- Políticas de mercado, Estado y universidad: hacia una conceptualización y explicación del fenómeno de la mercantilización de la Educación Superior
- Revista de Educación
- Volume | Issue number
- 2013 | 360
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Education commodification is a global trend that evokes a range of meanings and impact dimensions. This article has two main objectives. First, to explain the phenomenon of higher education commodification based on its causal and agential factors. Second, to describe this phenomenon with a multi-dimensional focus. In relation to the first objective, the higher education commodification trend is contextualized in the current stage of economic globalization. Economic globalization is shown to generate a set of structural conditions that are highly conducive to the emergence of a range of pro-market transformations in the higher education field. In relation to the second objective, a conceptual definition, it is argued that education commodification is a process constituted by three core dimensions: liberalization, privatization and commercialization. Despite the fact that these dimensions are usually interwoven in reality, each invokes processes that can be differentiated sharply by analysis. Thus, liberalization consists of the introduction of market rules and principles such as competition and choice in the higher education sector. Privatization means the increasing participation of private parties in one or more areas of higher education policy (ownership, provision or funding). And commercialization means the intensification of higher education services sales and purchases, both at the national and the international level. The article explores the international trends in each of the education commodification dimensions and shows how each of them is associated to concrete education policies formulated and implemented by states. Consequently, it is observed that, although economic globalization generates the structural conditions for commodification, states plays a strategic, decisive role in how commodification actually comes to pass.
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