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Mexican private higher education : the potential of private and public goods Prieto, Carlos 2010

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Mexican Private Higher Education: The Potential of Private and Public Goods by Carlos Prieto  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in The Faculty of Graduate Studies. (Higher Education)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) August 2010 © Carlos Prieto, 2010  ABSTRACT In this qualitative case study, I explore the organizational processes and policy discourses at one private higher education institution in Mexico. By using a theoretical framework relative to contestations between the global “ideology of privatization” in education (Rizvi, 2006; Rizvi & Lingard, 2009) and the “global public good” of private education (Marginson, 2007; Menashy, 2009), I examine how external forces are influencing a private institution and its opportunities relative to the public/private good. The study provides answers to three main research questions:  1. What are the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge of upper level management of the private education institution with regard to the global and local forces (economic, political, technological, and social) that influence the organization and its opportunities? 2. What are the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge of upper level management in internal processes in response to external pressures relative to the provision of public versus private goods? 3. How does the institution position itself relative to other educational opportunities (public and private) at the local, national, and global levels?  ii  The study was undertaken at an established private business school in Mexico. Data collection took place from February through April 2010 using a strategic sample of participants (men and women) with high-level positions in the school. The study consisted of semi structured interviews, which were digitally recorded and subsequently transcribed, coded, and analyzed thematically. The findings of this study reveal interesting issues and processes of the social imaginary of senior level executives related to neoliberal discourses, predominantly in relation to the effects of competition in higher education. Particular attention is paid to the institution’s potential to generate public and private goods, and to the value of positional goods relative to other educational opportunities (public and private) at the local, national and global levels.  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT.................................................................................................................................................. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS ............................................................................................................................. iv LIST OF TABLES ....................................................................................................................................... vi ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .......................................................................................................................... vii CHAPTER 1. Introduction........................................................................................................................... 1 1.1 Statement of the Problem .................................................................................................................... 1 1.2 Purpose of the Study ........................................................................................................................... 3 1.3 Research Questions ............................................................................................................................. 4 1.4 Site of the Study .................................................................................................................................. 4 1.5 Significance of the Study .................................................................................................................... 6 1.6 Organization of the Thesis .................................................................................................................. 8 CHAPTER 2. Review of the Literature .................................................................................................... 10 Section I .................................................................................................................................................. 11 2.1 Global Educational Policy ............................................................................................................... 11 2.2 Mexican Higher Education Policy ................................................................................................... 15 Section II ................................................................................................................................................. 28 2.3 Dynamics of National and Global Gompetition in Higher Education .............................................. 28 2.4 The ‘Public Good’ and ‘Private Good’ of Higher Education........................................................... 31 CHAPTER 3. Methods ............................................................................................................................. 41 3.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................................... 41 3.2 Site Selection .................................................................................................................................... 42 3.3 Researcher’s Positionality ................................................................................................................. 45 3.4 Methods for Data Collection ............................................................................................................ 46 3.5 Interview Participant Selection ......................................................................................................... 47  iv  3.6 Pilot Interview ................................................................................................................................... 47 3.7 Interview Transcription ..................................................................................................................... 