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Title: Globalisation, neoliberalism and the transformation of higher education in Punjab, India
Author: Gill, Manpreet Kaur
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 2197
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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The contemporary global context of higher education is showing increasing processes and patterns of interconnectedness, privatisation, and global 'flows' of students, finances, and institutional arrangements by means of growing numbers of private universities, partnerships and franchises. Since the GATT/WTO agreement in 2009 which stated that education would become a tradable commodity, there has been a dramatic transformation of the structures and processes of higher education in India due to the ways in which neoliberalism has shaped the higher education economy in terms of its economic base, values, and policies. This thesis examines the expansion and intensification of globalising market processes in higher education in the Indian state of Punjab. By engaging with literatures and debates in globalisation, the sociology and political economy of education, and social and cultural capital, the thesis highlights how the goals of equity, public investment, and quality have been replaced by profit, private investment, and quantity. The contours of the rapid shift taking place in India show that the state's role in investment, resource allocation, delivery and regulation has been diminished which has subsequently seen higher education go from being a 'public good' to a 'private good' or commodity. One contribution of the study is its examination of how different forms of capital have been mobilised and reshaped through the neoliberal shifts that have occurred in higher education in Punjab. The study is based on a mixed methods approach employing both qualitative and quantitative methods. The empirical research was conducted in Punjab from 2014-2015 at a selected sample of central, state and private universities. The study has utilised quantitative secondary data in tracing the flows of finances, students and other forms of exchange. Additionally, qualitative interviews and focus groups were conducted with a stratified sample of senior administrators of universities in Punjab; lecturers; students; and parents. Another contribution of the study is its broader empirical scope which incorporates a small sample in Canada in order to illustrate an international 'tie-up' with an institution in Punjab operating as a franchise arrangement. This augments the typology of central, state and private universities in order to understand how education is being delivered and accessed as a trade commodity through new actors and arrangements. The research has been based on a multi-sited, global approach to the fieldwork in order to approach globalisation and 'internationalisation' at different points of delivery and access while also attempting to be analytical at global, national, transnational and local junctures. The thesis ultimately argues that internationalisation policies have been implemented as a tool for the penetration of market forces in education rather than merely facilitating global interconnectedness and 'flows.' As the findings show, HE has not only been restructured, as is seen in Punjab, but has simultaneously seen new values being attached to higher education which is having profound effects on society as a whole.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral