PROPHE Publications in International Higher Education

By agreement with its Boston College Partner, PROPHE contributes a special column on Private Higher Education in each issue of International Higher Education, published by the Center on International Higher Education, Boston College, whose permission for reposting has been granted.

Tsevi, Linda. Quality Assurance and Private Higher Education in Ghana. Spring 2014.

This article discusses factors influencing the establishment of Ghana’s National Accreditation Board. Salient aspects are the growing population’s demand for higher education, increase in private providers and concerns about quality. Also discussed are the accreditation board’s quality assurance procedures and attendant problems.

Salto, Dante. Brazil: A For-profit Giant. Winter 2014

While it is widely recognized that many nonprofit institutions engage in profit making, this article deals with institutions that are legally allowed to distribute revenues among shareholders and specifically focuses on one of the world’s largest higher education for-profit subsectors.

Musial-Sadilek, Joanna. Challenges to Top-Ranked Private Universities in Poland. Fall 2013

Polish private higher education. Although demographic change seriously threatens private higher education in Poland, part of the sector has means to cope. In contrast to the majority of private institutions, top-ranked private institutions enjoy semi-elite characteristics that shield them, not fully but partly, from negative impact on enrollment.

Bernasconi, Andres. The For-Profit Motive. Spring 2013

For-profit higher education is controversial. The legitimacy of the profit motive in education is called into question by those who believe that a trust-based relationship cannot be mediated by economic gain. Proponents of education as a legitimate business, for their part, argue that competition and market discipline are at once good for business and for quality education. They also maintain that in the absence of profit-seeking entrepreneurship we would not be seeing the enormous expansion of enrollments characteristic of higher education in the developing world. At any rate, if the nature of the institution is to be a choice for students, they need to be properly informed about whether the institution of their choice is for-profit.

Levy, Daniel. Squeezing the Nonprofit Sector. Spring 2013

The growth of the for-profit sector combines with a partial public sector resurgence to squeeze the nonprofit sector, which for decades had increased its global enrollment share. The for-profit growth relates to competitive advantages in prioritizing the labor market while the public move involves accelerated access missions, changing demographics, and policies of competitive marketization.

Kinser, Kevin. The Quality-Profit Assumption. Spring 2013

The profit motive is typically linked to lower quality in higher education. But there are several routes to profitability that do not presume a decline in quality, but rather take advantage of price and service strategies that generate revenue without significant impact on the academic program. Quality, therefore, is not determined by the profit status of the institution.

Levy, Daniel. What Does Organized Business Want? A Look at India. Spring 2012

Much has been said about the relationship of businesses to higher education. This article, in the context of India, discusses how businesses view higher education and what is considered important for universities to do.

Rabossi, Marcelo. Why Argentine Private Universities Continue to Lag. Winter 2012

Private higher education accounts for half of total enrollment in Latin America but only a fifth in Argentina. For reasons including statist norms, tough regulation, and public university stature, it has been difficult for Argentina's private higher education to attain the position held by its counterparts in the region. Whether that may now change is unclear.

Kinser, Kevin and Lane, Jason E. Foreign Outposts of Colleges and Universities. Winter 2012

Understanding the phenomenon of international branch campuses requires expanding our understanding of the various ways universities operate foreign educational outposts. A wide variety of transnational activity exists that represents intriguing variations on the typical branch campus form.

Levy, Daniel and Sabry, Manar. Egyptian Private Higher Education at a Crossroads. Fall 2011


The Egyptian Revolution comes amid a period of national and general regional growth of private higher education. Indeed, the Middle East is the last region to establish the private sector across the breadth of its countries. Apart from a few precursors such as the American University in Cairo, the private sector is basically a creation of the last two decades, and its share in Egypt is still small, though it is growing. On the one hand, the new minister says private universities should be distinctive, not “duplicating” public ones and thus offering new programs: on the other hand regulations about access cannot be ruled out nor can caps on the amount of tuition rises. Already evident is a public policy orientation to discourage for-profit private higher education.

