The Banality of Exclusion in Australian Universities

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White, Julie ORCID: 0000-0001-7468-4650 (2017) The Banality of Exclusion in Australian Universities. International Journal of Inclusive Education. ISSN 1464-5173


The systematic exclusion of asylum seekers from Australian higher education reveals much about present day Australia. This essay begins with a brief context and outline of the international refugee crisis and Australia’s reaction. Next, consideration is given to how this nation has identified itself historically and how it has behaved in recent times towards refugees. Australia’s values are then discussed in relation to those of Canada, a similar country in many ways. With this context established, this article then turns to examine the specific issue of access to higher education for young people seeking asylum. Implications of this exclusion and what it means for national identity is discussed. Arendt’s theory of bureaucratic indifference is employed to interpret and understand Australia’s behaviour. The main contribution of this article is the connections made between asylum seekers, educational exclusion, higher education, national identity and Arendt’s theory, that may have application in other contexts.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/13603116.2017.1350321
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1301 Education Systems
Current > Division/Research > College of Arts and Education
Keywords exclusion; asylum seeker; higher education
Citations in Scopus 13 - View on Scopus
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