In this seminar I will focus on the dynamics of market-making and market-ordering in the higher education sector. I will take issue with the contemporary research on markets in higher education where concepts like marketization, privatization or commodification are either asserted as outcomes, or markets are understood as a self-evident concept from neo-classical economic theory. As a consequence, a number of important processes and outcomes remain unexamined, and thus hidden.

I propose a different theoretical and conceptual approach to studying markets in the higher education sector based on economic sociology and economic geography so as to make visible market-making and market ordering processes. Based on the study of four cases – universities, private companies and public-private partnership – I will argue for an alternative conceptualisation of higher education markets, in which the university acts in the roles of a seller as well as of a buyer while some markets are aiming for immediate profits while others at the first glance less obviously so. The data and its analysis reveal that markets in higher education are diverse, variegated, processual and relational, and can together be understood as an emerging higher education industry, which is co-constitutive of the services economy more generally. 

All are welcome to attend.  Please contact Dee Daglish for further information.

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