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The economics and politics of cost sharing in higher education: comparative perspectives

Economics of Education Review Volume 23, Number 4, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Cost-sharing, or the shift in at least part of the higher educational cost burden from governments (or taxpayers) to parents and students, is a worldwide trend manifested in the introduction of (or in sharp increases in) tuition fees, user charges for lodging and food, and in the diminution of student grants. The phenomenon is seen even in Europe, which still remains the last bastion of generally “free” higher education, as well as in countries that were once Marxist and that are finding loopholes to retain the legal semblance of free higher education while becoming increasingly dependent on tuition revenue for the financial survival of their institutions. This paper examines the rationales for cost-sharing as well as the continuing ideological, political, and technical opposition to it, even in the face of extreme austerity and the virtual inevitability of higher educational revenue diversification, including some forms of cost-sharing, in most countries.


Johnstone, D.B. (2004). The economics and politics of cost sharing in higher education: comparative perspectives. Economics of Education Review, 23(4), 403-410. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved April 8, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on March 1, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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