Edited by Roger King, Simon Marginson and Rajani Naidoo
Chapter 18: The Invisible Topics on the Public Agenda for Higher Education in Argentina
Marcela Mollis INTRODUCTION This chapter addresses the invisible topics of the public agenda of Argentine higher education that were not taken into account in the debate on higher education public policy during the recent ‘neoliberal’ decade that occurred in the context of global educational reforms. Not only are the policies with a public–private orientation described, but they are also compared with the public-oriented policies of the previous welfare state period. The impact of former policies is discussed through the analysis of the higher educational reforms that took place in Argentina in the 1990s. The chapter concludes with a discussion of key points for creating an alternative diagnosis of higher educational reform. We begin with a discussion of the public policies that have recently had a significant impact on the missions of universities, increasingly turning them into tertiary institutions dedicated to professional training and away from their identity as institutions that create and use knowledge to transform and to socialize a critical citizenry. History shows a tendency to replace the notion of a specific university policy with an all-encompassing higher education policy that homogenizes and – frankly – indiscriminately confuses tertiary (non-university) and university education (Mollis, 2003). THE INVISIBLE TOPICS OUTLINED The historical relationship between public policy and higher education emerged during the rise of the nation-state in the nineteenth century, and continued through its consolidation and expansion. Obviously, in western civilization, the nation-states were the main actors in the capitalist modernization of the late nineteenth century, especially in terms of configuring...
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