The Public-Private Interaction In Modern Higher Education
The modern higher education has been associated to the concept of nation state ever since its birth in the late 18th century and early 19th century. The university's public function to create and develop the nation's elite was thought to be ultimate. Nevertheless, modern universities have been constantly under the influence of two institutional models, present both in Europe and in other parts of the world (1) the British model, where the modern university has kept the principle of medieval university and higher education is a private good; (2) the European continental model, which was built around the idea of a public good: the Napoleonic university it is such a prototype. The paper re-visits the main characteristics of a public good and analyzes the characteristics of the contemporary higher education debating whether it is or not a public service. First the concept of "public good/service" is defined, and then the undergoing transformations in the higher education sector are analyzed. Two aspects highlight the existing public interest for higher education: in many countries provision of higher education is done in various forms (public, private, hybrid), but the state is still interested in maintaining a fair and transparent competitive environment among the providers of study programs. To consolidate the role of the university in the modern society means to focus on the internal quality assurance of the education process and of the learning outcomes.
Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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