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Reshaping the UniversityThe Rise of the Regulated Market in Higher Education$
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David Palfreyman and Ted Tapper

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659821

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659821.001.0001

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Universities and Markets

Universities and Markets

(II) Theory and Critical Debate

Chapter:
(p.89) 5 Universities and Markets
Source:
Reshaping the University
Author(s):

David Palfreyman

Ted Tapper

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659821.003.0005

While accepting that the reason for charging students at English universities full-cost fees was economic this chapter also explores the neoliberal thinking behind the policy. Higher education is a private and a public good and thus it is only fair that its recipients should bear some of the costs of its provision, and universities will take their teaching responsibilities more seriously if they are in a market context where students act like rational consumers. While exploring the issues, the chapter draws upon comparative national examples of students paying fees. Despite a widespread global move in this direction, there is no evidence to demonstrate what the ideal balance for higher education should be. This is a matter resolved by political struggle and economic necessity. While conceding that mass higher education systems are likely to be privately-funded, the chapter highlights the possibility of market failures and the need for state regulation.

Keywords:   variable fees, public funding, private funding, neoliberalism, public good, private good, consumers, the market, new providers, market failure

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