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ERIC Number: EJ953443
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7925
Who Shall Pay for the Public Good? Comparative Trends in the Funding Crisis of Public Higher Education
Lebeau, Yann; Stumpf, Rolf; Brown, Roger; Lucchesi, Martha Abrahao Saad; Kwiek, Marek
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, v42 n1 p137-157 2012
The aftermath of the international financial crisis of 2008/2009 and current economic downturn in the world economy has unsurprisingly put publicly-funded higher education (HE) systems under immense pressure in most parts of the world. Added to measures of the past 20 years, aiming at introducing cost effective management approaches imported from the business world and at pushing universities to seek new revenue streams, the depth of recent cuts in countries like the UK, the US, or Chile has the potential to transform the very essence of public higher education. But should this be regarded as an ineluctable world trend? And is the amount of money received from the State the defining feature of public universities? In this context, public policy choices are made that have different--if not contradictory--short term and long term effects on student participation, on pedagogies, on research orientations and beyond, on those "vital public missions" of universities, including "equipping citizens for occupations needed by the public, advancing social mobility, contributing to the creativity and continuity of culture, and informing the public sphere and preparing citizens to participate in it". This "Compare" forum seeks to contribute to this debate through a comparative illustration of ongoing trends in the transformation of national public higher education landscapes. Drawing on their expert knowledge and/or professional experience, Roger Brown, Marek Kwiek, Martha Lucchesi, and Rolf Stumpf shed light on and offer preliminary analysis of the most recent development in the UK, Poland, Brazil, South Africa, and a few other contexts. From the UK, where "no major system has ever gone so far in channelling funds for teaching through the student" (Roger Brown), through the highly marketised Polish HE system, where expected demographics "may lead to the re-monopolization of the system by the public sector", and onto the question of the pertinence of the "distinction between public and private benefits of higher education constitute a valid basis for charging higher education tuition fees in a developing country such as South Africa" (Rolf Stumpf), these contextualised discussions of crisis-led scenarios all raise more fundamental issues regarding the "raison d'etre" of a publicly funded and publicly oriented higher education. (Contains 4 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil; Poland; South Africa; United Kingdom