CGHE Seminar 4

Higher education as creative destruction in India’s emerging economy

  • Thursday, 14 Jan 2016 12:30 - 14:00
  • Room 736, UCL Institute of Education
  • Sangeeta Kamat, University of Massachusetts

How does a state with a primarily agrarian economy evolve into a ‘higher education hub’ with a concentration of over 3000 private colleges and an enrolment of more than 1.4 million students?

Taking from David Harvey’s thesis of neoliberalism as creative destruction I show how higher education in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh has played a primary role in advancing privatisation, capital accumulation and uneven development of the region. I also show how the growth of private markets in higher education occurs through ‘traditional’ social structures of caste and caste-based affinities.

Thus in the Indian context, ‘creative destruction’ does not imply the disappearance of old modes of production but rather bolsters and consolidates conservative social structures within the new globally integrated higher education market.

I argue that is it impossible to grapple with the contradictions and new possibilities of Indian higher education without an understanding of the regionally specific histories that constitute the sector.

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Sangeeta Kamat

Sangeeta Kamat

Sangeeta Kamat is Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her areas of research are international development and globalization and education in the South Asia. She is author of Development Hegemony: NGOs and the state in India and numerous articles on the politics of NGOization, and on globalization, neoliberalism and education policy in India. The talk is based on her current research on higher education that is being developed as a book manuscript entitled Education, Globalization and New Geographies of Power.

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