The activation, appropriation and practices of student-equity policy in Australian higher education

Peacock, David, Sellar, Sam and Lingard, Bob (2014) The activation, appropriation and practices of student-equity policy in Australian higher education. Journal of Education Policy, 29 3: 377-396. doi:10.1080/02680939.2013.839829

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Author Peacock, David
Sellar, Sam
Lingard, Bob
Title The activation, appropriation and practices of student-equity policy in Australian higher education
Journal name Journal of Education Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0268-0939
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/02680939.2013.839829
Volume 29
Issue 3
Start page 377
End page 396
Total pages 20
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Current national reforms in Australian higher education have prioritised efforts to reduce educational disadvantage within a vernacular expression of neoliberal education policy. Student-equity policy in universities is enmeshed in a set of competitive student recruitment relations. This raises practice-based tensions as universities strive to meet specific institutional targets for low-socio-economic status (SES) and Indigenous student participation, whilst broadening participation more generally within the sector. This paper seeks empirically to trace the activation and appropriation of federal policy through two sites of higher education policy practices: a state government-sponsored equity practitioner body and two differently positioned universities, Dawson and McIllwraith, as they engage with low-SES schools. Working together Dorothy Smith’s insights into the textually mediated activation of local practices, Levinson and colleagues’ concept of the local appropriation of authorised policy, and Bourdieu’s notion of the contested field, we demonstrate that the generation of state level and institutionally specific policies for student-equity practices not only articulates to federal policy, but also appropriates the ruling relations of mandated policy. Further, the scope of these creative local appropriations is organised within a hierarchical academic field through which particular institutional imperatives, as well as the needs of low-SES students, are negotiated. The analysis demonstrates the vernacularisation of policy in the national rearticulation of global discourses, in appropriation at the level of the state body and in the practices of equity workers.
Keyword Higher education
Equity policy
Institutional ethnography
Student recruitment
University outreach
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 27 September 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Education Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 4 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 04 Nov 2013, 20:09:10 EST by Claire Backhouse on behalf of School of Education