Significant change to Australian higher education occurred between March, 1987 and March, 1996, under the direction of a Federal Labor Government. At one level, the period witnessed an increase in the provision of higher education and variation in the criteria used to grant student entry. Such change represented a crisis in higher education's traditional or 'qualified-entry' settlement which led to its resettling around a more 'diversified-entry' arrangement. The organising logic of this diversified-entry was characterised by the discourses of 'contest' (fairness in competition) rather than 'sponsorship' (selection by association), although the latter appears to have been just better 'hidden'.
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