48 3.8 Procedures for Data Analysis-Coding............................................................................................... 50 3.9 Further Analysis ................................................................................................................................ 52 3.10 Ethical Considerations .................................................................................................................... 53 3.11 Limitations to the Study .................................................................................................................. 53 CHAPTER 4. Findings I ............................................................................................................................. 55 4.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 55 4.2 Findings- Research Question One..................................................................................................... 56 CHAPTER 5. Findings II ........................................................................................................................... 84 5.1 Findings- Research Question 2 ......................................................................................................... 84 5.2 Findings- Research Question 3 ......................................................................................................... 98 CHAPTER 6. Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 103 6.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 103 6.2 Discussion and Examination of the Findings .................................................................................. 107 6.3 Recommendations for Policy, the Institution and Research Avenues ............................................ 124 BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................................................................................................................................... 132 APPENDICES .......................................................................................................................................... 142 UBC Behavioral Research Ethics Board Certificate of Approval ............................................................ 142 Letter of Initial Contact ............................................................................................................................. 143 Consent Form ............................................................................................................................................ 144 Protocol for Interviewing .......................................................................................................................... 147 Table 1: Executive Management Roles and Responsibilities ................................................................... 150 Table 2: Organizational Chart ................................................................................................................... 153  v  LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1: Higher Education System in Mexico 1990 – 2001 …….…………………………….22 TABLE 2: Current Population at the School Campuses …..………..............................................43 TABLE 3: Themes Relative to External Forces………………………………………………….57 TABLE 4: Process of Iinformalization under “Frustrated” States ……………………...............119  vi  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank and express my gratitude to the people who made this thesis possible. I would like to thank my advisor and friend Dr. Amy Metcalfe, for guiding me during my graduate studies as well as encouraging me to pursue an MA and supported me during the dissertation process; to Dr. Kalervo Gulson, for his support as a teacher on policy studies and globalization; to Dr. Allison Tom, for her advice on methods and thesis structure, and to Dr. Tom Sork for his support on the purpose of the thesis. I could not have asked for a more encouraging, enthusiastic and insightful supervisory board. I wish to thank my mother and father, who has raised me, loved me and supported my professional career. I am thankful for my two brothers who are both an inspiration to my life. I am grateful for my family and the experience we have had together growing up. I wish also to thank everyone else who has made my experience in Canada one of quality and purpose, especially the ones who shed light on the needs, the problems and the possibilities of education. I would like to acknowledge the Institute of Science and Technology (CONACYT) for granting me the scholarship that made it possible to finance my studies at UBC. Finally, I would like to thank participants at the school in Mexico who contributed to this study for generously sharing their experiences with me.  vii  CHAPTER I.  1.1  Introduction  Statement of the Problem It is a worldwide phenomenon that higher education institutions have undergone  restructuring in order to adapt to the changing needs of local, national and global pressures (Kent, 2004; Levy, 2002; Levy & Altbach, 2005; Marginson, 2007; Rizvi & Lingard, 2009; Rhoads & Torres, 2006; Slaughter & Rhoades, 2004). The Latin American countries, in particular, have been in a transitional phase because of major economic restructuring since the 1990s in their struggle to successfully participate in the global market place (Rhoads & Torres, 2006). The present work aims to reveal some of the important issues by way of analyzing the case of an established private university in Mexico. The focus of the study is to evaluate the potential of private higher education to provide public and private good, absolutely and relatively, and to understand better the processes involved. The privatization of higher education is an increasingly important issue in postsecondary education research (Altbach, 1999, 2005; Kent, 2004; Levy, 1986, 2002; Rhoads & Torres, 2006). Most of the recent attention stems from the fact that private higher education has become the fastest-growing segment of post-secondary education worldwide, mainly promoted by the convergence of global, national and regional political-economic pressures. For Mexico, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) places the country in a global economy under a multilateral neoliberal structure that is characterized by a continuous process of economic liberalization and a transition to a knowledge-based economy (Barrow,  1  Aupetit & Mallea, 2003; Kent, 