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Private Higher Education?

Aurora Brief Reviews No. 07 April 25 2019

April 2019

The Programme for Research on Private Higher Education PROPHE is a global network to building knowledge about private higher education, without any wish to either represent or promote private higher education. It is coordinated by prof.em. Daniel Levy from SUNY, Albany.

Its website contains substantial data on private HE enrolment relative to enrolment in public institutions. As PROPHE itself acknowledges, the definition of ‘private higher education’ is by no means without its problems and complications. To give just one example: the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a private legal entity, but a full part of the public system in the Netherlands: it is listed in the law, it is funded like any public university and submitted to exactly the same rules for quality assurance on educational programmes.

In spite of this caveat to draw too quick conclusions from the PROPHE data, it is an important source for statistics. Moreover, when used to analyse changes over time, the differences between HE systems in their definitions of private and public higher education become less of an obstacle.


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