In higher education, privatisation is usually taken to mean any shift away from an acclaimed and perceived ideal of ‘the university’ being a publicly funded and free public good, as in the period of post–World War II welfare state subsidy in the United Kingdom up to the mid-1970s. Within the fierce politics of higher education, as in the rows and protests over the introduction of undergraduate tuition fees in the United Kingdom in the late 1990s, it is a term used alongside ‘marketisation’ and conjures up a process of change whereby higher education is subjected to commodification, commercialisation, competition, and consumerisation. Critics assert that its public good role and its contribution to the common good is being devalued in a process that has been more ...

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