ACU Insights #4


ACU Insights #4 - February 2013

In this issue…

Recognising quality through teaching awards: South Africa and the UK

Wherever there have been students and teachers the quality of academic teaching has been debated. Independent reviews of teaching award schemes in South Africa and the UK confirm the importance of context: effective teaching varies by institution and national history. Both encounter a common dilemma: how can there be agreed measures for quality, when the difference which teaching makes emerges over individual lives? 

Australia in the Asian Century: innovation and impact, but cultural understanding too

The prime minister’s ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ white paper firmly locates the nation's tertiary system within – and challenges it to respond to – growth and change in the wider region. The message that education is ‘vital’ to Australia’s economic success and that Australia’s people are central to its ability to ‘seize the Asian century’ stand out. It suggests both an outwardly focused agenda of mobility, scientific collaboration and relationship building, and a domestic one: quality, learning about other cultures, skills and participation. 

US education: engaging internationally for success or for learning?

The first ‘fully-articulated international strategy’ of the US Department of Education – ‘Succeeding Globally Through International Education and Engagement’ – was published in November. It sets out strategic goals for 2012-6, explains why it considers them important, and suggests what it can do to achieve them. From a university perspective it shows the priorities which could inform policy at various levels, and where potential might lie for collaboration with the US. 

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The authors Nick Mulhern and Jonathan Harle are always pleased to receive feedback on the usefulness and content of the ACU Insights briefing, as well as news on developments in HE which might be of wider interest. They can be contacted at