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Higher Education Reform: Looking Back – Looking Forward

Second Revised Edition


Edited By Pavel Zgaga, Ulrich Teichler, Hans G. Schuetze and Andrä Wolter

The central focus of this book is the concept of higher education reform in the light of an international and global comparative perspective. After decades of far-reaching reform, higher education around the world has profoundly changed and now has to face the challenges of the present. This volume takes a close look at these changes, the drivers of change, their effects and possible future scenarios. In their contributions the authors discuss a variety of basic concepts: learning and teaching in higher education; financing and quality assurance; governance change; massification vs. equity and equality; internationalization and mobility, the implementation of lifelong structures in higher education.
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Private Higher Education in Canada and the United States: Development, Reform, and Likely Futures



Over the last three or four decades the relationship between state and market in higher education has changed. In many countries, the role and responsibility of the ‘welfare state’ for many functions that were seen in the decades after World War II as public responsibilities have been diminished and given way to ‘market forces’, that is, to private ownership and control (Schuetze&Alvarez, 2010; see also Scott and Kwiek, in this volume).

Even where the state is still the main provider or funder of higher education, there has been a shift to ‘market mechanisms’ that feature new contractual relations between state and institutions, competition among providers for resources, and external assessment of ‘outputs’ and ‘performance’. Formal education, particularly post-secondary education, has become a ‘service’, marketable and tradable across national borders.

Behind the development towards private education is a transformation of societal and economic values, a “significant rethinking of the economic rationale for higher education” (Altbach 2005: XIX). For a long time, higher education was seen, and still is in a number of countries, as a ‘public good or service’ for which society should pay because of the benefits to society. More recently, however, higher education is increasingly understood as a private ‘good’ or ‘service’ for which the students should pay themselves as higher education benefits primarily the students themselves. In reality, higher education is a ‘mixed good’ benefiting both individuals and society. As “the expansion of higher education has made...

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