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The Construction of a Commerce Degree in the New Education Market: The Bachelor of Business at the Auckland Institute of Technology 1990-1992

by Trenwith, John Francis

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis analyses the development of one of the first of the non-university degrees in New Zealand enabled by the Education Amendment Act 1900. It focuses on the structures and processes through which the Bachelor of Business was introduced at the Auckland Institute of Technology in 1992.

These structures and processes are analysed at three levels – the wider political, economic and organisational context encapsulated in the notion of ‘education market’: the organisation itself, its history and its structure; and the micro-political process of curriculum construction framed by the particular form of the educational market and the organization within which it took place. The thesis is informed by new institutionalist theory which sees organisational responses to new challenges as drawing on collective conceptions of organisational interests and sedimented structures of beliefs, meanings procedures and strategies. In the events traced here the ‘new’ challenge to the ATI is framed by the politics of the fourth labour government and the legislative changes they brought about in tertiary education which specified and reflected the increasing importance of market forces. The organisation’s response drew on existing conceptions of organisational interests, structures and procedures. The detailed development of the degree proposal was carried out through three distinct approaches enabled and encouraged by these structures.

The thesis is divided into four section. Section I documents the history of the Institute and establishes the significant ideological and organisational legacies of this period, which provided major resources for responding to the possibilities of degree provision. Section II considers the New Zealand macro-economics and political situation between 1984 to 1990. It examined the neo-Liberal economic reforms of that period and how they shaped the reforms in the tertiary sector which culminated in the Education Amendment Act, 1990.

Section III concerns the confluence of the Institute’s legacies and the tertiary education reforms. This coincided with the commencement of Dr. J. C. Hinchcliff’s tenure as Principal, and the model of a technological university which he brought with him from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). The combination of the education reforms and the historical legacies, and this model set the parameters for the detailed construction for the Bachelor of Business Degree.

An account of the processes involved in the creation of three degree proposals, the final one of which was successful, forms the body of Section IV. The nature and consequences of the interdepartmental tensions generated by the circumstances within which the degree was constructed, are traced out together with the different roles played in the process by the Accountancy and Advertising industries.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:The University of Auckland / Te Whare Wananga o Tamaki Makaurau

School Location:New Zealand

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/1999

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