, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 157-175

International trends in the public and private financing of higher education

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Abstract

Beginning by analyzing the major qualitative and quantitative changes in higher education around the world, this article examines international trends in their financial implications. It then demonstrates the state’s inability to bear the entire rising financial burden, and explores the role of self-financing, and of the non-profit and for-profit private sectors, in sharing the enrolment and the cost burden. Examples of cost-sharing from around the world are given, with an analysis of the complexities and ambiguities of the meanings of public and private in reference to financing higher educational institutions. A discussion of private–public partnerships follows, and of the role that non-profit and for-profit cross-border higher education plays in financing. The conclusion offers eight policy themes for coping with the underlying situation of financial strategy and the simultaneous need to supplement scarce public revenues with private revenues, meanwhile increasing access to and participation in higher education for those not yet benefiting from it.