The British higher education funding debate: the perils of 'talking economics'

Anneliese Dodds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines current debates surrounding British higher education funding from a political economy perspective, drawing on ‘positive’ and ‘institutionalist’ political economy. Adopting the lens of political economy enables a critical assessment of the use of terms drawn from economics by many higher education decision-makers. Current discussions embody particular assumptions about the nature of producers and consumers in higher education, the relationship between supply and demand, and the role of information in the higher education ‘market’. They also frequently fail to acknowledge the active rather than passive role of higher education institutions in shaping policy discussions surrounding higher education funding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-331
Number of pages15
JournalLondon Review of Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

This is an electronic version of an article published in Dodds, Anneliese (2011). The British higher education funding debate: the perils of 'talking economics'. London Review of Education, 9 (3), pp. 317-331. London Review of Education is available online at:


  • higher education
  • political economy
  • marketisation
  • competition


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