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Astrid Schwarzenberger, HIS (Ed.): Public / private funding of higher education: a social balance
The German-based institute Higher Education Information System (HIS) and its partner institutions from 5 European countries recently published a study on the different approaches to sharing the (teaching-related) costs for higher education between the state on the one hand and households on the other. The project explores case studies from all corners of Europe and discusses the potential impact of these cost-sharing approaches on participation in higher education.
In a nutshell, the macro-analysis shows that the (teaching-related) share of public funding is markedly lower in England and Spain (36% and 40%) than in the other countries (52-59%). The public funding can be split up into allocations to higher education institutions on the one hand and support to households on the other. The share allocated to HEIs is much lower in Germany than in the other countries (58% as opposed to around 80%), and quite high in Spain (91%). In turn, the share of public funding made available as support to households is very high in Germany (42%) and quite low (9%) in Spain (this refers to shares, not total amounts).
The study provides insights on the microeconomic level of funding as well. Building on an international conference on cost-haring in Berlin, which took place in February this year, it suggests there should be more direct ways of widening access to higher education and supporting talented, underprivileged students.