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Abstract

Higher education’s financial crisis is being resolved largely through a politics of privatization, changing patterns of financing that increasingly shift responsibilities to individual students and their families. The politics of privatization makes it ever more difficult for low income students to attend college and has become a major financial burden for middle income people. Beyond cost shifting, privatization has increasingly subordinated the research and educational missions of higher education to imperatives of economic growth and competitiveness. Privatization has enhanced the entrepreneurial and corporate features of universities and colleges, changing the values of higher education away from notions of common property and the common good to individual self-interest and careerism. The autonomy of institutions of higher education has been weakened, and the economic status and professional independence of the faculty have been undermined.

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