Structuring Mass Higher Education: The Role of Elite Institutions, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Structuring Mass Higher Education

The Role of Elite Institutions, 1st Edition

Edited by David Palfreyman, Ted Tapper


346 pages

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Undoubtedly the most important development in higher education in recent years has been the seemingly inexorable expansion of national systems. In a comparatively short time period many countries have moved from an elite to a mass model. Furthermore, expansion has invariably changed the whole experience of higher education for all the interested parties from, presidents, rectors and vice-chancellors to first-term undergraduates.

Structuring Mass Higher Education examines the impact of this change upon the existing national structures of higher education. It also defines and highlights what makes an ‘elite’ university – something which institutions must strive for in order to gain their position as global players. With case studies and contributions from a wide range of international authors, the book explores questions such as:

  • Do higher education institutions retain a national significance, even though the vestiges of an international reputation have long faded?
  • Has expansion undermined the quality of higher education because governments sought to expand "on the cheap"?
  • Is the elite institutional response to mass higher education perceived as a threat to be responded to with purposeful action that sustains their elite status?
  • Does the emergence of the international league tables pose a challenge to those responsible for governing elite institutions?

These are critical issues with which both policy-makers and institutional leaders will have to grapple over the next ten years, making Structuring Mass Higher Education a timely, relevant, and much needed text. It will appeal to policy makers and practitioners within higher education as well as student and scholars worldwide.


"If I had thought a bit more deeply that day in 1983 when the U.S. News & World Report first announced its collegiate rankings, I might have predicted a time when this volume, edited by David Palfreyman and Ted Tapper, would not only have been published but would also be a welcomed and significant addition to our continued attempts to understand the rapid changes occuring in tertiary systems around the world. . . In all, this volume provides glimpses into the contemporary issues with which many countries are wrestling."—Review of Higher Education

Table of Contents

Foreword Sheldon Rothblatt


1. Structuring Mass Higher Education: Interpreting the Process of Change Ted Tapper and David Palfreyman

Part I: Structural Change in Systems of Higher Education

2. U.S. Higher Education: Contemporary Challenges, Policy Options James Fairweather

3. Structural Changes in Higher Education: The Case of the United Kingdom Peter Scott

4. Nordic Higher Education in Transition Agnete Vabø and Per Olaf Aamodt

5. Latin American Higher Education: Hope in the Struggle? Alma Maldonado-Maldonado

6. Higher Education in India: The Challenge of Change N. Jayaram

7. The German ‘Excellence Initiative’ and its Role in Restructuring the National Higher Education Landscape Barbara M. Kehm and Peer Pasternack

8. South Africa’s Elite Universities in the Oost-Apartheid Era, 1994-2007 Andre Kraak

9. The Legacy of Planning: Higher Education Development in China Kai-Ming Cheng, Yan Wang and Su-Yan Pan

10. Excellence in Dutch Higher Education: Handle with Care Frans Kaiser and Hans Vossensteyn

11. Polish Higher Education in Transition: Between Policy Making and Autonomy Ireneusz Bialecki and Malgorzata Dabrowa-Szefler

Part II: Elite Institutions in the Age of Mass Higher Education

12. What is an ‘Elite’ or ‘Leading Global’ University? David Palfreyman and Ted Tapper

13. Elite Higher Education in France: Tradition and Transition Cécile Deer

14. The Elite Public Universities in Australia Simon Marginson

15. (Post-) Mass Higher Education and Japanese Elite Universities Fumi Kitagawa

16. The Ivy League Roger L. Geiger

17. Oxbridge: Sustaining the International Reputation Ted Tapper and David Palfreyman

18. Conclusion: Converging Systems of Higher Education? Ted Tapper and David Palfreyman


About the Editors

David Palfreyman isDirector of theOxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies (OxCHEPS), New College, University of Oxford.

Ted Tapper is a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies (OxCHEPS), New College, University of Oxford,and the Center for Higher Education Management and Policy at Southampton (CHEMPAS).

About the Series

International Studies in Higher Education

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