Appropriating higher education from neo-liberalism

Robert Damian ADAMSON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


The attempted imposition of Western neo-liberal ideology in higher education over the past thirty years–manifested in the forms of privatisation, marketisation and accountability–has been met at the national, institutional and individual level with compliance and defiance, as well as instances of local appropriation. Although there has been some homogeneity in responses to neo-liberalism, there has also been diversification in different contexts, as national and local contextual factors have interacted with global forces to produce forms of higher education that correspond more closely to local, peripheral, needs than those of the Anglo-American centre. This paper argues that, when there is an alignment of will among the state, the higher education institutions and those who wish to access higher education, there can be the appropriation of the manifestations of neo-liberal discourse for a national or regional cause that is a counter-current to the hegemony associated with neo-liberalism. Copyright © 2013 Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalComparative Education Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


Adamson, B. (2013). Appropriating higher education from neo-liberalism. Comparative Education Bulletin, 15(1), 1-12.


  • Neo-liberalism
  • Higher education
  • Policy


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