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Public Good of Higher Education

The phrase “higher education for the public good” is one that is widely used across the global higher education landscape. Despite its widespread use, the concept of the public good of higher education is interpreted in a variety of ways across disciplines and intellectual traditions.

This entry categorizes perspectives on higher education as a public good through three broad constructs: (1) public good and classical economic liberalism, (2) public good and progressive liberalism, and (3) public good and theological traditions. For each of these constructs, the philosophical roots of the concept are presented, together with allies and advocates of the concept, policies associated with these visions of the public good, and ways in which institutions across higher education sectors situate themselves within these conceptions of the ...

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