2006; Kuznetsov & Dahlman, 2008). In the 1970s and early 1980s public higher education in Mexico already exhibited periods of initial growth but was often characterized by poor leadership and management. In the 1980s the crisis in public higher education due to unsuccessful attempts at regulating and establishing basic operational rules provided the private institutions with new growth opportunities. The government did not respond adequately to the regulatory issues until the early 1990s when global agencies such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recommended that Mexican policy makers prioritize higher education to address the country’s challenges. The OECD considered the economic development threatened if the workforce was not significantly better educated. However, analysts believe that access to public universities did not increase because policy makers decided to favor the expansion of public technical education and to let private higher education expand further without proper regulation. These conditions created a stagnation of public education and opened the door for private universities. Between 1990 and 2000, enrolment in the federal and state universities increased by 32.7 percent, while private higher education increased 140 percent. This booming demand, combined with loose government regulations, catalyzed rapid growth in private higher education (Kent, 2003). The growth of private higher education in Mexico is not only because of new institutions but established institutions have also grown in size (Levy & Altbach, 2005). These universities have taken different entrepreneurial directions such as expansion through franchising; entrepreneurial growth with support from religious orders, industrial groups or families; expansion through buyouts; and online education programs. This situation in Mexico poses important questions regarding public versus private higher education and remains an open 2  challenge for policy-makers.  1.2  Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to examine the organizational processes and policy  discourses at hand of one private higher education institution in Mexico, relative to contestations between the global “ideology of privatization” in education (Rizvi, 2006; Rizvi & Lingard, 2009) and the “global public good” of private education (Marginson, 2007; Menashy, 2009). The theoretical framework of the study combines globalizing education policy (Rizvi, 2006; Rizvi & Lingard, 2009), the “global public good” of private education (Marginson, 2007; Menashy, 2009) and is informed by a critical political economy of higher education in Latin America (Rhoads & Torres 2006). Rizvi and Lingard (2009) believe that the strong influence of privatization occurring globally is also influential on the national and regional levels through particular historical, economical, political and cultural dynamics. Rizvi and Lingard (2009) argue that it is important to clarify the reasons for a dominant neoliberal policy paradigm and question how it might be possible to shift this paradigm to a more just and democratic globalization that implies a broader conception of educational purposes. Furthermore, drawing on the arguments of Marginson (2007) who focuses on the social character of public and private goods and states that higher education produces public and private goods that are distributed to society exclusively public, mixed or exclusively private. This means that a private higher education institution have the potential to generate both private and public goods and help to foster positive externalities amongst the two.  3  1.3  Research Questions  The study attempted to answer three main questions:  1. What are the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge of upper level management of the private education institution with regard to the global and local forces (economic, political, technological, and social) that influence the organization and its opportunities? 2. What are the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge of upper level management in internal processes in response to external pressures relative to the provision of public versus private goods? 3. How does the institution position itself relative to other educational opportunities (public and private) at the local, national, and global levels?  The exploration of these questions will lead to a better understanding of how external forces are influencing a private institution and its opportunities relative to the public/private good.  1.4  Site of the Study A case study analysis is selected to understand and explain organizational processes and  (policy) discourses of one private higher education institution in Mexico, exemplifying many issues faced by similar institutions. The selected institution was founded in the late 1920s, combining the efforts of seventeen prominent figures within the economic, political and 4  intellectual spheres led by Manuel Gomez Morin, creating one of the first private education institutions that has since contributed to business development in Mexico. Eighty years later, the institution is still prominently contributing to the changes of the country and has received special recent attention following the financial crisis due to the growing interest in financial studies and legislation. The selected institution is a private business school, seeking to educate enterprising professionals under ethics, scientific and technological capacities with a global vision in the social and economic changes of their environment. The institutions’ philosophy is to continue to focus on specialized areas of business that respond to different market needs that will enable peoples cognitive and affective learning - knowledge, skills, and values - to promote the individual progress related to socio-economic competences that help to create a more advanced country offering more opportunities, personal development and a more democratic society. The institution has a current enrolment of 10,500 students. In recent years, the institution has grown in Mexico City and other regional states in Mexico: Reforma, Dinamarca, Tlalnepantla, Toluca, Chiapas, Virtual and Queretaro. The institution has the following characteristics  * Higher education programs: undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies * Different learning modalities: onsite learning, blended learning, and online learning * Possesses a