Mr Joseph (Mark) Thomas

PhD Candidate (Economics)

BA (hons), Business & Administration


College of Business, Law and Governance Townsville

Email: joseph.thomas1@my.jcu.edu.au

Tel: (+61) 07 478 14947

Propensity Score Matching for Enhanced Valuation of Flexible Learning in the Neoliberal Australian Political Economy

Flexible learning options (FLOs) for students at risk of high school disengagement are a prominent feature of Australia’s educational landscape. Amidst the rapid neoliberalisation of Australian education, there is mounting demand to substantiate FLOs’ ability to improve students’ long-term economic outcomes. This study queries FLOs as sites of resistance to the neoliberal valuation paradigm by investigating performativity and (counter) praxis in FLO goal setting, program design, beneficiary selection, impact assessment and program cycle management. Propensity score matching is utilised to help substantiate these programs' economic and psycho-social benefits in order to broaden the empirical basis for educational policymaking in Australia.