Although academia has still to fully shake off some of the historical challenges to full and equal inclusion of creative arts practice, the system has moved forward in ways that many who experienced the Dawkins reforms could not have envisaged. In recent years, some universities have made significant investments in creative arts infrastructure with new buildings dedicated to arts practice and teaching, and of course public engagement, springing up across the country.
Inside tertiary arts organisations, changes have been taking place, particularly in curriculum design and teaching practice that are reshaping the learning experience for arts students. And although the research management system still has some way to travel if arts practice is to be equally recognised and funded, there are signs that attitudes towards artistic activities may be shifting.
In this edition of NiTRO:
Jodie McAlister (Deakin) shares how her fears of the effect of a commercially published book upon her academic career proved to be unfounded; Beata Batorowicz (University of Southern Queensland) reflects upon the influence of working in a regional university on her own practice.
Neil Haddon (University of Tasmania) and Patrick West (Deakin) describe new programs designed to recognise the realities of professional art practice while Ramesh Nithiyendran (UNSW) and Leah Coutts (Queensland Conservatorium Griffith) outline changing teaching practices designed to prepare Australia’s future cultural leaders and arts professionals.
Arlo Langham charts the experiences of a university co-sponsored Art Prize as he invites applications for the next round; and Lisa Grocott (Monash) explores the changing role of design.