The regulated market and the process of change in English higher education: Lessons from Oxbridge

by Ted Tapper

HEIK working paper 2012/03 

professor Ted Tapper


The purpose of this paper is to explore the links between the state and higher education in contemporary England with particular reference to how that relationship shapes institutional development. The argument is that higher education institutions develop within the context of a state-regulated market. Policy-goals are determined politically, the quasi-state shapes how those goals are to be implemented and institutions, functioning within that framework, steer their patterns of development driven by their internal interests. 

The second part of the paper examines the complex relationship of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge to the state-regulated market. It analyses the range of their responses, the initiatives they have pursued to ensure their continuing status and what impact this has had upon their respective collegial traditions. 

The paper concludes by presenting alternative scenarios for the future development of Oxford and Cambridge as collegiate universities, and by analysing the possible move from a state-regulated to a free market as the main driving force in shaping higher education development in England.

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Tags: collegial tradition, managerialism, Oxbridge, regulated market, resource dependence, state steering, university planning
Published Mar. 2, 2015 5:48 PM - Last modified Jan. 6, 2020 1:07 PM