USQ: An e-University for an e-World

  • James C Taylor
  • Peter Swannell
Keywords: technological change, higher education economy, continuing education, organisational culture, transition


The rapid rate of technological change and the rapidly growing number of institutions now embarking on Internet-based delivery means that more institutions are involved in distance education than at any other time in history. As institutions throughout the world increasingly offer courses via the Internet, there will emerge a global higher education economy in which institutions will face global competition for students, especially those involved in continuing professional education and lifelong learning. The emergence of the global higher education economy could well act as a catalyst for overcoming the institutional inertia that typifies the organisational culture of many universities. This transition from the Industrial to the Information Age was encapsulated by Dolence and Norris (1995), who argued that to survive organisations would need to change from rigid, formula driven entities to organisations that were "fast, flexible, and fluid" (p. 31) -- adjectives not typically used to describe the salient features of universities! This case study outlines the response of a well-established dual mode institution, The University of Southern Queensland (USQ), to the "gales of creative destruction" (Schumpeter, 1950, p. 84) that currently beset higher education institutions throughout the world.

Author Biographies

James C Taylor
Professor Jim Taylor is Vice-President (Global Learning Services) at The University of Southern Queensland, Australia. He is currently a member of the AVCC Standing Committee on Information Policy. Other professional affiliations include membership of the Higher Education Advisory Board for Education Network Australia and the Higher Education Information Technology Consultative Forum. He holds the position of Vice-President for Australia and Oceania of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). In 1999 Professor Taylor was awarded the ICDE Individual Prize of Excellence for an active role in ICDE and internationally over many years with significant contributions made to research and development in the field of open and distance learning.
Peter Swannell
Peter Swannell has been the Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of Southern Queensland since November 1996, after joining the University as Foundation Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Surveying in 1990. His specialist interests were in non-linear structural behaviour, the dynamic behaviour of engineering structures and the stress analysis of welded structures. He has numerous publications in Journals and Conference Proceedings. His recent publications and addresses have been centered upon the role of The University of Southern Queensland as a world leader in on-campus/off-campus and Internet-based education. Professor Swannell is a Director of USQEd Pty Ltd, a company wholly-owned by USQ, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Empire Theatres Pty Ltd and a former Deputy Chair of the Australian Research Council’s Research Training and Careers Committee.
How to Cite
Taylor, J. C., & Swannell, P. (2001). USQ: An e-University for an e-World. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 2(1).
Research Articles