Social inclusion practices of elite universities in Australia and Malaysia: a comparative perspective

Mohamed Yusuf, R 2015, Social inclusion practices of elite universities in Australia and Malaysia: a comparative perspective, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Management, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Social inclusion practices of elite universities in Australia and Malaysia: a comparative perspective
Author(s) Mohamed Yusuf, R
Year 2015
Abstract Social inclusion as a concept in higher education features the broader elements of outreach activities, access initiatives and engagement of students in the teaching and learning process. The increased importance of social inclusion approaches is attributed to awareness that insufficient skills and incompetent levels of education may lead to poverty and social exclusion. Despite government emphasis on greater social inclusion, elite universities are still widely perceived as socially exclusive institutions. The influence from government and increasingly competitive higher education market have arguably been dictating these universities’ capacity in revamping their existing practices and formulating and implementing more socially inclusive ones. This research explores how participants within four selected elite universities in Australia and Malaysia perceive the influence of multiple institutional logics on their practices of social inclusion. This research utilised a cross-country-based case study approach, with four elite universities as the primary sample cases.

The findings revealed that social inclusion practices of elite universities in both countries are affected more by government policy frameworks than by the higher education market features and they do not seem to be adapting innovatively in broadening their social inclusiveness. Also, patterns of adaptations are country-specific and are not cross-country influenced. A similarity of practices between elite universities in each country is evident. In Australia, patterns of adaptations may include one of passive, mixed or active, whereas in Malaysia adaptations are either passive or mixed. The findings also revealed that the internal value of academic elitism and the element of quality from the higher education market features have significantly shaped the extent of social inclusion practices across the four elite universities. Overall, the key findings of the thesis indicated that the conceptualisation of social inclusion practices of the four elite universities is underpinned not by purely economic rationalities but by shared socially constructed meanings from embedded values within the two groups of government and market logics in Australia and Malaysia.

The research contributes to understanding how a plurality of institutional logics affects social inclusion practices in elite universities, which has implications for higher education institutions, governments, academics, the wider community and future research.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Management
Keyword(s) Australia
Social inclusion
Higher education
Elite universities
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Created: Mon, 21 Dec 2015, 11:26:56 EST by Denise Paciocco
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