From Privatization (of the Expansion Era) to De-privatization (of the Contraction Era). A National Counter-Trend in a Global Context

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This paper focuses on what we term “de-privatization” as a local Polish phenomenon, especially with regard to private sector growth and reliance on cost-sharing mechanisms in public sector institutions. De-privatizaton may also possibly occur in Central and Eastern European, given declining demographics in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia,Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. De-privatization is a uniquely postcommunist European process today as only in postcommunist Central (and Eastern) Europe has private higher education been on the rise for almost two decades. Private higher education was stimulated by rapid expansion of access to higher education following the collapse of communism. De-privatization stems from aging populations, marked by dramatically low birth rates since the transition period of the early 1990s. De-privatization is a demographically-driven public-private re-balancing process. Consequently, the current public-private dynamics in postcommunist Europe differ greatly from both Western European and global dynamics. However, Poland may ultimately resemble Western Europe where “normal” has always been predominantly public and free (tax-based) higher education.




Poland, Polish higher education, expansion, contraction, demographic decline, privatization, de-privatization, public-private, massification, universalization, higher education policy, public subsidies, differentiation, university funding, higher education reforms, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, declining demographics, demographic implications, pubic sector growth, private sector decline, re-publicization, de-privatization of higher education, universal higher education systems, Daniel C. Levy, PROPHE, global trends, cost-sharing, counter-trend, national counter-trend, global trends, globalization, private sector growth, postcommunist European systems, postcommunist transformations, European integration, fees, fee-based, tax-based, D. Bruce Johnstone, private higher education


Sheila Slaughter and Barrett Jay Taylor, editors. Stratification, privatization and vocationalization of higher education in the US and EU: Competitive advantage. Dordrecht: Springer, 2015.



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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego