CGHE Seminar 35

Clark Kerr, the Master Plan and public higher education in California today

  • Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 12:30 - 14:00
  • Room 432, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, 16 Taviton Street, WC1H 0BW
  • CGHE Research Programme 1

Simon Marginson examines the crisis of public higher education in the US – even though higher education along American lines is flourishing in many countries abroad. This seminar is based on Professor Marginson’s new book, The dream is over: the crisis of Clark Kerr’s California idea of higher education.

While the Californian model of higher education has been the most influential single model in shaping university systems worldwide, it has been profoundly eroded at home.

Amid an increasingly unequal economy and society in the US, access to higher education for all in California has been lost and even the brilliant science-based universities are now under long-term threat of losing ground to domestic and foreign competitors.

Professor Marginson looks at the reasons behind the reluctance of the middle class taxpayer and the political system to maintain the California Master Plan vision of higher education. He highlights the fiscal incapacity of US states to support public higher education, and proposes an overhaul of the student loans system as a potential solution, with income contingent loans replacing the present mortgage-style loans.

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Simon Marginson

Simon Marginson

Simon Marginson is Professor of Higher Education at the University of Oxford, Director of the ESRC/OFSRE Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), Editor-in-Chief of Higher Education, and Lead Researcher with Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Simon’s research is focused primarily on global and international higher education, the contributions of higher education, and higher education and social inequality. At Oxford he lead teaches the MSc (Education) subject on ‘Globalisation in higher education’. He is currently preparing an integrated theorisation of higher education. His recent books in comparative and international studies are Higher Education in Federal Countries, edited with Martin Carnoy, Isak Froumin and Oleg Leshukov (Sage, 2018) and High Participation Systems of Higher Education, edited with Brendan Cantwell and Anna Smolentseva (Oxford University Press, 2018).

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