presidential decree for academic autonomy * 1,276 employees between professional and faculty * 120,000 alumni since 1929 5  * Growing in different regions of Mexico * Awarded the Certificate of Academic Excellence by the Ministry of Education (SEP) in 2006 * Ratified as an Institution of Academic Excellence until 2014 in 2008  1.5  Significance of the Study Most studies concerning higher education in Latin America and Mexico are systemic  analyses of structures. Few studies have attempted a case study analysis of a private institution because of the difficulties in accessing reliable information. My intention in this study case was to bring a unique perspective of high-level management and to grasp how this private institution situates itself within a public/private distinction at the local, national and global level. The importance of the study lies in its focus on a particular case of a small private institution in Mexico with a long tradition (81 years), in which qualitative and reliable information has been compiled for this work. There is a significant gap in research literature of Mexican higher education institutions because most of the existing research relates to the public sector and case studies regarding visible public universities like Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). Thus, it is important to focus on other institutions that are usually not visible in the research community to reveal more about the diversity of a system. Secondly, studying the views of leaders of such an organization is a unique opportunity to understand the views of those who exercise significant influence in private education. Interviewing organizational leaders presents specific dilemmas of access, control, seduction, and negotiation over a social role. These are some of the reasons why few research studies exist that 6  are based on elite interviews in private institutions. On a personal note, it has been an interesting experience listening and trying to make sense of the opinions and positions of executives, and to what extent those positions become reflected in decisions, policies and processes affecting the course of the organization. Research using these leadership informants requires that I explain my own position in the study and relationship to the institution being studied, as George Marcus (1983) argues, the political stance of the researcher should be taken into consideration to avoid overshadowing of the empirical claims. So, I should say that my family has been on the board of the institution and that I have previously studied and worked at the institution. However, unlike Marcus, another standpoint (such as held by feminists) is that the empirical claims are not diminished by the normative stance of the researcher so long as he or she is answerable (Haraway, 1991). And I aim to be answerable in the sense that I reproduce the interviewee’s positions without leading to a conclusion of my own, favoring private or public education. Pursuing this study while studying in Canada at a different public research university has helped me appreciate different forms of higher education and allowed me to be more impartial in my research and yet to use the information accessible to me that other researchers would not be able to access.  7  1.6  Organization of the Thesis Chapter One outlines the main elements of the thesis: purpose, research questions, and  significance. Chapter Two is the review of the literature which is divided in two sections: in the first section, I review relevant global, national and local policy influences related to the dominance of neoliberalism, drawing on Rizvi and Lingard (2009) to explain global processes affecting educational policy and then examining policy from the 1990s that introduce the development of a neoliberal agenda, and how this agenda is affecting higher education in Mexico (Burbules & Torres 2000; Carnoy et al, 1993; Santos 2001, 2004). At the end of this first section, I focus on recent expansion of private higher education in Mexico by describing the development of horizontal and vertical diversification in the system to present an institutional typology of the public and private sector in Mexico (Kent; 1993, 2004). In the second section, the previous discussion is linked to dynamics of national and global competition in higher education (Marginson 2006) and to a working argument on the private/public good of higher education (Marginson, 2007; Menashy, 2009) to help me establish a theoretical framework for my study. In Chapter Three, I briefly describe the research methodology applied in the study, developing the rationale for choosing a qualitative case study approach, which utilizes a series of semistructured interviews as the main method for data collection. The methodology also considers logistical and ethical issues, challenges and my role as a researcher. Chapters Four and Five then present the core analysis and the findings. The findings are organized according to the research questions of the study but also presented in a way so that the reader can distinguish and contrast the points of view of the executive administration and campus deans, which will help understand a wider but focused analysis of a private higher education institution in Mexico. Chapter Four presents the first research question (identifying the external forces affecting the institution). 8  Chapter Five discusses findings related to the second and third research questions (the institution’s internal processes relative to the private and public good position of the institution). In Chapter Six, I present the analysis and conclusions that I extract from the data with support of the theoretical framework outlined in the review of the literature. I also suggest recommendations to public policy; recommendations to executive administrators in the institution and conclude with suggestions and avenues for further research.  9  CHAPTER II.  Review of the Literature  This literature review is divided into two main sections. In the first section, I review relevant global, national and local policy influences related to the dominance of neoliberal policy. In the second section I link this discussion relative to dynamics of national and global competition in higher education and a working argument on the private/public good of higher education. Figure 1 is a literature map (Creswell 1997) presenting the main topics and the relationships between topics that covered in this literature review.  