n Journal of Public Administration - The changing political economy of higher education : public investments and university strategies

Volume 48, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This article examines the changing global political economy of higher education, the impacts and implications for universities and government policies, and the strategies that may address these changing conditions. The analysis considers the pursuit of higher education as a priority for public investment, using the U.S. experience as an illustration. Two models for the 21st century University are evaluated: the Entrepreneurial University and the Engaged University. The analysis projects changes that will dramatically reshape the academic organisation of universities as well as the global landscape of higher education in the decades ahead. Those in public administration and related fields have an important role to play in developing a new vision of the public responsibilities of the 21st century universities.

A global transformation is underway in higher education. Dramatic shifts are taking place in the distribution of higher education resources that are changing what, where, how, by whom, and to whom higher education services are provided and funded. The emerging higher education environment is more turbulent and uncertain, frequently more threatening, and assuredly more competitive than only a few decades ago. The transformation is at an early stage and will intensify in strength and complexity over succeeding decades, driven by new technology, shifting educational costs, the reshaping of core domains of scholarship, and the academic reorganisation of universities. Cutting across these forces are new patterns of supply and demand and major changes in both public and private investments.

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