International Perspectives on Financing Higher Education

pp 6-24

Competing for Public Resources: Higher Education and Academic Research in Europe — A Cross-Sectoral Perspective

  • Marek Kwiek


The chapter focuses on the increasing cross-sectoral competition for public resources between various types of public sector institutions in Europe and its implications for future public funding for both higher education and academic research. It views the major models of the institution of the modern (Continental) university and the major types of the modern institution of the state, and of the welfare state in particular, as traditionally closely linked (following Becher and Kogan, 1992; Kogan and Hanney, 2000; Kogan et al., 2000). Historically, in the postwar period in Europe, the unprecedented growth of welfare states and state-funded public services was paralleled by the unprecedented growth of public universities. The massification of higher education in Europe coincided with the growth of the welfare state in general. We are witnessing massification processes in higher education and far-reaching restructuring processes of welfare states. The major implication is the fierce competition for public resources, studied in this chapter from a cross-sectoral perspective, in which the future levels of public funding for higher education in tax-based European systems are highly dependent on social attitudes toward what higher education brings to society and the economy, relative to what other claimants to the public purse can bring to them.