The University and the Region: An Australian Perspective


This article examines the role of universities in regional development. It is a response to Harloe and Perry’s call for empirical case studies of different types of higher education institutions operating in different regional and national systems and circumstances, in order to reveal the links between contemporary social and economic transitions and changes in higher education and its institutions. The article situates the contemporary transformation of the Australian university in the context of the global tension between the pursuit of excellence and accessibility. It shows the particular way in which this tension is expressed in the context of a distinctive Australian political economy of higher education through a case study of one of Australia’s leading universities.