10  Section I 2.1  Global Educational Policy Rizvi and Lingard (2009) argue that the ideology of privatization in education focuses on  a new global policy paradigm. “As educational systems around the world have become larger and more complex, governments have been either unable or unwilling to pay for educational expansion and have looked for market solutions” (Rizvi & Lingard, 2009, p.3). This has changed the socially democratic orientation of education to a neoliberal orientation, which has resulted in structures of corporatization, privatization, and commercialization. Individuals with degrees have been redefined as sites of human capital development and educational entities must now meet the needs of the global economy to ensure competitiveness in the economy. Rizvi and Lingard believe a strong influence of privatization occurring at a global dimension is also influencing the national and local levels by particular historical, economic, political and cultural dynamics. They argue that it is important to clarify the reasons for a dominant neoliberal policy paradigm and question how it might be possible to shift this paradigm to a more just and democratic globalization that implies a broader conception of educational purposes. Rizvi and Lingard are concerned with examining global processes that are reforming education around the world in a “range of complicated, complex, commensurate and contradictory ways” (Rizvi & Lingard, 2009, p.3). They offer a comprehensive view of policy studies in a world that is increasingly networked and shaped by transnational forces demanding a new global imagination. They provide a diverse view of critical education policy analysis, which attempts to represent a particular view of intersecting in global, national and local processes. 11  They suggest that over the past two decades there have been major shifts in the ways in which education policies are developed, implemented and evaluated. The authors argue that national systems of education are no longer determined wholly by policy actors within the nation-state. This is influenced through processes that occur in transnational and globally networked spaces. As a result, the state’s authority has been altered by new patterns of communication, competition, cooperation and coercion across national borders. The authority of the state according to Rizvi and Lingard has been transformed and the processes through which the state now allocates their policies so that citizens regard them as legitimate. Globalization has not only influenced the patterns of transnational economic activities, but political and cultural development has also been reshaped by the advances of information technologies. Rizvi and Lingard see that globalization is a concept used to describe a set of empirical changes, but also to prescribe desired interpretations to the changes in the world. With such an interpretation, globalization affects the ways in which we “both interpret and imagine the possibilities of our lives. In this way, the idea of globalization represents an ideological formation and a social imaginary that now shapes the discourses of education policy” (Rizvi & Lingard, 2009, p.23). Rizvi and Lingard (2009) suggest that it is possible to understand globalization in at least three different ways: “as an empirical fact that describes the profound shifts that are currently taking place in the world; as an ideology with various expressions of power and range of political interests; as a social imaginary that expresses the sense people have of their own identity and how it relates to the rest of the world and how it implicitly shapes their aspiration and expectations” (p.24)  12  Under this perspective the global social imaginary has transformed economic, political and cultural institutions, and even the manner in which we think about ourselves and imagine our futures. According to these authors the three ways of understanding globalization are not separate. Globalization implies “inexorable integration of markets, nation-states and technologies to a degree never witnessed before – in a way that is enabling individuals, corporations and nation-states to reach round the world farther, faster, deeper and cheaper than ever before” (Friedman, 1999, p.7) Recent concepts of time and space have been altered by the profound technological changes in transport, communications and data processing. Before these technologies space was understood in terms of physical localities. Mobility was limited because transportation was slower and ideas took time to travel from one place to another. Today global media is capable of communicating a message around the world instantaneously. Which means it is now possible to bring cultural meanings out of their original context and situate them in a different context. The circulation of ideas and information has been revolutionized to an extent where it is now possible to transfer capital across national boundaries in a short amount of time and hold a corporate meeting without having to mobilize representatives from each country. This has transformed the nature of economic activity. Capitalism has clearly taken advantage of these possibilities and influenced it across the globe. Today there is an increase in trade in services, not only in business, education and health services but also in entertainment and life style products. The emphasis on production standardization, mass production and predictable supply and demand is being replaced by new management core practices on flexibility, expressed as: subcontracting, outsourcing, just in time delivery systems and producing niche products for a highly differentiated market. Information 13  and communication technologies have also helped create a knowledge based economy. Manuel Castells (1996) argues that globalization has changed production and financial and commercial activity within global markets because of more rapid flows of information in the world wide networks. He argues the new economy is maintained “around global networks of capital, management, and information, whose access to technological knowhow is at the roots of productivity and competitiveness” (Castells, 1996, p.23). The global economy has shifted its attention to the service industries. In one end you have the low paid, low skills jobs on the other end high skills jobs have emerged in areas of