The Carnegie Corporation and the Modern Australian University

Julia Horne


In the 1920s and 1930s the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) funded several trips of specially-selected men to report confidentially on the situation and character of Australian universities. This paper examines these reports to understand the CCNY’s influence on the modernizing of Australia’s universities. In particular, the paper examines how the Carnegie Corporation helped develop new notions of what an Australian university should be in an age of increasing internationalism. These reports represented a new phase in Australian-American relations, one under the radar of official diplomatic relations, and explores the ‘soft diplomacy’ behind the CCNY’s interwar interest in Australian universities.

Dr Julia Horne is University Historian and Senior Research Fellow in the History Department, University of Sydney. Her latest book, co-authored with Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Sherington, is Sydney, the Making of a Public University (Miegunyah, 2012)

Full Text: