Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

Mannkal Student Internship Blog

Jake Fraser – Australian democratic history: a dying breed | Week 11

Jake Fraser

20 February 2017

Welcome to the second last instalment of the Melbourne experience.

This week I’ve been kept on my toes by a range of tasks, collaborating with a number of IPA researchers. Earlier in the week I finished my regulation research, and began working with Bella d’Abrera on the quality of undergraduate history degrees in Australia.

Hydrating in the office at 'hydration station'

In 2014 the IPA published ‘The end of history … in Australian universities’, which sought to address the failures of universities in teaching students the foundations of Australian liberal democracy. The report highlighted how only 6 subjects, out of 739, featured the study of British history after the colonisation of Australia.

Exacerbating this is the fact that more universities offer courses on the history of popular culture than on intellectual history – this is an issue that must be addressed.

Since 2014, many universities have expanded the number of undergraduate history courses offered. But while the quantity of units has increased, the quality has continued to decline.

In addition to this work, I have also been helping Morgan Begg in his study of the growth of environmental regulations since the late 1970’s, as well as contributing research to the 2016 audit of fundamental legal rights breaches in Australia. It’s been a busy week.

As seen below, social club last week was a trip out to watch the women’s AFL. A hard fought match in front of a 3,000 strong crowd which saw the crows get up over the bulldogs!

An awesome night at the footy!

Signing off for now,

Jake

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