Everything for Sale? The Marketisation of UK Higher Education  book cover
1st Edition

Everything for Sale? The Marketisation of UK Higher Education

ISBN 9780415809801
Published March 25, 2013 by Routledge
256 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The marketisation of higher education is a growing worldwide trend. Increasingly, market steering is replacing or supplementing government steering. Tuition fees are being introduced or increased, usually at the expense of state grants to institutions. Grants for student support are being replaced or supplemented by loans. Commercial rankings and league tables to guide student choice are proliferating with institutions devoting increasing resources to marketing, branding and customer service. The UK is a particularly good example of this, not only because it is a country where marketisation has arguably proceeded furthest, but also because of the variations that exist as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland increasingly diverge from England.

In Everything for Sale, Roger Brown argues that the competitive regime that is now applicable to our Higher Education system was the logical, and possibly inevitable, outcome of a process that began with the introduction of full cost fees for overseas students in 1980. Through chapters including:

  • Markets and Non-Markets
  • The Institutional Pattern of Provision
  • The Funding of Research
  • The Funding of Student Education
  • Quality Assurance
  • The Impact of Marketisation: Efficiency, diversity and equity;


He shows how the evaluation and funding of research, the funding of student education, quality assurance, and the structure of the system have increasingly been organised on market or quasi-market lines.

As well as helping to explain the evolution of British higher education over the past thirty years, the book contains some important messages about the consequences of introducing or extending market competition in universities’ core activities of teaching and research.

This timely and comprehensive book is essential reading for all academics at University level and anyone involved in Higher Education policy.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. Markets and Non-Markets  3. The Institutional Pattern of Provision  4. The Funding of Research  5. The Funding of Student Education  6. Quality Assurance  7. The Impact of Marketisation: Efficiency, diversity and equity  8. The Impact of Marketisation: Quality  9. Lessons from Marketisation

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Roger Brown is Professor of Higher Education Policy at Liverpool Hope University, UK.

Helen Carasso is an Associate Research Fellow in the Department of Education, University of Oxford


"It is a valuable addition to the literature on higher education which is informative for the many countries that share characteristics of England’s higher education and its recent marketisation." - Gavin Moodie, RMIT University, Toronto, Canada