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National Research University – Higher School of Economics Moscow, 26 September 2013 THE DYNAMICS OF HIGH PARTICIPATION SYSTEMS— AN INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR Universal Higher Education in the Global Era. Simon Marginson Centre for the Study of Higher Education University of Melbourne, Australia

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Simon marginson centre for the study of higher education university of melbourne australia after 28 october

National Research University – Higher School of EconomicsMoscow, 26 September 2013THE DYNAMICS OF HIGH PARTICIPATION SYSTEMS—AN INTERNATIONAL SEMINARUniversal Higher Education in the Global Era

Simon Marginson

Centre for the Study of Higher Education

University of Melbourne, Australia

After 28 October:

Institute of Education, University of London, UK


Some starting questions about high participation systems hps

Some starting questions about High Participation Systems (HPS)

Trow (1973) was prescient. What has changed? How has tertiary participation been affected by the communicative globalization of the last two decades?

What is a High Participation society? What are the social implications of universal tertiary participation?

As universalization of tertiary education advances, what are the implications for education? What happens to universities, including their roles in social integration and reproduction?

There is also the perennial question in higher education studies

What is common/global about the trends to universal participation, and what is system-specific?


The californian utopia trow 1973

The Californian utopia: Trow 1973

“And in California and elsewhere, statewide master planning seemed to have answered the nagging problem of how access to the system could be ensured at the same time that the unique characteristics and high standards of universities and graduate and research centers were preserved. Not long ago the multiversity and the junior college seemed twin expressions of the American genius that had created first the common school, then universal secondary education through the comprehensive high school, and now mass education moving inexorably towards universal exposure to post-secondary schooling.” (p. 65)


The californian utopia trow 2000

The Californian utopia: Trow 2000

“In the United States, colleges and universities … give substance to the idea that anything is possible to those with talent, energy and motivation. The sense of society with limitless possibilities for all, largely (though not exclusively) through higher education, is what is usually meant by ‘the American dream’. The end of the American dream is continually proclaimed, usually by intellectuals who never believed in it to begin with, and wished no one else would. But this faith, fundamental to the American political system, survives hostility and cynicism... Through its role in fostering social mobility and the belief in a society open to talents, American higher education legitimates the political system, and thus is a central element in the society as it is nowhere else.” (p. 6)


Assertion 1 drivers of hps

Assertion 1: Drivers of HPS

  • In the last 30 years the overall trend to expansion of participation in tertiary education (albeit in fits and starts) has been common to all times and places—remarkably so

  • Human capital theory and equality of opportunity are policy rationales for the expansion of participation, they are not drivers

  • While economic demand can foster expansion of student places in particular fields short of labour (e.g. mining engineers in a mining boom), there is no clear evidence economic demand consistently drives participation growth. The relationship between higher education and the economy is incoherent:

    • many graduates do not work in fields in which they are trained

    • much graduate labour is generic in character

    • phenomena such as crendentialism, signallingbehaviour and graduates working in non-graduate jobs seem at least as prominent as the expansion of high-skill work

    • there is no guarantee graduates generate higher productivity—that is a function of work organization

    • the perennial debate about over-education versus overall shortage of skills is never settled because neither generalization can be true—the education/economy relationship is not direct or instrumental


Simon marginson centre for the study of higher education university of melbourne australia after 28 october

  • In contrast, evidence for growing social/ family demand for higher education is clear and consistent. In the long run all states tend to respond to this

  • As participation grows the social and economic penalties of non inclusion grow.

  • The average graduate experiences falling absolute value of credentials, but maintains relative advantage over non graduates


Assertion 2 stratification of h ps

Assertion 2: Stratification of HPS

As Trow noted, elite institutions and programs survive and prosper in the mass–to-universal participation era

Globalization fosters WCUs, while exacerbating stratification within national systems

Globalization also exacerbates stratification between systems as only some nations can support WCUs

The tendency to bifurcated systems—rising elite WCUs coupled with mass institutions in throes of a worsening crisis of quality—might be universal. If so middle institutions everywhere are under pressure

However, the extent of and mechanisms of stratification (structural, financial, regulatory, etc.) vary by country, e.g. only some systems use institutional classifications


Variations in forms of stratification

Variations in forms of stratification

  • Extent of inclusion of age cohort: universal HPS or not?