technology and financial services, creating a major differentiation between income levels and skills required. George Ritzer (2004) suggests that the global services economy has been successful because it can capitalize on four management principles: efficiency, calculability, predictability and control through technology. Space and time in a global capitalist structure are conditioned by the dictates of multinational capitalism (Rizvi & Lingard, 2009). That is capitalism is shaping many aspects of human life and relations. Traditionally, nation-states defined the social and economic conditions in which people worked; today the conditions have changed because of increasing global capital, which have become a powerful influence especially in the least developed countries. (Cohen and Kennedy 2007, p.176). The economic activity of globalization must be supported by national governments. Therefore the state plays a crucial role in developing public policies, favorable to the processes of global capitalism. This means that economic shifts are aligned to political and cultural shifts. Global capitalism requires supportive nation-states, which support the global economy and can  14  help coordinate citizens. This suggests that issues of economic and political globalization are inextricably linked, and that public policy, including education, is now increasingly required to serve the interests of global capitalism. While education continues to serve this function, globalization theorists like Steger (2003) suggest that the nation states are also influenced by culture. With the intensity of global communication systems, the traditional link between territory and social identity is more complicated. Rizvi and Lingard (2009) argue that people today choose to detach their identities from particular times, places and traditions. Global media and mobility of people are producing hybrid characters, which has led to the emergence of a ‘global consciousness’ (Hall 1996, p. 332). Practices that have contributed to this global consciousness can be found in international division of labor, the effects of liberal trade, better communication and cheaper transport. Rizvi and Lingard believe that the movement of people, family visits, business, international education and intermittent stays abroad has given rise to new global sensibilities and imaginations, which leads to complex cultural practices. Rizvi & Lingard’s discussion on economic, political and cultural interconnectivity has created conditions for a transformed state that has to function under various global and regional networks that require the state to develop and coordinate new functions of policy that respond to the demands of global capitalism.  2.2  Mexican Higher Education Policy Since the 1980s the Mexican higher education has been transition to a phase of  modernization. Ordorika (1996) identified three discourses of the Mexican higher education system: emphasis on ‘educational planning’, ‘educational revolution’ and presently, to the  15  ‘modernization of education’. These concepts represent the synthesis of public policy in Mexican higher education history. During the presidency of Luis Echeverria (1970-1976) the state invested in improving the urban middle sectors which lead to the opening of the state in 1968 student movement. From 1976 to 1982, during the Jose Lopez Portillo presidency, an economic crisis affected investment in public higher education which forced better management of public resources and restructuring of educational institutions. The corresponding official discourse was that of “educational planning”. During the presidency of Miguel de la Madrid (1982-1988) the financial crisis worsened which required more structural adjustment and a decrease in investment of public education. This cutback and stagnation was paradoxically called an “educational revolution”. Carlos Salinas' (1988-1994) presidency was centered on the “modernization” of the educational system. The main argument was the improvement of quality which translated in more administrative efficiency (Martinez and Ordorika 1993). In the following section I will describe with more detail the phase of “modernization” of Mexican higher education to illuminate the policy reforms and unprecedented outcomes related to this phase in Mexican higher education.  Modernization of Mexican Higher Education According to Rodríguez and Casanova (2005) the neoliberal policy in Mexico began with De la Madrid (1982-1988) but the Salinas administration (1988–1994) was responsible for building the neoliberal economic policy by reducing import tariffs, privatizing more than 1,000 public sector firms, bringing public finances under control, and deregulating the agriculture and export sector. The most symbolic shift away from a protected economy with ample state 16  intervention was the signing of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Another response of integration into the global economy was in 1994 when Mexico became a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 1997) and signed the Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Under the administration of President Zedillo (1994–2000), Mexico continued to get involved in bilateral free trade agreements with the European Union, Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Israel and Nicaragua. Trade policy in Mexico caused the macro-economy to recover relevant amounts of foreign investment but also bringing serious problems to the micro economy which produced an unequal social distribution of wealth. The administration of Vicente Fox Quesada (2000–2006) as well as current president Felipe Calderon meant a political alternative to the dominating political party but a continued push to neoliberal policy. Rodríguez and Casanova (2005) argue the policy results of higher education in Mexico in the last three decades are highly inconsistent. Presidential administrations gave shape to the system but not always in a coherent fashion or a clear direction. The reforms undertaken emphasized short term solutions. The fundamental social values of national higher education have not been the primary focus of the last three administrations. Instead changes taking place in Mexico’s higher education system respond to a neoliberal trend that is subject to forces far beyond the frontiers of the nation.  