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Title: 'Find Out What People Want': Australia's Most Successful Community-University Dialogue. Lessons from New England, 1947-1980
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S (author)
Publication Date: 1999
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Abstract: My overview paper today may well be regarded by my audience, who come from many parts of the nation as well as from across the Tasman, in various ways - as an old tale, perhaps, a New England legend born of this high altitude. Or perhaps it will be viewed as a still relevant paradigm which encapsulates much practical wisdom, wisdom that does not date and is completely portable. Hopefully it will prove to be a very illuminating case study in the area of tertiary education and regional development that has at its core some of the quintessential do's and don'ts of what may be done by any university for the benefit of, and in partnership with, those who live in or near it. ... At various times during the period now under (somewhat skeletal) retrospective review the New England University College (1938-53)/University of New England (1954-present) was justly hailed as having achieved a degree of successful work with and for its surrounding community that was certainly then, and probably is still, unique in Australian educational history. Subsequently, this inter-relationship was seen to point the way ahead for dialogue or partnership between tertiary institutions and their more immediate regions. For many who have come to UNE or its region since, say 1975, their focus has been on various specific providers of expertise and know-how, such as: ARA U (Australian Rural Adjustment Unit) or RDC (Rural Development Centre); ABRI (Agricultural Business Research Institute); the recently closed RCMD (Regional Centre for Music and Drama); the CWPR (Centre for Water Policy Research); or the FMRC (Financial Management Research Centre). Activities like these have often seemed more significant and practical to a particular user of their 'product', in terms of organizational skills or cultural offerings. Yet they have almost always been hived off from the no longer existing central or parent unit, the much abused, ill-understood and now extinct 'Department' sequentially of: Adult Education; University Extension; and then Continuing Education. Each of the named applied units, and their many cousins alive or moribund, have had sharper activity goals (often with a 'sunset' aspect to them). They have also been sadly limited, scarcely concerned with the whole adult person or with a total commitment to servicing the region, as was the institution's avowed and achieved mission from c.1945 to c.1975, or even 1980. Nor have they reported to a larger overseeing policy committee, as was the case in those same years, when the same committee possessed considerable university power and was strengthened by dedicated community members.
Publication Type: Book
Publisher: University of New England
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
ISBN: 1863895744
Field of Research (FOR): 160805 Social Change
160301 Family and Household Studies
200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
HERDC Category Description: A1 Authored Book - Scholarly
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Extent of Pages: 47
Series Name: Publications of the Centre for Higher Education Management and Policy (CHEMP)
Series Number : 2
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Appears in Collections:Book

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