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Market Heal Thyself: the challenges of a free marketing in higher education

Hemsley-Brown, Jane (2011) Market Heal Thyself: the challenges of a free marketing in higher education Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 21 (2). pp. 115-132.

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The market is now accepted as an organizing principle of the world economy and is gradually replacing a number of political extremes ranging from totalitarianism to communism. The market continues to be viewed as way of addressing a wide range of social, industrial and economic issues: improving economic efficiency; greater value for money; enhancing innovation: a more cost effective way of achieving goals; increasing quality and the ability to compete more effectively internationally. These are just a few of the expectations of effective markets, but can the market be expected to compensate for its own shortcomings? Notwithstanding the continuing and emerging downsides to markets worldwide such as the failure of financial and housing markets, the mechanism continues to be viewed as a panacea for economic, social and political challenges in the delivery of education – even to the point of being viewed as the solution to its own failings. I will begin with a brief introduction to the launch and development of market principles and market mechanisms in higher education, and trace the challenges of markets and marketisation brought about by simultaneous internationalization. Then, I raise questions about the operation of a free market in education as it is poised to become the overriding mechanism for the allocation of resources worldwide. I explore some of the potential damage the market can inflict on higher education, and raise concerns that the achievement of some of the fundamental and core values of higher education are in conflict with the market – including evidence that markets are known to increase social polarization and reduce equality of access.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Date : 7 November 2011
DOI : 10.1080/08841241.2011.623832
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID, J
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 21(2), 115-132(2011). Journal of Marketing for Higher Education is available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 20 Feb 2012 14:00
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 16:30

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