Information Technologies and Tertiary Education in New Zealand

Peter Roberts, Michael Peters

Abstract


This article considers the extent to which, and ways in which, information technology issues have been addressed in recent tertiary education policy documents in New Zealand. By comparison with other reviews of tertiary education - notably the Dearing Report in the United Kingdom - these documents have little of substance to say about such issues. It is possible to speculate, nonetheless, about what might happen should current trends in the reform of tertiary education continue. It is argued that changes in the tertiary education sector need to be seen as one part of a wider process of neoliberal social transformation. Building upon some prophetic comments from Jean-François Lyotard on the changing role of the state in postmodern societies, the paper discusses three key features of New Zealand's tertiary education environment: the decline in institutional authority, the heavy emphasis on skills, and the emergence of new forms of control over educational subjects. A brief assessment of future prospects for education in a social world combining neoliberal individualism with the latest developments in information technology is offered.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v3i12.632



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