ERIC Number: EJ764531
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Reference Count: 14
Australian Universities and International Standards: Australian Compliance with the 1997 UNESCO "Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel"
Page, James S.
Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, v29 n1 p95-101 Mar 2007
Soft law, that is, regulation which is technically unenforceable, is one means whereby international ethical and professional standards are now increasingly enunciated. This paper looks at one specific standard-setting instrument, the 1997 UNESCO "Recommendation concerning the status of higher education teaching personnel," and compliance with this standard by Australian universities. It is concluded that this specific standard-setting instrument is routinely ignored by Australian universities, specifically on the issues of commensurability of pay and recognition of research work for casual academics. There are many possible reasons for this failure to comply with the 1997 Recommendation, although three suggested reasons are: (1) ignorance within Australian higher education regarding international standards and the ethical obligations associated with such standards; (2) the dominance of a neo-liberal agenda within higher education in Australia; and (3) a trend towards disregarding international standards and institutions generally by Australia. It is suggested that the solution to this situation is not simple, although education and publicity may be two starting-points. Through this it may be possible to encourage a greater degree of ethical and professional commitment on the part of Australian universities, and possibly within the universities of other countries.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Publicity, Ethics, Higher Education, Standard Setting, International Organizations, Colleges
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia