23 SES 02 C, HE, Diversity, Inclusion and Justice
This paper raises questions and presents some suggestions as to the future of equity under new forms of educational governance. The paper draws from research projects in Australia on entrepreneurial, and locates itself within a wider discussion within education policy sociology around key issues as to the role of the nation state, forms of governance and social inclusion/exclusion. While the focus us on the university, it argues that universities are nodes in wider networks of commercial, community and scholarly networks that are premised more on contractualism than a social covenant. The paper explores how different responses to economic, cultural and political globalization have changed the nature of educational governance due to an emerging global architecture of governance (Epstein et al 2007, Rizvi and Lingard 2010)informed by often conflicting pressures: standardization due to governance by numbers (Rizvi and Lingard 2010), Europeanisation (Cowles et al 2012 ), the ‘Asia century’ (CGA 2013 ) and internationalization (Gribble and Blackmore 2012). While much has been written on each, this paper will analyse any convergences and divergences these pressures mean for Australia which sits outside such regional political, social and economic arrangements and higher education in particular. Within this context, the paper draws from a re- theorization of notions of contractualism developed from Yeatman’s (1994) notion of ‘a new contractualism’ emerging with corporate governance (Rawolle 2013). In particular this paper explores how equity policy can be understood within be ‘geographies and economies of knowledge’ (Esptein et al 2007) in the rapidly changing field of higher education. Feminists have argued that Europeanisation has had contradictory benefits for equity as individual nation states translate the processes of Europeanisation into policy and practice (Rees 2008, Salisbury and Ridell 2000). The context is one, we argued, marked by the spread of contractualism (Yeatman 1996, Rawolle 2013), which can be understood to be changing the nature of academic and professional practice and in turn how equity is understood and enacted in and through policy. Serial contracting (outshoring, offshoring, casualisation etc,) in particular raises issues of accountability for equitable outcomes. This analysis will consider how equity is increasingly understood within the Australian context a ‘national asset’ (Rawolle 2013), a form of capital (Savage 2012) to be mobilized in the national interest so that there is not ‘wasted talent’(Blackmore 2014). It asks what external and domestic pressures are being brought to bear with regard to how equity policy is enacted into practice in higher education in the context of competitive global education. The research suggests that as universities are becoming more networked at the institutional and individual level ranging from performance management through to partnership, quasi-legal agreements an performance, how equity is negotiated at the level of practice and the discourses around diversity are problematic (Ahmed 2012). The paper draws from wider debates regarding contractualism and how equity is addressed e.g Pateman’s notion of the sexual contract, Miller’s notions of a racial contract.
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