Partnership as Student Power: democracy and governance in a neoliberal university

Aidan Cornelius-Bell, Piper A. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


In the wake of Flinders University’s radical organisational restructure, we reflect on what guided the decisions and process, namely a neoliberal understanding and framing of higher education and corporal, top-down managerial systems. We explore this current climate of the neoliberal university and argue that student power is once again needed to shift the conception of university ‘success’ back into a democratic form of governance. However, rather than student power constituting of a traditional 1970s form of picketing protests, we argue that a model of working within current structures is prudent. Partnership with students initiatives provide unexpected hope for student participation in rebuilding the conception of the democratic university as a public good, but also highlight the relevance of student ‘activism’ in 2019.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21 - 30
Number of pages10
JournalRadical Teacher
Early online dateDec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • organisational restructure
  • neoliberal
  • managerial systems
  • university
  • democratic


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