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CASA: shaking and stirring in the new era of Australian universities

The annual Universities Australia Higher Education Conference is a key forum for discussing the policy agenda for the university sector in Australia, It’s a high profile event with contributions from international experts,  global educational innovators, university executives, senior academics, professional managers and university students.

The aim of the conference is to “provide an opportunity for dialogue, analysis and engagement between the sector, other stakeholders and commentators”, where “participants have the chance to contribute to the discussion and debate shaping the future of the higher education sector”.

Inspired by the 2014 UA conference theme, Universities in the new era: stirred, not shaken, we are interested in starting a new conversation, one that also aims to bring together key stakeholders and commentators to think about the future of Australian higher education.

The difference is that this is a conversation from the perspective of those whose presence and experiences are often overlooked when universities imagine their mission, their practice and their futures: casual, adjunct, and sessional staff workers in Australian universities, and their allies.

We’d love you to join us

We have created this blog to collect resources and create a space for dialogue and resource sharing among those who are thinking about (researching, experiencing, encountering) casualisation in Australian higher education.

This week, we’re particularly interested in the session topics for the 2014 UA Higher Education Conference.

It’s not our intention to disrespect UA or its conference organisers, but simply to notice that casualisation isn’t obviously on the agenda this year—unlike MOOCs, digital natives, social media and textbooks. But casuals have an implied presence in all of the topics under discussion, and so we had a think about how to reframe these titles in order to reflect and rework these evidently priority topics for higher education planning to take account of the impact of casualisation.

  1. All clicks, no bricks: locating casual academic work on campus and online (based on Bricks or clicks – is there a winner ?)
  2. Digital developments for the digital native – the casual academic perspective (based on Digital developments for the digital native – the student perspective )
  3. Work integrated learning – learning from adjuncts and casuals with external professional experience ( Work integrated learning – expanding partnerships with business)
  4. Efficiency and productivity in universities: the casual academic perspective ( Efficiency and productivity in Australian universities)
  5. Social media in academic community: shaking and stirring (Social media in corporate communication – shaking not stirring)
  6. MOOCS – Massively Online Ongoing Casual Servitude? (MOOCS – magnificent monsters or malediction?)
  7. Casualisation and Indigenous Higher Education (Leadership in Indigenous Higher Education)
  8. Casualisation and research sustainability (Towards a sustainable research system in Australia)
  9. The governance of the modern university: understanding casualisation as risk (The governance of the modern Australian university: one approach or many?)
  10. Timezones and Laptops: models and prospects for international teaching experience (Textbooks and backpacks: Models for an international learning experience?)

If you’d like to write a short piece for us or on your own blog on any of these themes, just drop us a line at casualcasa@gmail.com and we’ll put it up here or promote it. If you’d like to see particular issues covered on this blog, or have ideas for features that you’d like to see, or resources you’d find helpful, let us know.

We appreciate the sensitivity of speaking out from a position of insecure employment, and of course we support pseudonymous contribution.


About Kate Bowles

Now blogging over at musicfordeckchairs.com



  1. Pingback: Efficiency and Productivity in Australian Universities: The Casual Academic Experience | CASA - March 2, 2014

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  4. Pingback: CASA news 06/15 | CASA - March 16, 2015

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