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Journal Articles Socio-Economic Review Year : 2018

New forms of competition in higher education


This paper addresses the transformation of competition in higher education. Not only have competition and competitive schemes dramatically developed in the last decades, from competition for students to competition for budgets and competition for professors, but the nature of competition has also evolved, leading to new forms of competition, especially on the segment where this evolution has been the strongest, i.e. research universities. It is argued that competition in higher education is no longer only occurring between individuals and countries, but has become institutional, leading to a multi-level form of competition and transforming universities into competitors. This competition is framed as a competition for quality which has become more organized and equipped, and that increasingly relies on impersonal judgment devices. It is shown that this growing form of competition has spawned new classifications and categories, and that alliances of competitors belonging to the same category (like leagues, guilds or associations) are simultaneously emerging. Consideration will be thus given to how competition and cooperation intersect and combine.


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hal-01892605 , version 1 (28-03-2022)


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Christine Musselin. New forms of competition in higher education. Socio-Economic Review, 2018, 16 (3), pp.657 - 683. ⟨10.1093/ser/mwy033⟩. ⟨hal-01892605⟩
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