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Profit and the public good

VU International News and Reviews No. 02 March 25 2013

March 2013

In January, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, refined its regulations, putting more stress on the public goods nature of higher education in the US. As Insidehighered reports: “The institution’s educational responsibilities take primacy over other purposes, such as generating financial returns for investors, contributing to a related or parent organization or supporting external interests”. This is a momentous event, as the North Central Association is the largest regional accreditor of universities and HEIs (and regional accreditation is the crucial element in institutional accreditation in the US).
The change in regulation may have severe impact on for-profit providers of higher education such as the University of Phoenix and may be a signal that the balance between competition/profit and cooperation/public good in higher education is shifting back from the neoliberal paradigm.

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