1st Edition

Reclaiming Public Universities Comparative Reflections for Reforms

Edited By Manisha Priyam Copyright 2022
    374 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    374 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

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    This book explores the nature of public universities and higher education reforms in emerging economies, with a focus on India, South Africa and Brazil. Drawing on context-based case studies, the essays in the volume highlight the state of public universities amongst the developing world with their shared colonial past and social, caste and race inequalities. Based on comparative and multidisciplinary studies, the book provides a critical account of the policy reforms and changes on account of globalization and markets in higher education in public universities of the Global South regions. 

    The chapters also compare methodological approaches to university reform and restructuring of public universities and higher education systems in USA, Australia, the European Union and India, and examine the California model, the Bologna process, the Melbourne model, the University of Delhi reforms, and engage critically with the New Public Management inspired reform policies. The book further lays the groundwork for understanding 'massification' in a contextual way, and the possibilities for expansion of scale of mass higher education through public provision.  

    With its empirical findings and social theory analyses by global experts, the volume will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of education, higher education, sociology and social anthropology, development studies, public policy and administration, politics, political economy, and Global South studies. It will also be useful to educationists, policymakers and civil society organizations.

    Introduction: Reclaiming public universities: Comparative reflections for reforms

    Manisha Priyam


    Part I: Globalization and Reforms in Local Arenas: Adaptation, Crisis, and Contests


    Chapter 1: Globalization in the United States: The case of California

    William G. Tierney and Michael Lanford


    Chapter 2: Academic challenges and solutions in higher education: An Australian perspective

    Peter McPhee


    Chapter 3: Understanding the European higher education area: The impact of the Bologna Process

    David Crosier and Jasmin Maki


    Chapter 4: Crisis and reforms in higher education in India: Some conceptual and methodological reflections

    Ritty Lukose


    Chapter 5: Decolonization of higher education: Opportunities and challenges of reclaiming the public university in the South African context

    Felix Maringe and Ruksana Osman


    Part II: The Indian Public University: Discursive Policy Terrains and Diverging Mission


    Chapter 6: Knowledge, power, and autonomy: Policy contestations in Indian public universities

    Sudhanshu Bhushan


    Chapter 7: The Indian institutes of technology: A sociology of knowledge perspective

    Amrit Srinivasan


    Chapter 8: Managing a university in transition: Opportunities and challenges

    Rajen Harshé

    Chapter 9: Quest for Excellence in Indian higher education: Negotiating the trade-off between autonomy and accountability  Saumen Chattopadhyay


    Chapter 10: Recovering the ‘public voice’: Defining quality in higher education in India
    Reetika Syal and Manisha Madhava


    Chapter 11: Comparative perspectives on systems of higher education in the US and India

    Raquel M. Rall


    Part III: Persisting Inequalities


    Chapter 12: Stratification in Brazilian higher education

    Arnaldo Mont’Alvao, Weverthon Machado and Carlos A. Costa Ribeiro


    Chapter 13: Race-based affirmative action in Brazil’s higher education 

    João Feres Júnior


    Chapter 14: What is at stake when reforming educational pathways? Theoretical reflections from South Africa

    Ruksana Osman and Felix Maringe


    Chapter 15:Radical shifts in undergraduate education in India: Concerns and challenges

    Albeena Shakil

    Conclusion: Reclaiming the ‘public’: Reflections from reforms and universities

    Manisha Priyam


    Manisha Priyam is Professor of Education Policy at the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi, India. She has been a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, with an ICSSR fellowship award (2013-14). She has a Ph.D. in International Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research interests include educational policy reforms, school decentralization, gender and social equity issues in higher education. Her publications include The Contested Politics of Educational Reforms: Aligning Opportunities with Interests (2015).

    ‘This superb collection of essays on the nature of higher education in different settings will greatly advance debates on the place of universities in contemporary society. The contributors explain why it is so important for scholars to protect the idea of the university as a public good, drawing on case material from across the Global North and Global South. Incisive, accessible, and written by leaders in the field, the book is an indispensable guide to the futures of the modern university.’

    Craig Jeffrey, Professor, School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Melbourne, Australia

    ‘There is a growing consensus that higher education is in a process of radical change.  The shift is of global dimensions, but the ‘university’ faces unprecedented challenges in the global south. This volume brings together scholars from different countries of the global north and south to engage in comparative conversations about both policy and social change in higher education. There can be no doubt that our research capacities must be turned inward now. In India, scholars have not turned their gaze sufficiently upon themselves; there has not been enough empirically grounded and quality research on higher education institutions. This volume is a much-needed step in that direction, and I look forward to it stimulating debates and discussions on defining questions in higher education of our time.’ 

    Samita Sen, Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, UK

    ‘This book brings fresh eyes and new ideas to the ordinary, everyday ways in which public universities function in comparative spaces. The comparative reflections further regain lost ground on a number of debates in higher education and higher education curricular reform amidst invasive and market-led changes in different local contexts as a result of globalisation. The book also reveals the persistence of colonial history and inequality in the institutional arena of higher education and how these continue to shape university processes across the developing world. This is essential and indispensable work in the contemporary period, with the authors providing invaluable and persuasive arguments for reclaiming the “public” in the public university system.’

    Azeem Badroodien, Professor and Director, School of Education, University of Cape Town, South Africa 


    ‘With the growing erosion of public and simultaneous rise of private universities, and with a new management approach that lays emphasis on efficiency, accountability, and global competitiveness of universities, the cost is paid in terms of denying equal access to quality education for the masses. This book by drawing from similar experience of universities in the global South, comes with a warning on utter neglect of public university, the prime instrument of massification of higher education in India.’ 

    Sukhadeo Thorat, Professor Emeritus, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; and Former Chairman of University Grants Commission, and Indian Council of Social Science Research