  • Comprehensive versus binary (academic/vocational) system?

  • Extensive use of online and other attenuated forms of tertiary education?

  • Use of classifications by institutional type / mission?

  • Reliance on market mechanisms for system ordering?


Simon marginson centre for the study of higher education university of melbourne australia after 28 october

High marketization

Inclusive

system

Selective

system

Largely public approach


Assertion 3 marketization and hps

Assertion 3: Marketization and HPS

Marketization in the context of HPS is not primarily designed to foster capitalist production

It is a means of containing costs in HPS systems, especially in low tax polities. In those countries social inclusion makes marketization necessary

Marketization and especially competition manage unequal outcomes and legitimate stratification between institutions

Marketization facilitates state retreat from direct economic responsibility for social outcomes

Marketization places downward pressure on public good functions. Ironically, notion of common public good was stronger in mass systems with partial participation, than in universal systems (now undergoing marketization)


What changes have flowed from communicative globalization

What changes have flowed from communicative globalization?

Common movement towards World-class Universities (WCUs), which all else equal enhances stratification

MOOCs: transformative low value low cost mass education

Some convergence between national systems in use of marketization in system management

Penalties for non-participants, locked out of primary (global) labour circuits, increases social demand for inclusion

Greater policy need for social inclusion via tertiary education in face of fragmenting effects, drives supply of places

Age-cohort participation as one policy signifier of k-economy and economic competitiveness, also drives supply of places


High participation society what does it mean

High participation society: What does it mean?

Lift in threshold of social literacy. May be undermined by shift to MOOCs and other attenuated forms of higher education

Universal aspirations through education but many will be disappointed (failed utopia). Later retreat from participation?

Common tertiary-educated culture in which individual capacities to negotiate with government and corporations, and communicate socially, become normal

Role of elite higher education institutions in national and world society is enhanced

With educational participation becoming universal, new service industry emerges to handle job placements for middle and lower ranked graduates


What will happen to tertiary education especially universities

What will happen to tertiary education, especially universities?

Mass institutions will try to differentiate themselves from each other via marketing

Blurring of boundaries between higher education and other social sectors as Trow predicted

New service industry emerges to handle job placements for middle and lower ranked graduates

Deepening bifurcation between (1) elite research universities and (2) mass higher education, shading into attenuated forms: online, MOOCs, diploma mills, and corrupted non-learning.


A binary higher education sector

A binary higher education sector?

  • Role of elite higher education institutions in national and world society is enhanced

  • Is mass higher education entering a deepening crisis?

    • status-forming function has long held higher education functions together but degree value and status decline in universal systems

    • especially given popular but attenuated forms like MOOCs, which are consistent with self-formation but weak in status-formation

    • emptying out of collective student experience (is this ‘participation’?)

    • retreat from public funding

    • MOOCs create downward pressure on costs, empty out faculty labour

    • people will be reluctant to pay, but at this stage still need degrees

    • in these circumstances how long can the credentialing role of mass education be sustained?

    • yet states continue to need social ordering role of higher education


Some implications for social science and social policy

Some implications for social science and social policy

For now, what happens at boundary of participation/ non participation remains important

But becoming more difficult to distinguish higher education from other forms of learning (and credentialling?)

Need to develop more sensitive measures of social demand

Need to identify and measure forms of stratification and trends in stratification

Need to monitor what is happening to social mobility

Future of public good function is an open question (and also varies by nation)—this can modify extremes of stratification/binarism and reassert integrating role of systems


Simon marginson centre for the study of higher education university of melbourne australia after 28 october

Template for collecting comparative data on massification


Book plan

Book plan


Simon marginson centre for the study of higher education university of melbourne australia after 28 october

Binarism: Are HPS being reshaped, pulled between elite research sector and part commodified mass institutions?

Cantwell—elite artisnal sector and commodity sector

Marginson—WCUs and partly marketized mass institutions with declining value

Bourdieu—higher education divided between two poles, the elite sector which is culturally defined, and the mass sector which responds to markets and social demand

BUT

What happens to middle institutions: there seem to be many

Perhaps this picture applies in USA, Australia (maybe), Russia… does not appear to describe Poland, Finland, Canada


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