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International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, v12 n1 p9-29 2013

This paper examines the nexus between Indigenous rights, the modern university, and graduate attributes and theorises the potential of the university in postcolonial democracies to address Indigenous rights in its professional education programs. It posits the postcolonial professional as one who has been educated about internationally recognised human rights and economic justice mechanisms, provisions and frameworks within a supportive university policy environment that has focussed both academic work and the formulation of graduate attributes in order that new professionals, emerging from the modern university, will have the skills and knowledge to proactively contribute to the engagement of the professions within postcolonial states. In an era where government funding for universities is becoming increasingly tied to them being able to help businesses and governments to achieve desirable socioeconomic outcomes, and with myriad government policy drivers focussed on improvement of provision of opportunities and services to Indigenous and other traditionally oriented communities globally, this paper investigates the link between graduate attributes and a university's organisational culture to examine the capacity of professional education in the modern university and the new graduates it produces to reorientate from a colonial to a postcolonial engagement with Indigenous peoples. The paper describes international corporate social justice and Indigenous rights mechanisms and their significance for the education of professionals. The paper finds that a university focus on graduate attributes has an influence.

Descriptors: Professional Education, Civil Rights, Indigenous Populations, Educational Policy, Universities, Educational Finance, College Graduates, Foreign Countries, Pacific Islanders, Strategic Planning, Equal Education, Cultural Pluralism, Organizational Culture, Corporations, Social Justice

Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society. ANZCIES Secretariat, Curtin University, Box U1987, Perth, WA Australia. Tel: +61-8-9266-7106; Fax: +61-8-9266-3222; e-mail: editor[at]; Web site:

Autor: Ma Rhea, Zane


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