Friday, October 3, 2014

History of the Modern Australian University

Greetings from Glebe Books in Sydney, where John Dawkins AO, is launching Hannah Forsyth's "A History of the Modern Australian University". I only just bought a copy and so have not had time to read it, but the topics look interesting ("The DVC Epidemic"). One quibble is that the Internet does not have its own entry in the index (saying "See World Wide Web").

The title of the book makes too large a claim and that of the author's thesis, upon which the book seems to be based, is more accurate: "The Ownership of Knowledge in Higher Education in Australia 1939-1996". There are numerous references to the ANU student newspaper "Woroni", including an intriguing one about a student driven ‘Learning Exchange’ from Woroni , Thursday 2 August 1973. I was able to find a copy of the article in Trove. From this the Learning Exchange seems to have been a sort of phone and paper based MOOC:


On Thursday, July 12th, a meeting was held of some of those interested in the concept of a Learning Exchange in Canberra. Laura Turnbull, of the World Education Fellowship, was present and was able to suggest several possible contacts potentially influential in getting an exchange underway.

The meeting learned that there are several, Community Service Centres already becoming established in Canberra. These are at private addresses where people can ring for information on various things - such as, clubs and societies, legal advice, etc. Obviously, this is similar in concept to a learning exchange and any exchange set up should logically work with theses groups.

It was also learned that the TAB provide grants for community services. A submission for a grant is to be drafted this week. A publicity release, explaining the structure and aims of the Exchange is being printed for general and media distribution. A submission to the Dept. of the Capital Territory is yet to be drafted. It is hoped that they can be persuaded to bear the bulk of the financial burden that such things as rent for premises would create.

The Melbourne Learning Exchange has its own newspaper in which items of interest and lists of teachers/potential learners are published. It is hoped that the extra work-load could be avoided by printing the same sort of information in regular spaces in various established community newspapers. It is also hoped that notice board space in community centres such as the Monaro Mall and Woden Plaza would be another means of spreading information on learning/teaching requirements. The manager of the Mall has approached and seems interested. No formal response has been received.

An article about the Learning Exchange will appear in the CAE paper, CCAESARIAN soon, and also hopefully a feature in the Canberra Times. There is a meeting in the Clubs and Meeting Societies Room next Tuesday ,31st July. Anyone with any ideas on anything and especially on the submissions to the Dept. of the Capital Territory would be most we or interested in the Learning Exchange. Alternatively, contact Steve Jones, c/o CAC Office. There is a meeting about the School Without Walls in the old Canberra High on August 1st. Literature on the Exchange will be distributed there, as the people attending represent a fairly wide cross section of Canberra.The meeting will also be worth attending for its own sake.For further information see Jamie Griffin, c/o Woroni or read the article in the second Woroni of this term." From "LEARNING EXCHANGE", Woroni , Thursday 2 August 1973

1 comment:

  1. I have created "Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship in Technology" (CECS_1104) as a project topic for ANU engineering and computer science students, starting 2015.