Private Higher Education: A Perspective from the United States
PRIVATE INITIATIVES IN HIGHTER EDUCATION, K.B. Powar, K.L. Johar, eds., 2004
9 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2010
Date Written: 2004
This chapter was written for a book published in India. The anticipated audience for this paper is generally for residents of India.
Reading news reports and some academic commentary in India, I find that private higher education is very readily berated and dismissed. This is surprising to me, given my experience in the US in private, not-for-profit higher education, as a student and in a public university as a professor.
The private higher education sector has a long and important history in North America, dating back to the founding of Harvard University in 1636. In 2001-02, there were 1,541 private, non-profit four-year bachelor's degree-granting institutions in the U.S., 318 private for-profit four-year institutions, and 628 public four-year institutions, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education (2003). Many top universities - Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale, to name just a few - are private, not-for-profit institutions. Many publicly supported institutions effectively compete in terms of high quality with private institutions, but there is no denying that many private not-for-profit institutions in the US have contributed significantly to the quality and vibrancy of US higher education in teaching, research and service. This article examines some of the features of private, not-for-profit higher education.
Keywords: history of higher education, United States, private higher education, colleges, universities, governance, sources of revenue, private institutions, cultural atmospheres, academic competition for admission, private scholarships, faculty governance, accreditation, external peer review, India
JEL Classification: I20, I21, I22, I28, I29
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation