Marketization and the Transformations of Australian Higher Education
The dissertation discusses the development and influence of marketization, with a in-depth study of Australian higher education reforms in the past two decades. As the coming of the globalization, new liberalism, new public managerialism, and massification of higher education, ‘marketization’ has become one of the most important forces which have lead the development of higher education in many countries since 1980s. Base on the market theories, the dissertation discusses the definition, purposes, and approaches of marketization. Marketization emphasizes how to make use of the concept of price mechanism, free competition, choices of consumers and perfect information. Through deregulation, privatization and quasi-market mechanism, higher education is supposed to be in a better position to strengthen its efficiency, effectiveness, while improving quality and diversity at the same time. Driven by the trend of marketization, the idea and operation of higher education have been influenced at different degrees. The dissertation illustrates how marketization affects Australian higher education, with both advantages and disadvantages. This study argues that since late 1980s, higher education in Australia was directed by the government gradually to the development of marketization. The Australian experience shows that if mainly driven by market forces, the aims of greater efficiency and effectiveness are very likely to be achieved at the cost of quality and diversity. Besides, the over-emphasis of market apparently has a negative impact on institutional autonomy, which is the tradition universities cherished for centuries. Marketization of higher education also runs the risk of commodifying knowledge and therefore challenges the value universities used to place on disinterested research. Finally, the dissertation concludes the study by providing the following policy implications for Taiwan’s higher education: 1. It will narrow the scope of higher education, if its economic function is over-emphasized. 2. The compliance with the needs of market may make university education too instrumental. 3. Successful higher education reforms have to consider both entreprenuership and academic values. 4. Marketization may ignore social justice, therefore greater efforts should be taken to enhance higher education access and equity..
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