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Universities in Transition

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Universities in Transition

Foregrounding Social Contexts of Knowledge in the First Year Experience

edited by Heather Brook, Deane Fergie, Michael Maeorg and Dee Michell

$44.00 | 2014 | Paperback | 978-1-922064-82-0 | 258 pp 

FREE | 2014 | Ebook (PDF) | 
978-1-922064-83-7 | 258 pp

FREE | 2014 | Ebook (EPUB) | 978-1-922064-84-4 | 258 pp

FREE | 2014 | Ebook (MOBI) | 978-1-922064-85-1 | 258 pp

DOI: https://doi.org/10.20851/universities-transition


Universities are social universes in their own right. They are the site of multiple, complex and diverse social relations, identities, communities, knowledges and practices. At the heart of this book are people enrolling at university for the first time and entering into the broad variety of social relations and contexts entailed in their ‘coming to know’ at, of and through university.

For some time now the terms ‘transition to university’ and ‘first-year experience’ have been at the centre of discussion and discourse at, and about, Australian universities. For those university administrators, researchers and teachers involved, this focus has been framed by a number of interlinked factors ranging from social justice concerns to the hard economic realities confronting the contemporary corporatising university. In the midst of changing global economic conditions affecting the international student market, as well as shifting domestic politics surrounding university funding, the equation of dollars with student numbers has remained a constant, and has kept universities’ attention on the current ‘three Rs’ of higher education — recruitment, retention, reward — and, in particular, on the critical phase of students’ entry into the tertiary institution environment.

By recasting ‘the transition to university’ as simultaneously and necessarily entailing a transition of university — indeed universities — and of their many and varied constitutive relations, structures and practices, the contributors to this book seek to reconceptualise the ‘first-year experience’ in terms of multiple and dynamic processes of dialogue and exchange amongst all participants. They interrogate taken-for-granted understandings of what ‘the university’ is, and consider what universities might yet become.


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