CHERE@LU Working Paper Series
Strategic and Governance Services Centre
Governments require higher education providers (HEPs) to be transparent in their use of public funds and have developed specialised higher education (HE) data infrastructure to enable the data transfer from HEPs to government departments. In 2018, Australia’s Department of Education, Skills and Employment launched Transforming the Collection of Student Information (TCSI) to enhance HE data infrastructure for student data transfer. This critical discourse study explores the discourses, discursive strategies and perspectives surrounding TCSI. Findings included HEP issues and concerns that the interviewees believed were inadequately addressed or ignored despite the Department’s claims of extensive engagement with HEPs to achieve mutually beneficial objectives. This study highlights the importance of trust and authenticity among stakeholders involved in major HE data infrastructure redevelopment projects and is the first known study of its kind in this context. Recommendations for TCSI and similar projects are provided, and broader implications for data infrastructure are discussed.
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