Everyone’s been here and done this….so what have I got that’s new?

I understand now Joelle’s perspective about the literature review and how it will alter your thesis as you go. Intellectually I understood her words but now I feel her wisdom. I am finding the more I research the more people all over the world have already thought what I’ve thought. There is nothing original in what I’m doing. Even the library at Parliament House has done bits of my research (which is actually awesome and I totally wish I’d found it about four months ago!)

So why should I do it? Well, because I still think that most research is focussed on the inputs to higher education and not the outputs. There is interest (substantial) on the quality of graduates, in that they meet the requirements laid out in legislation and so on, but no one is asking what they should actually be. Should they have knowledge and skills and the apply those in the workplace relevant to the subject area they studied? Or should they be more than that? Is the role of a the graduate to be a quality input to production, or is it their role to challenge the status quo? To seek out new questions for how our society should be and query what it is today? Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do. I want my thesis to provide the tools to the stakeholders of higher education to engage with discussion about what higher education should be. It might be that having inputs to production is the the best option for Australia today, but I’m yet to find a document that has even had the debate. Everyone agrees that commodification is occurring and everyone agrees that there are impacts to that, but we disagreeing on whether that’s good or bad. There is a debate, discussion, sharing of ideas and concepts. Everyone agrees there should be universities, and everyone seems to have implicitly agreed that graduates should be inputs to production. I want to have a chat about that premise. I want policy makers and stakeholders to understand that’s what has been agreed.

Of course first I have to see if that’s what is actually happening! Haven’t been focussing on that piece of research today – maybe tomorrow!

Oh, while I’m here, everyone agrees that Whitlam abolished university fees but there is a lack of clarity about the date. Most sources think 1 January 1974, but do you think I can find the bloody legislation change? Anyone able to help me out? I’m tired of fighting Comlaw…..we seem to be having a disagreement.


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