Universities – a history of common cause

The profound role played by universities in Australia’s development is explored in a new book released this week.

Australian Universities: A History of Common Cause details the development of university advocacy in Australia in line with the growth of the university sector and the nation.

Authors Dr Gwilym Croucher and Dr James Waghorne from the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education chart the events which have shaped the nation’s higher education sector.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the book is an important and timely reminder of the fundamental role universities play in bolstering a healthy democracy, and in Australia’s economic and social development over the past century.

“From making research a national undertaking during the Great Depression and embracing reconstruction after World War II to being at the forefront of the establishment of the internet in Australia – the book illustrates how the sector has contributed to the nation,” Ms Jackson said.

“Universities have been integral to important national events over the last century, and this book reveals their many previously unrecognised contributions,” Dr Croucher said.

“This book captures universities’ ongoing connections and, by focusing on the whole university system, it reveals a new way of understanding their history,” Dr Waghorne said.

Professor Stuart Macintyre (The University of Melbourne), Associate Professor Julia Horne (The University of Sydney) and Professor Vin Massaro (The University of Melbourne) have played an important role also as editorial advisors to the work and Universities Australia thanks them for their contribution.

Copies of the book can be purchased through NewSouth Books or your local bookseller.

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