Handbook on the Politics of Higher Education
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Handbook on the Politics of Higher Education

Edited by Brendan Cantwell, Hamish Coates and Roger King

Understanding the politics of Higher Education is becoming more important as the sector is increasingly recognised as a vital source of innovation, skills, economic prosperity, and personal wellbeing. Yet key political differences remain over such issues as who should pay for higher education, how should it be accountable, and how we measure its quality and productivity. Particularly, are states or markets the key in helping to address such matters. The Handbook provides framing perspectives and perspectives, chapters on funding, governance and regulation, and pieces on the political economy of higher education and on the increased role of external stakeholders and indicators.
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Chapter 11: The geopolitics of higher education: pursuing success in an uncertain global environment

Angel Calderon


The broad objective of this chapter is to carry out an analysis of the changing context of higher education (HE) and how the major forces of change are transforming universities and national education systems. Because what occurs in HE cannot be seen in isolation in society and the economy, this chapter also considers the competing demands from the state, civil society and market forces on the mission of universities. These demands are shaping a new global borderless context. Against this backdrop this chapter also considers how universities are adapting to trade liberalization, preferential agreements, neoliberalism and market forces. The combination of these forces is reshaping the idea of the university and how universities are seeking to interconnect across borders, and for this purpose the author uses Castells’s network approach to consider existing university alliances (global, multi-regional or domestic in scope). The chapter concludes with some parting thoughts about the changing geopolitical environment and what it means to universities over the next few decades.

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