Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Public goods and public policy: what is public good, and who and what decides?

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This article appeared in Higher Education today, but behind a paywall. It however appears to be substantially the same as the article that appeared on the Centre for Global Higher Education website in May of 2017 (35 page PDF, 15 pages of which are bibliography). It notes that "higher education is usually seen as serving the public good," and that support from the public may be contingent on this, but raises the question of who defines the public good and how is it defined? These questions are especially relevant given "The 'private good' view of higher education" which "reached its most explicit formulation with the 2001 General Agreement on Trades and Services (GATS) which recognised higher education as a publicly traded service, thereby transforming it from a public good into a 'commodity'." Good discussion which ultimately casts the answer to the question as a renewed sort of "negotiation" with the public. Of course, if the public is locked out by means of a paywall, there's not much "negotiation" happening, is there?


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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Apr 15, 2024 06:07 a.m.

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