Bassett, Roberta Malee and Tapper, Ted
Coming to terms with mass higher education: lessons from america and beyond
Higher Education in Europe
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This article examines the legitimacy of the US as a viable source for higher education policy ideas. Can lessons be gleaned from the US system to inform the policy debate in the UK? Moreover, how are some ‘mythologies’ about higher education in the US being (mis)used in the quest for answers to the challenges facing the UK system? Is the American model quite as straightforward and benign as its British admirers profess? In spite of the equivocations, however, it is a central assumption of this article that the United States was not only the first nation to experience mass and, ultimately, universal higher education (for an interpretation of the concepts ‘elite’, ‘mass’ and ‘universal’ see Trow, 1973) but that it has also embraced this expansion in a manner that is broadly supported by a consensus of interests within the wider society and within the higher education sector.It has been perceived as a successful process of higher education expansion.
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