Education markets under construction

Komljenovic, Janja (2016) Education markets under construction. In: ECPR, 2016-09-07 - 2016-09-10.

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This paper focuses on the question of how higher education is being transformed as a consequence of social processes broadly understood as ‘marketization’. It is engaged in mapping the broad terrain of changes, on the one hand, and takes a series of case studies to explore the different actors, projects and outcomes for higher education as a sector, on the other. I propose a categorisation of actors that are part of market-making in the higher education sector, which serves as a useful heuristic in bringing specific processes to the fore. The category of the changing university reveals that it acts as a seller as well as a buyer of services and goods. A variety of actors strategically work to change the status of a service, from one that is not commodified to one that is. These actors are constantly seeking the means through which they are moving over, and making the boundary (understood as a particular mode of structural selectivity of institutedness that frames the university as a public good space) between the university and the wider commercial world, more porous so as quicken the pace and thicken the space of market exchanges. Next category – PPP (private-public) partnerships) – refers to a situation when a public university and a private company form new structural arrangements in order to together create and expand their markets. Brokers are actors who are forging (market) relations between buyers (who are normally universities) and sellers (who are normally companies). Brokers’ role in re-sectoralisating higher education is to bring in and broker other markets and actors into the higher education sector. Enhancers are actors who provide structures and forms which enable actors to speed up the processes of instituting markets. Extractors are extracting value out of the higher education sector by building competition and structured exchange, but without monetary transaction. These cases together illuminate the spatial, temporal, social and political dynamics at play in the processes of global education ‘market-making’ at macro, meso and micro levels. They are also fruitful for reflecting upon existing theoretical learnings.

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17 Oct 2016 10:56
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11 Jun 2019 03:52