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Proceedings

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Abstract

The fiscal crisis of higher education currently is being resolved largely through a financing policy of privatization, a pattern that increasingly shifts responsibility to individual students and their families. The politics of privatization makes it ever more difficult for lower-income students to attend college and has become a major financial burden for middle-income people. Beyond the direct financial consequences, privatization has increasingly subordinated the research and educational missions of higher education to the countervailing imperatives of economic growth and competitiveness. Privatization has enhanced the entrepreneurial and corporate features of universities and colleges, increasingly shifting the values of higher education away from notions of common property and the common good to individual self-interest and careerism. The autonomy of higher education institutions has been weakened, both the economic status and professional independence of the faculty have been undermined, and students are increasingly defined as consumers.

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