Challenges and Drawbacks in the Marketisation of Higher Education Within Neoliberalism

  •  Gerardo del Cerro Santamaría    


This paper addresses some of the challenges and drawbacks associated to the ongoing worldwide process of marketization (neoliberalization) in higher education. Neoliberalism—the prevailing model of capitalist thinking based on the Washington Consensus—has conveyed the idea that a new educational and university model must emerge in order to meet the demands of a global productive system that is radically different from that of just a few decades ago. The overall argument put forward is that the requirements, particularly the managerial and labor force needs of a new economy—already developing within the parameters of globalization and the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs)—cannot be adequately satisfied under the approaches and methods used by a traditional university. Neoliberalism affects the telos of higher education by redefining the very meaning of higher education. It dislocates education by commodifying its intrinsic value and emphasizing directly transferable skills and competencies. Nonmonetary values are marginalized and, with them, the nonmonetary ethos that is essential in sustaining a healthy democratic society. In this paper I will address (1) some of the problems and shortcomings in the triple-helix model of university-industry-government collaborations, (2) the transformation of students into customers and faculty into entrepreneurial workers, highlighting the many drawbacks of such strategies, (3) the hegemony of rankings as procedures of surveillance and control, (4) the many criticisms posed against neoliberalization in higher education and the possible alternatives looking to the future.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1918-7173
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7181
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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