1st Edition

Higher Education and Intellectual Retrogression The Neoliberal Reign

By Arup Maharatna Copyright 2023
    220 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This monograph critically analyses the historical evolution of ideas, perceptions and principles on higher education and unravels a few of its interlinked aspects – content, quality, standard, massification, privatization and commercialization. It presents both original and penetrative critique of neoliberal ideas and policies reigning higher education since World War II. The volume argues that with the proliferation of ‘academic capitalism’ the academic quality of higher education has been inevitably compromised and it has thereby heralded a comprehensive ‘intellectual retrogression’. The book offers a meticulous evaluation of global research reflecting on impeccable evidence of decline in academic learning – in its effort, quality, standards and overall intellectual level and rigour. Finally, it illuminates why it is dangerous to continue clinging ideationally to neoliberal reign in education and thereby evading or effacing some of the lasting and universal wisdoms and precepts of the educational reign preceding neoliberal marketoriented predominancy.

    The book will be of interest to students, teachers and researchers of education, higher education, sociology of education, economics and politics of education. It will also be useful for academicians, higher education administration, policymakers, schoolteachers and those interested in debates and issues around higher education.

    PART I 1. Evolution of Notions, Aims, Functions of Higher Education 2. Build-Up of Ideational Foundation of Neo-Liberal Reign in HE 3. Towards Mass HE and ‘Academic Capitalism’ 4. Affirmative Action in HE: Costly Boost to Massification? PART II 5. Declining Academic Standard of HE and Making of an Intellectual Retrogression 6. Neoliberal HE in the Developing World: Indian Illustration 7. Conclusion: Blunders in Progress. Bibliography.


    Arup Maharatna is currently Rajiv Gandhi Chair Professor in Contemporary Studies at the Central University of Allahabad, India. Earlier, chronologically, he has been Professor of Economics at University of Burdwan, Professor of Population Studies at the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics and Professor of Social Sciences at BITS-Pilani Hyderabad Campus. He completed master’s degree and Ph.D. in Population Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. He also held a post under the Bell Post-Doctoral Fellowship programme at Harvard University, USA. He has authored four books.