There is currently industrial disruption at the University of Sydney. Sydney like universities around the world I guess are moving towards a greater emphasis on research (as measured by publications and grants). At Sydney, there has been a feeling among many staff that teaching is being valued even less. There is now way too much research, especially in the humanities where so much of it is inane, and it will only get worse. The following quote is from an American professor about French universities but it could apply to Sydney, as well as other Australian and British universities:
Another part of the problem is an over-emphasis on research over teaching. Research achievement is certainly an important national goal. But there is a degree of research fetishism that seems sometimes to overwhelm the other values of the university in France, including quality of teaching and learning. This over-emphasis on research within the university is found at the level of the ministry. And it seems to percolate downward as well, to individual campus administrations and to individual faculty. The impression one gets is that only research accomplishment is valued, and there is very little value given to effective teaching, either institutionally or individually. High-prestige research publications are the ticket for career advancement for the faculty member; and nationally visible research achievement is the coin of the realm for university leaders. This value scheme leaves out the undergraduate student almost entirely. But this gives woefully short shrift to the project of creating the next generation of creative, skilled, rigorous thinkers who will constitute the main source of innovation and new knowledge in the France of tomorrow. Currently the universities do not appear to be succeeding in focusing on this crucial task.
The problem is disguised to a certain extent because, in my experience, most students are paying for the degree not for the teaching and learning experience. This is economically rational on their part, because the labour market values the degree (mostly as a right to start ticket) and could care less about the quality of the teaching.