Funding and regulatory frameworks based on neo-liberal market mechanisms have been introduced alongside changing forms of state governance as the most appropriate and effective way of governing contemporary higher education systems in many countries. Many existing accounts of the relationship between the state and the market treat the two modes of co-ordination as existing in an antagonistic relationship. This article, however, argues that there is increasing evidence that higher education can be increasingly regulated by the state while simultaneously opening up to market forces. Furthermore, rather than pulling in different directions, increasing articulation between the two modes of co-ordination may occur. The article presents this alternative conception of the relationship between the state and the market by considering the case of policy change in the United Kingdom. It focuses on policy change in relation to student funding and the management of learning and teaching to show the articulation between state and market co-ordination. While both modes of control appear to be increasing, state accountability appears to be the dominant mode of co-ordination in the present phase of reform. At the same time, bureaucratic forms of co-ordination have been shown to provide the context for some elements of a market to work as well as actively mobilising market mechanisms in the furtherance of political agendas. However, the market mode of co-ordination, however restrained, managed and controlled, has its own logic and power and may establish changes in culture and path dependencies which are likely to impact on the future functioning of the higher education system. Such developments may lead to further shifts in the state-market articulation.
|Translated title of the contribution||The competitive state and the mobilised market: higher education policy reform in the United Kingdom (1980-2007)|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|