Financing Higher Education: Answers from the UK

By Nicholas Barr; Iain Crawford | Go to book overview

Chapter 7

1993 Alternative funding sources for higher education

Nicholas Barr (1993), 'Alternative Funding Resources for Higher Education', Economic Journal, Vol. 103, No. 418, May, pp. 718-28.


I

The backdrop1

This paper discusses the funding of higher education, starting (Section II) with the theoretical answers to a number of key questions. Section III sets out alternative funding packages, and Section IV considers recent developments in a number of countries. To make such a vast topic manageable, the paper is limited in several ways. It discusses the funding but not the production of higher education. It does not discuss the nature of the 'product', nor the specific issues raised by the funding of research. It looks only at advanced industrialised economies. 2 Finally, it attempts to be systematic in surveying broad options, but not in surveying countries.

Since policy can usefully be assessed only against stated aims, a word is needed about objectives. Macro efficiency aims relate to the total quantity of resources devoted to higher education, i.e. to the size of the sector. Micro efficiency is concerned with the division of total higher education

1 I am grateful to Mark Blaug, Bruce Chapman and Howard Glennerster for helpful comments on an earlier version. Remaining errors are my responsibility.

2 For discussion in developing economies see Albrecht and Ziderman (1992), Psacharopoulos and Woodhall (1985), and World Bank (1986).

-101-

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