This chapter discusses the multiple objectives and dilemmas surrounding the resource allocation decisions in higher education taken by policy-makers and public authorities at the national level. Resourcing decisions, in particular the implementation of new policy instruments, are very much driven by particular assumptions and normative points of view, bringing in issues of political choice and resolving competing demands. The authors present a critical look at the politics of funding higher education, arguing that funding reforms inspired by policy rationales such as new public management (NPM) are always implemented in higher education systems that are characterized by a multitude of competing logics, traditions and reputations. In addition, the mixed public_private character of higher education further complicates the effects of funding decisions. All of this is making simple market-oriented solutions problematic, pointing at the limitations of government intervention and funding policies and calling for a more pragmatic approach to resource allocation in higher education.
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