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Charting Uncertainty


Professor Sharon Bell | Perspectives vol 18

With Higher Education in the spotlight, the Whitlam Institute has released its Perspectives paper, offering a bold and personal account of how universities have ‘fallen from grace’ and a call to reclaim their higher purpose.

In Charting Uncertainty Professor Sharon Bell sounds an alarm for universities that are missing opportunities to ‘help address those great challenges of our time and tie the higher education sector to an urgent national and global endeavour’.

Bell seeks to ‘name, document and analyse this moment’ for universities, and define the factors endangering their contribution to the public good. She considers the influence of neoliberalism on university policy and funding, the growing and anomalous presence of education in the gig economy, and the commodification of education, which catastrophically shifts the teaching relationship.  more →

Read the paper:

 This publication forms part of Perspectives - essays on contemporary public policy published by the Whitlam Institute in which respected public intellectuals put forward their views and canvass ideas on policies that shape a better, fairer Australia. More


Watch: Professor Sharon Bell discusses key elements of her paper Charting Uncertainty:

Bell explores the casualisation of the education workforce in Australia as an anomaly.

How can we reshape the narrative around higher education and re-establish a sense of credibility?

Bell reflects on Gough Whitlam's view of higher education and questions why the sector has experienced a 'fall from grace'.