The Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA), recently published their most recent review about changes in tuition fee policies in 40 countries across the globe.
The reviewed countries include the so-called G-40 – the fourty countries that account for 90% of global enrollments and research production. The report argues that 2011 was a year marked by the after effects of the global recession, and higher education is also affected by the decreasing and tighter public budgets.
Funding cuts a reality in a number of countries world wide
Funding cuts to higher education were a reality in a number of countries, countries such as Brazil, Italy, Pakistan and Ukraine experienced the most severe cuts, whereas cuts were also identified in Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The only countries who managed to increase budgets – also when taking into account inflation rates were Chile, China and Singapore. However – they identify that the rhetoric for more diversified funding base and more private funding sources is identifiable across the majority of countries – independent of the decrease or increase of public funding.
Autonomy still high on the agenda
Diversification of funding sources also creates a new dynamic in the public-private balance, and the report identifies that the discussions around autonomy and accountability remain to be high on the agenda. This gives weight to the argument that higher education systems are increasingly facing new accountability measures where the state is staying at “arms lenght”, through various agencies (also called ‘agencification’ in the relevant literature).