Mapping Education in Australia

Were you aware that 65% of students in the Australian tertiary education sector are studying in a Humanities, Arts, and Social Science disciplines? This has been noted in the recently released Australian Academy of the Humanities and Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia report,“Mapping the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences in Australia”. The report provides an overview of the Australian HASS sector showing its contribution to the education, research and innovation sectors as well as the part it plays in preparing citizens for participation in the workforce. It outlines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the sector. Some key points to note from the report include:

  • The majority of HASS students are female;
  • The majority of the academic workforce in the area is aged 50+
  • There has been a move to casualisation of the workforce, which is leading to issues with succession planning in the HASS academic workforce.
  • That students in regional areas are less likely to be able to undertake a HASS program as regional universities are moving away from teaching them.
  • That there appears to be a consolidation of HASS courses in urban areas and, in particular, within the Group of Eight universities; and
  • That Australia has a “strong and resilient HASS sector that makes a major contribution”. (pp. 90-91)

The Australian Academy of the Humanities was established in 1969 and is supported by 500+ Fellows; leaders and experts in their fields.   The Academy is focussed on not only broadening their base through new and innovative fields but in the support of interdisciplinary relationships in order to investigate the challenges our society and cultures face in this new century. The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia was established in 1971, though it has its roots in the Social Science Research Council of Australia which was established in 1942. It is also independent and interdisciplinary.