The Australian Centre for Student Equity and Success acknowledges Indigenous peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands on which our campuses are situated. With a history spanning 60,000 years as the original educators, Indigenous peoples hold a unique place in Australia. We recognise the importance of their knowledge and culture, and reflect the principles of participation, equity, and cultural respect in our work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future, and consider it an honour to learn from our Indigenous colleagues, partners, and friends.

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You are reading: Equality or quality? Measuring the effect of more uni students

Written by Dr Tim Pitman for The Conversation

Quality in education is something that seems so obvious – until you try to define it. This week the new Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research Chris Bowen said that “the quality of a course should be measured by the capabilities that students have acquired by the time they complete their course, not the capabilities they have when they begin.” He went on to defend the government’s aim to get more and more people from disadvantaged backgrounds going to university, rejecting claims that uncapped enrolments would adversely affect the quality of a university education. The minister is correct on this score but it is also a myth to say that educational quality can be measured reliably.

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