Skip to main content

The Funding of Higher Education: Lessons from Europe’s Past

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Educational Research: Ethics, Social Justice, and Funding Dynamics

Part of the book series: Educational Research ((EDRE,volume 10))

Abstract

Impassioned contemporary critiques of the alleged ‘marketisation’ of the concept of the institution of the university – now supposedly subject to the inexorable performative logic of neoliberal governmentality – routinely imply a preceding period when university education functioned innocent of commercial and financial imperatives. Yet acquaintance with the fiscal history of the European university, from its medieval ecclesial origins to its modern embrace by sophisticated state educational bureaucracies, reveals this impression of innocence to be a myth. From their foundation in the Middle Ages, through the convulsions of Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment and Industrialisation, European universities have by necessity been deeply entangled with the operations of money and corporate power. Commonly struggling to maintain a viable resource base, and endemically prey to corruption and misappropriation, universities have been subject to the instrumental patronage of Church, Crown, city and state over many centuries. Stamped by both successes and failures, the pursuit of financial sustainability has produced imaginative collaborations and questionable compacts, the best and worst of which offer valuable lessons for future funding models of European Higher Education.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

eBook
USD 16.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

References

  • Anderson, R., & Lynch, M. (2003). The University of Edinburgh: An illustrated history. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Appold, K. G. (2008). Academic life and teaching in post-reformation Lutheranism. In R. Kolb (Ed.), Lutheran ecclesiastical culture, 1550–1675 (pp. 65–116). Brill: Leiden.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ash, M. (2006). Bachelor of what, master of whom? The Humboldt myth and historical transformations of higher education in German-speaking Europe and the US. European Journal of Education, 41(2), 245–267.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ash, M. (2008). From ‘Humboldt’ to ‘Bologna’: History as discourse in higher education reform debates in German-speaking Europe. In B. Jessop et al. (Eds.), Education and the knowledge-based economy in Europe (pp. 41–63). Sense: Rotterdam.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bann, J. (2013). Legal terminology in the eighteenth-century Scottish university. Scottish Cultural Review of Language and Literature, 19. n.pag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brockliss, L. (2000). Gown and town: The university and the city in Europe, 1200–1800. Minerva, 38, 147–170.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davie, G. E. (1961). The democratic intellect: Scotland and her universities in the nineteenth century. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Davis, R. A. (2015). Archiving the source: Pasts and futures of the humanities. Educational Theory, 65(6), 617–634.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • De Ridder-Symoens, H. (1996). Management and resources. In H. De Ridder-Symoens (Ed.), A history of the University in Europe Vol 2: Universities in early modern Europe (1500–1800) (pp. 155–208). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gerbod, P. (2004). Resources and management. In W. Rüegg (Ed.), A history of the University in Europe Vol 3: Universities in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (1800–1945) (pp. 111–122). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gieysztor, A. (1992). Management and resources. In H. De Ridder-Symoens (Ed.), A history of the University in Europe Vol 1: Universities in the Middle Ages (pp. 108–144). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Graham, G. (2013). The university: A critical comparison of three ideal types. In R. Sugden et al. (Eds.), Leadership and cooperation in academia (pp. 1–17). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

    Google Scholar 

  • Israel, J. (2002). Radical enlightenment: Philosophy and the making of modernity, 1650–1750. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Keller, V. (2015). Knowledge and the public interest, 1575–1725. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Kwiek, M. (2008). Revisiting the classical German idea of the university. Polish Journal of Philosophy, 2(1), 55–78.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leerssen, J. (2006). Nationalism and the cultivation of culture. Nations and Nationalism, 12(4), 559–578.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lindroth, S. (1976). A history of Uppsala University 1477–1977. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moodie, G. (2016). Universities, disruptive technologies, and continuity in higher education. London: Palgrave.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Morozov, O. (2010). Wilhelm Von Humboldt and Berlin University: A new look at the origin of the Humboldt myth. Moscow: National Research University.

    Google Scholar 

  • Neave, G. (2012). The evaluative state, institutional autonomy and re-engineering higher education in Western Europe. London: Palgrave.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Osipian, A. L. (2004). Corruption as a legacy of the medieval university. Annual conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Kansas City.

    Google Scholar 

  • Osipian, A. L. (2008). Corruption and coercion: University autonomy versus state control. European Education, 40(3), 27–48.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Perkin, H. (2007). History of universities. In International handbook of higher education (pp. 159–205). Dordrecht: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rashdall, H. (1895). The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages (Vol. 1, pp. 17–18). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Readings, B. (1996). The University in Ruins. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rothblatt, S. (1997). The writing of university history at the end of another century. Oxford Review of Education, 23(2), 151–167.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rubin, M. (2012). The European medieval universities, from the past and today. International Higher Education, 67, 9–11.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van Rinsum, H., & Koops, W. (2016). University of Utrecht 1636–1676: Res ecclesia, res publica and … res pecunia. History of Education, 45(1), 1–17.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Varsamopoulou, E. (2013). The fate of the humanities, the fate of the university. The European Legacy, 18(1), 59–73.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vernon, K. (2001). Calling the tune: British universities and the state, 1880–1914. History of Education, 30(3), 251–271.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Willis, R. (1984). The Universities of Europe, 1100–1914. Cranbury: Associated University Presses.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Robert A. Davis .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Davis, R.A. (2018). The Funding of Higher Education: Lessons from Europe’s Past. In: Smeyers, P., Depaepe, M. (eds) Educational Research: Ethics, Social Justice, and Funding Dynamics. Educational Research, vol 10. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73921-2_13

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73921-2_13

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-73920-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-73921-2

  • eBook Packages: EducationEducation (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics