anti-globalisation demonstrators in Melbourne got it wrong. They defined “globalisation” as simply an economic matter. But economics is only part of the process. The demonstrators were as much part of the globalisation process as the people and organisations they criticised. In fact, there are three forms of “globalisations” under way. The demonstrators focused on “economic globalisation.” But there are also “popular” and “public order” globalisations.

[excerpted from:]
This article first appeared in pretext, the on-line magazine of Global Business Network Australia. The GBN Australia web site is located at Reprinted with permission.

TAFE and university graduates – what’s the difference?

TAFE and university graduates are highly successful in getting a job on completion of their course, however these jobs tend to be in different occupational segments of the labour market.

According to a new study, overall employment outcomes for graduates from TAFE and university are similar, with over two-thirds of graduates employed soon after completing their course (72.8% of TAFE graduates were employed within six months and 66.4% of university graduates were employed within four months).

Further, after completing their course the majority of TAFE and university graduates were either employed or doing further study (87.7% of TAFE graduates and 91.7% of university graduates). “These findings show the outcomes from both sectors are positive, and reinforce the benefits of both sectors in terms of the employment of graduates,” said Mr Chris Robinson, Managing Director of NCVER.

The findings are outlined in a study released by the NCVER on graduate outcomes from the TAFE and university sectors. The study, em>Statistics 1999: TAFE and university graduates: At a glance brings together some of the findings from the 1999 surveys of TAFE and university graduates. The surveys are conducted annually by the NCVER and the Graduate Careers Council of Australia respectively. The study outlines some of the similarities and differences between the two sectors.

[excerpted from:]
Source: National Centre for Vocational Education Research newsletter – Insight, available at
Copyright © NCVER 2000. Used by permission of NCVER –

prospect is a quarterly publication of the Foresight & Planning Unit, Swinburne University of Technology.

Futura tenaciter in prospectu tenemus

This publication is intended to serve the broader Swinburne community, by highlighting areas of interest and concern to Swinburne stakeholders, by helping us take a long-term foresight view, and to expand our perceptions of our strategic options as we move forward together into our common future.

This collection is © 2000 FPU and Swinburne University of Technology. Copyright for the individual articles resides with the original authors and/or the original sources as listed. All articles have been used either with express permission or, where express permission is not required, following stipulated re-use guidelines.

NOTE: In all the posts in this series, the original source URLs are left exactly as they were when published 20-odd years ago. This means they will almost certainly be dead links (or good ol’ 404 errors). I do not have the patience or inclination to follow-up or find any archived or re-located versions of those web pages (because, well, life is too short). But, if it really bugs you, I invite you to see if you can find archived or relocated versions of those dead-link pages. And if you do, let me know, and I’ll update these posts with due credit to your detective work.

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