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ERIC Number: ED503073
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
Can Public Research Universities Compete? Research & Occasional Paper Series: CSHE.17.06
Brint, Steven
Center for Studies in Higher Education
Many leaders of public research universities worry about falling behind private research universities at a time when private university finances have improved dramatically and state support for higher education has declined. In this paper, I provide grounds for a more optimistic view of the competitive position of public research universities. I develop two "business models" for higher education: the public research university model is based on high volume of enrollments and low cost per student, while the private university model is based on low volume and high cost. I show that the private model, at its best, generates a high proportion of future leaders, stronger educational reputations, and leads to the accumulation of more institutional wealth. However, the public model remains viable and successful, principally because it typically generates larger faculties. The total societal contribution of public research universities, as measured by human capital development and research publication, is greater than that of private universities. (Contains 7 tables and 26 notes.)
Center for Studies in Higher Education. University of California, Berkeley, 771 Evans Hall #4650, Berkeley, CA 94720-4650. Tel: 510-642-5040; Fax: 510-643-6845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of California, Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A