In the latter part of the 20th century the locus of state regulation became increasingly vested in authoritative technologies.
The forms of regulation characteristic of the modern state have been vested in social and economic institutions in which hierarchies of authoritative officers used institutionally specific technologies (e.g. the double entry ledger; the school roll); to regulate, record and report on the behaviour of institutional inmates. These institutions constituted what Foucault called ‘disciplinary societies’. In these disciplinary societies regulation was manifested through the managed passage of individuals from one closed environment to another (Deleuze 1992).
In the latter part of the 20th century the locus of state regulation became increasingly vested in authoritative technologies, such as standards, frameworks, and performance criteria which could operate across institutional and jurisdictional borders. The practice of regulation shifted from direct surveillance of behaviour to the auditing of records demonstrating compliance. The spaces in which regulation is practiced have through such practices become more fluid and ambiguous (Thrift 2005).
In tertiary education this trend is particularly evident in the work of national and international education systems to create qualification frameworks with auditable standards, and through cross-jurisdictional agreements on qualification architecture and credit arrangements. Since 1992 Australia has been regarded as a leader in the application of these mechanisms in the vocational education and training (VET) sector.
Drawing on the work of Foucault; Latour; Thrift and Poovey, this presentation illustrates the shift to standards and audit-based regulation with reference to international trends and a focus on the Australian VET sector; and asks what might be the implications of this regulatory turn for higher education with the introduction of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).
Speaker: Helen Smith
Wednesday 21 August: 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm
City Campus Library, Seminar Room 1 (B10-05-011)