The New Public Management and Tertiary Education: A Blessing in Disguise for Academics

Author: Sue Yong, AUT University

Abstract: Tertiary teaching in higher education is not apolitical, due to the demands placed upon academics from stakeholders including accreditation bodies, government funding agencies, students and employers. often, the demands of these stakeholders result in academics’ responsibilities being pulled in different directions. The resultant effect is the expansion of the academics’ roles beyond teaching, to include managing and meeting stakeholders’ expectations, ensuring productivity in research and achieving satisfactory completion rates for their students. Given that, academics are expected to be managers, educators, researchers, strategists and administrators. This paper examines the tensions involved in the expanding roles of academics due to the ever-changing and competitive education landscape occurring both locally and globally. The New Public Management (NPM) framework, which uses private sector performance management techniques, is adopted in this study. Student surveys, government policies, universities and accreditation reports were used to demonstrate the changing and evolving higher education landscape in Australasia.