Findings (3): Policy Practices/Effects

  • Jon Yorke
  • Lesley Vidovich
Part of the Policy Implications of Research in Education book series (PIRE, volume 7)


Chapter 8 is the third of the four findings chapters and it focuses on the ‘practices/effects’ of quality and standards policies within institutions of higher education. Major themes characterising policy enactment included: defensive manoeuvring by institutions; a focus on comparisons and competition between institutions; specification of threshold minimum standards; increased bureaucratisation and workload; improved awareness of the standards movement; and the development of improved assessment tasks within universities. As with ‘influences’ and ‘policy text production’, different dimensions (or subthemes) were evident within themes, and they varied in prominence between different settings from global to local levels. These observed policy effects in institutions were not only in reaction to new government policies, but they often reflected attempts to anticipate policy changes and try to ‘get ahead of the game’ in the competitive global market. Avoidance of ‘naming and shaming’ for under-performance seemed to be a strong motivation for universities to engage with quality and standards policies.


Policy trajectory Policy analysis Policy practices Policy effects 


  1. Australian Government (2009). Transforming Australia’s higher education system. Canberra: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Australian Learning and Teaching Council (2010). Learning and Teaching Academic Standards project: Final report. Author. Accessed 11 May 2016.
  3. Bradley, D., Noonan, P., Nugent, H., & Scales, B. (2008). Review of Australian higher education: Final report. Canberra: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.Google Scholar
  4. No Child Left Behind Act (2001). 20 U.S.C. § 6319 (2008).Google Scholar
  5. U.S. Department of Education (2006). A test of leadership: Charting the future of U.S. higher education. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  6. UK House of Commons (2009). “Students and universities”: Eleventh report of session 2008–09. House of Commons Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee. Accessed 12 May 2016.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon Yorke
    • 1
  • Lesley Vidovich
    • 2
  1. 1.Curtin UniversityBentleyAustralia
  2. 2.The University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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