I'm sure most people have heard of Richard Hil and his book Whackademia. If you haven't heard his interview on ABC it's up online here and definitely worth a listen!
Inger Mewburn has written a critique on this book which I think has valid points, although I do disagree with some of Inger's comments. I graduated from my undergraduate studies only five years ago and I did engage in debate and intelligent conversation, I did feel well equipped for the workplace and this was because of a few passionate, talented, highly intelligent teachers (and not because of some teaching and learning program, or a first year experience survey). I got a lot out of my lecturer's (even the odd ones who hadn't updated their slides for decades) because I could engage with them and draw from their knowledge. I now tutor students who sometimes surprise and delight me with their work because we can engage in higher order thinking, but this is only the experience for a few students who have this capacity to engage on this level, the others miss out (as it sounds as though Inger did) because we suffer teaching cutbacks that reduce the time that I have to deliver content.
This is indicative of the different experiences of working within the tertiary sector in Australia.