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British Higher Education: “Exceptionalism” in face of the Bologna Process?

The purpose of the paper is to examine the extent to which the United Kingdom higher education system diverges from that in other countries in the European Higher Education Area. It concludes that the fees and the sometimes ruthless stratagems to reduce costs are what really set the UK apart from other European countries. It is true that other countries have also imposed draconian cuts on their universities, but the British state is now refusing to finance non-STEM subjects at all, and English higher education has become the most expensive in Europe. In this respect, the country has gone its own way regardless of any disapproval that may be forthcoming from across the Channel or from the OECD. Three main reasons are suggested why this is so: the early, profound and bipartisan impact of Thatcherism, policy emulation of the United States, and Europhobia.

Erschienen in: Beiträge zur Hochschulforschung, 34. Jahrgang, 1/2012
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