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Articles on John Dawkins

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Robert Menzies established a ‘buffer body’ between government and universities. Shutterstock

Don’t just blame the Libs for treating universities harshly. Labor’s 1980s policies ushered in government interference

Liberal Prime Minister Robert Menzies insisted universities should have protection from political interference. But Bob Hawke’s education minister John Dawkins dismantled these protections.
The Dawkins reforms to higher education in 1989 saw the creation of HECS and arguably the biggest shake-up of higher education the country had seen - but how did it come about? AAP

Cabinet papers 1989: Hawke government considered interest on HECS

The release of the 1988-89 cabinet documents show that the Hawke government’s plans for Australian higher education were in some ways as radical as the policies that Education Minister Christopher Pyne…
You might have never heard of them but the Dawkins reforms changed pretty much everything about higher education in Australia. AAP Image/National Archives of Australia

Book review: The Dawkins Revolution, 25 Years On

Why is Australian higher education the way it is today? To answer this we must go back to Labor minister John Dawkins, who initiated a radical suite of reforms a quarter of a century ago. His impact on…