Higher Education, Beyond Public to Common Good: Enhancing Knowledge Democracy

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The principle of public good as applied to higher education appears to be challenged by the greater diversification of actors and sources of funding and by the influence of neo-liberal ideologies which emphasize the private and economic benefits of higher education. As well as undermining principles of equity, these changes may also affect the ultimate purposes and main functions of universities in order to meet the needs of the knowledge economy. This theoretical paper provides a revisited interpretation of the application of the principle of public good to higher education in light of current trends of privatization and marketisation. While acknowledging the importance of the role of the State in educational governance, however, it also argues that a mere reaffirmation of this principle may not be sufficient to counter the effects of the market in both the public and private domains. Referring to the concept of common goods, this paper explores complementary frameworks for the development of new approaches likely to strengthen participatory and deliberative processes and to implement sustainable and ethical forms of cooperation according to different realities. In contrast to dominant development discourse, this normative concept favors a humanistic approach and highlights the quest for knowledge as a shared endeavor and responsibility. Considering higher education as a common good entails fostering the diversity of worldviews and knowledge systems in order to envisage new social structures and development models while ensuring more equitable educational policies.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteProceedings of the 2nd International Conference of the Journal Scuola Democratica REINVENTING EDUCATION - VOLUME I - Citizenship, Work and The Global Age
Numero di pagine11
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021
EventoREINVENTING EDUCATION - 2nd International Conference of the Journal “Scuola Democratica” - Online Conference
Durata: 2 giu 20215 giu 2021


ConvegnoREINVENTING EDUCATION - 2nd International Conference of the Journal “Scuola Democratica”
CittàOnline Conference


  • Commodification
  • Common Goods
  • Knowledge Democracy
  • Privatisation
  • Public Goods


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