How do Australia’s universities experience the changes that are sweeping through the higher education sector? Differently, no doubt. Despite a common university mission of teaching, research and service, it is a diverse sector with a variety of institutional histories, geographies and priorities. It has one peak industry body in Universities Australia, but is separated into at least three groups that seek to serve more specific interests. This in itself is a response to change. Because the common denominator of all of the change is greater competition, most of the fault lines in the sector relate in one way or another to struggles over market share in teaching and research. The ways in which these contests play out, and the strategies and tactics employed, shape the contrasting university experiences of the sector.
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