Leadership and Cooperation in Academia

Leadership and Cooperation in Academia

Reflecting on the Roles and Responsibilities of University Faculty and Management

Edited by Roger Sugden, Marcela Valania and James R. Wilson

Across the world academic institutions are being questioned by their stakeholders and pressured to change. Answering these questions requires that academics and professional managers in universities think about their work, its value and organisation. The book highlights the need for space and stimulus to reflect on the responsibilities, roles and expectations that they identify for themselves, and that others place upon them – then, they might be better able to understand and to act. Similarly, policymakers and higher education commentators need the space and stimulus to reflect on the role of universities. This book will provide this space and an invaluable contribution to the stimulus.

Chapter 12: Funding higher education in the great recession: an international perspective

David Bell

Subjects: business and management, management and universities, education, management and universities, politics and public policy, leadership


This chapter focuses on the funding of higher education (HE) during a period of almost unprecedented fiscal austerity. The financial crisis of 2007 and the associated problems of sovereign debt have placed governments, particularly those in Europe and the United States, under huge fiscal pressure. Many have responded, probably unwisely, by introducing fiscal packages comprising a mixture of higher taxes and lower government spending. This strategy is being followed even though the evidence that fiscal austerity will reduce government indebtedness in the short run is very limited. In some countries, lower public spending has led to reduced government support for HE. Stakeholders are now struggling to respond. There is now greater pressure for ‘cost sharing’, where the costs of HE do not entirely fall on the taxpayer, but are shared with other stakeholders including students and alumni.

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