“Nousferatu”: Are corporate consultants extracting the lifeblood from universities?

Deb Verhoeven, Ben Eltham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


    Universities and management consultants are locked in a danse macabre. We turn to the vampire genre to elaborate on the relationship of consulting companies to the university sector, focusing on the University of Alberta in Canada and Monash University in Australia. We are academics with long experience of the consequences of change management and the employment of consultants in universities. Deb is sufficiently “long in the tooth” that her entire career spans the period of heightened government and private sector intervention in Australian universities that began in the late 1980s and more recently she has had the experience of watching this process occur again, at speed, in Canada. Ben is a representative of the National Tertiary Education Union at Australia’s largest university. He is also an experienced journalist who has reported on Australian higher education and public policy for more than two decades. The essay argues that consultants and universities are engaged in a mutually dependent relationship designed to sustain each other at the expense of the public.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages23
    JournalReview of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 2023


    • consultants
    • new public management
    • universities
    • vampires
    • zombies

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