Higher Education and the Common Good

Higher Education and the Common Good

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In the last half century higher education has moved from the fringe to the centre of society and accumulated a long list of social functions. In the English-speaking world, Europe and much of East Asia more than two thirds of all school students enter tertiary education. Bulging at the seams, universities are fountains of new knowledge, engines of prosperity and innovation, drivers of regional growth, skilled migration and global competitiveness, and makers of equality of opportunity. Yet they can do little to stop growing income inequality, and in the English-speaking countries, government rhetoric and policy economics have narrowed their purpose to that of sorting careers for the middle class, partly to justify the rise in tuition fees. Higher education systems have become more competitive and stratified, with value more concentrated at the top, and the collective public benefits of universities are underplayed and underfunded. In short, governments expect both too much and too little of higher education, and its contribution to the common good is being eroded. Yet universities are much much more than factories for graduate earnings. Higher Education and the Common Good argues that this sector has a key role in rebuilding social solidarity and mobility in fractured societies.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 135 x 210 x 21mm | 378g
  • Academic Monographs
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • 0522871097
  • 9780522871098

Review quote

"This data-informed study, widely referencing key scholarship as it covers the historically sociology of higher education, its political economy, and its positional competition and the common good, and informed by Marginson's native Australia.' - The Times Higher Education
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About Simon Marginson

Simon Marginson is Professor of International Higher Education at the UCL Institute of Education at University College London in the UK. He is Director of the ESRC/HEFCE Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), and Joint Editor-in-Chief of Higher Education. From 2006-2013 he was Professor of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne. He works primarily on higher education and globalization, and higher education and social inequality. Hie most recent book is The Dream is Over: The crisis of Clark Kerr's California Idea of higher education (University of California Press, Berkeley, 2016).
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