Kwiek, Marek. Politics and Demographics in Poland. Summer 2011


The article discusses the impact of changing demographics on the future of private higher education in Poland in the context of ongoing higher education reforms. After two decades of massive demand-absorbing growth, Polish higher education is expected to enroll 30-40% less students in 2022 due to demographic decline already felt throughout the system. Consequences for the private sector and policy options for the state are discussed.

Special Section Fall 2010: The "Decline" of the Private Sector

Levy, Daniel. An International Exploration of Decline. Fall 2010


The decline of private higher education constitutes an untold reality: growth is not a uniform, omnipresent, or inevitable course. Reasons for private higher education decline fall into two broad categories—(1) social factors (the lapse of distinct social identity and the demographic shift) and (2) political or public-sector policies (hostile government, regulation, public higher education expansion, and privatization within the public sector).

Uribe, Lina. The Decline of Colombian Private Higher Education. Fall 2010


Colombian higher education experiences a recent private-sector decline despite its traditional dominance over public institutions. Though historically, Colombia has largely grown its higher education system as a result of the private initiative, the recent private sector’s downfall is due to the astonishing public education growth and possibly the increased tuition for private institutions, reducing affordability, and shrinking the tuition gap between public and private institutions.

Praphamontripong, Prachayani. The Decline of Thai Private Higher Education. Fall 2010


Though Thai private higher education expanded during the 1990s, the private higher education sector has experienced stagnant and declining enrollment since 2002. While private higher education leaders speculate that public expansion and public privatization are the main factors for their declining market share, their public counterparts argue that such a drop mainly involves the country’s shifting demographics.

Musial, Joanna. Polish Semielite Private Institutions. Summer 2009

Levy, Daniel. For-profit versus Nonprofit Higher Education. Winter 2009


Distinctions between the three sectors of education -- public, private non-profit, and for-profit -- are often difficult to draw. While certain legally-mandated financial standards divide them, domestic and foreign for-profit institutions may look and behave like private non-profit institutions. Further complicating the equation are cross-border partnerships between these sectors.

Silas, Juan Carlos. Demand-Absorbing Private Institutions in Mexico. Spring 2008

Levy, Daniel. Private Higher Education: Patterns and Trends. Winter 2008

Levy, Daniel. Public Money for Private Higher Education. Fall 2007

Larocque, Norman. The Private-Sector Financing of Public Higher Education Infrastructure. Summer 2007

Gupta, Asha. India: The New Private Sector. Winter 2007

Teixeira, Pedro Nuno. Declining Demand and Private Higher Education: The Portuguese Case. Summer 2006

Levy, Daniel. Costa Rica: Public Continuity, Private Gains. Spring 2006

Pachuaschvilli, Marie. Dual Privatization in Georgian Higher Education. Fall 2005

Landoni Couture, Pablo. New Private-Public Dynamics: Graduate Education in Uruguay. Fall 2005

Cao, Yingxia and Levy, Daniel. China’s Private Higher Education: The impact of Public-Sector Privatization. Fall 2005

Makoto Nagasawa. Gender Stratification in Japanese Private Higher Education. Summer 2005

Prachayani Praphamontripong. Diversification within the Thai Private Sector. Summer 2005

Daniel C. Levy. Legitimacy and Private Higher Education in Eastern Europe. Winter 2005

Snejana Slantcheva. Global Citizens and Private Higher Education. Winter 2005

Robert D. Reisz. The Mission of Private Higher Education in Romania. Winter 2005

Joseph Stetar et al.. Ukrainian Private Universities: Elements of Corruption. Winter 2005

Wycliffe Otieno. Privatization of Kenyan Public Universities. Summer 2004

Asha Gupta. Divided Government and Private Growth in India. Spring 2004

Dmitry Suspitsin. Russian Private Higher Education: Alliances with State-Run Organizations. Fall 2003

Andrés Bernasconi. Private Higher Education with an Academic Focus: Chile's New Exceptionalism. Summer 2003

Fengqiao Yan and Daniel C. Levy. China's New Private Education Law. Spring 2003

Daniel C. Levy. South Africa and the For-Profit/Public Institutional Interface. Fall 2002

Kevin Kinser. Faculty at Private For-Profit Universities: The University of Phoenix as a New Model?. Summer 2002

Daniel C. Levy. Private Higher Education’s Surprise Roles. Spring 2002




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