Living Things : How to Know Them by H. E. Jaques

By H. E. Jaques

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34 Public higher education can be regarded especially as belonging to the welfare state as wider access to HEIs is seen as a precondition of participation in complex economies and thus increasingly constitutes an element of social policy. Therefore, in Europe, where higher education and research can 31 Former Higher Education Minister for England, David Lammy, for example, declared that ‘any pressures on spending should be seen against the background of a long-term increase in student numbers […] with “more students than ever before in our history”’.

The constraints faced by the sector are then contextualised in the wider debate and some recent attempts by the Commission to align EU research policy with competition law are critically discussed. It is concluded that these attempts seem equally insufficient, as they do not necessarily clarify the legal position, are still fragmented, are decided upon entirely by the Commission and do not appear to necessarily reflect the views of the general public or stakeholders in HEIs. Therefore, an outlook is given of potential alternative strategies, as unlikely as their realisation in the current Eurosceptic climate may be, for a more coherent EU level policy on HEIs which moves away from the current tendency towards commodification and truly clarifies the legal position of HEIs under EU law, though the details of such approaches will have to be left to future research.

11. 3 Historical and Theoretical Background 7 academics became national institutions. 18 Accordingly, research was conducted for the sake of acquiring new knowledge with no applications in mind,19 was chiefly mono-disciplinary with increasing specialisation and was supposed to inform teaching. 20 By the end of the 19th century European universities had thus developed into research intensive institutions which, despite being nationalised, retained a high degree of academic freedom and autonomy. 2 The Republican University in the United States HEIs across the Atlantic developed differently; influenced by the spirit of establishing a democratic republic, the US HEI model focussed on equality of access (which, however, did not initially include gender and race equality) and equality between academic subjects.

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