The challenges and opportunities for professional societies in higher education in Australasia: A PEST analysis

  • Iain Doherty University of Auckland
  • Caroline Steel The University of Queensland
  • Dominique Parrish University of Wollongong


Professional societies, established to support academic and professional staff in higher education, need to be vigilant of regional and international trends that affect their core business. In this paper, we provide an analysis of political, economic, social and technological factors that are impacting upon the Australasian higher education environment through considering the case of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite). Drawing on two ascilite membership surveys along with the relevant literature we identify significant challenges for professional societies and offer some strategic insights for similar regional societies and their executive teams.


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Author Biographies

Iain Doherty, University of Auckland
Director of eLearning Pedagogical Support Unit, Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, The University of Hong Kong, (formerly Director, Learning Technology Unit, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland)
Caroline Steel, The University of Queensland
School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies
Faculty of Arts, The University of Queensland
Dominique Parrish, University of Wollongong
Director Learning, Teaching and the Student Experience
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of Wollongong