17  Global and national challenges in Mexican Higher education Mexican higher education faces a number of challenges, due to pressures in the development of neoliberal policy and the restructuring of the higher education system. Torres and Rhoads (2006) believe that neoliberal assumptions underlie the dominant discourse in higher education in Latin America. As with the attitudes cited above, at the heart of their argument is a belief that higher education in Mexico exists within a complex and evolving environment shaped most forcefully by globalization. By globalization they mean an increasingly interdependent and sophisticated relationship among economies, cultures, institutions, and nation-states (Burbules & Torres 2000; Carnoy et al; 1993; Santos 2001, 2004). Such relationships challenge higher education leaders and policy makers as the autonomy of the nation-state becomes compromised and the role of the university is increasingly aligned with market-driven interests (MaldonadoMaldonado, Ordorika, Velazquez, 2006; Rhoads, 2003; Torres, 2002). Similar to Ordorika (1996), scholars like Kent-Serna (1993) and Gil-Anton (1996); identify four stages in the development of Mexican higher education. From 1960 to 1969 they describe a period of moderate expansion of the system. The 1970s and 1980s are considered a period of accelerated expansion. In the late 1980s was a slower growth as a result of an economic crisis arising from a decline of oil prices and the country’s increasing international debt. To overcome this challenge the government designed a rational plan that emphasized financial issues and institutional self-evaluation. Finally the 1990s higher education has been characterized as a time of renewed expansion and diversification of the higher education system, in which the private sector has grown with loose accountability and public sector diversity has increased with the implementation of the technical universities and intercultural universities. The Federal government also promoted evaluation policies, mainly in public higher education institutions 18  where the largest percentage of all undergraduate students is located as well as most activities related to graduate education and research. During this period a crisis of confidence of public higher education emerged and the government responded with evaluation policies. The public policies implemented since the era of modernization and development has been described by Kent Serna (2005) as having a progressive impact but lacking expectation of performance. Levy and Altbach (2007) believe that the logic of today’s market economies and neoliberal policy have contributed to the expansion of private higher education. Scholars further argue that the expansion of higher education has been converted into an “industry” because an academic degree is a “private good” that benefits the individual rather than a “public good” for society (Marginson 2007). According to Kent (2005) the growth of private higher education evolved from multiple actors, processes and decisions that were not coordinated within a national framework because of differing goals of the various types of institutions (commercial, elite, religious, for and not-for profit, etc). In the following part of section One, I review the diversification of private higher education in Mexico.  Typology of the Mexican higher education system Kent (2004) lays out a typology of the Mexican higher education system and describes the recent growth of private higher education in Mexico. He briefly examines vertical diversification in the public and private sector and subsequently he explores horizontal diversification of higher education as an industry, focusing on the emergence of differentiated institution types. The purpose of this typology is to appreciate how the structure of higher 19  education in Mexico is beginning to operate under new dynamics of cooperation and competition. Over the last 20 years higher education enrolments have grown exponentially. Kent (2004) states that demographic structure favors this trend because in 2005, the majority of the population in Mexico was under 25 years of age; also policy efforts have invested in primary and secondary schooling over the past 15 years which has affected completion rates and now many students aspire to higher education. Vertical diversification between public and private sectors is an increasing structural change in the higher education sector. Between 1990 and 2002, graduate enrolments grew from 46,000 to 148,000 and overall expansion of 200%. This means that graduate studies are a new growth industry. According to Kent (2004) this is a response to a diversified market with increasing competition which intends to increase demand by offering graduate studies to professionals. Critics believe that the growth of graduate programs shows signs of unregulated expansion with poor quality. Few programs are academically respectable because they are one year diploma courses geared toward the new economy. The rapid expansion of such programs indicates the growing demand of a workforce that needs to upgrade or differentiate themselves in order to compete in a competitive labour market. During the 1990s the public sector has diversified from a binary scheme with universities and four year technical schools to a range of postsecondary institutions. Today the majority of the students in the public sector are enrolled in two or four year technical schools. This expansion was purposefully favored by policies in the 1990s limited the growth of public universities and favored the expansion of technical post-secondary education, followed by  20  OECD recommendations (OECD, 1996). The effort in public universities was mostly focused on increasing quality but not accessibility (Kent, 2003). The intention behind the policy was to improve quality and equity by creating a differentiated higher education system. Policy makers argued that two and four year technical institutes would effectively open access to an underserved population found in small cities and rural areas who did not have access to public or private universities. The technical institutes have not been successful for more than a decade because the project has not been convincing enough to the public. The lack of space at the public university and the creation of new private establishments attracted more students to the private sector. According to Kent (2004) the public system in Mexico has been defined with the following sub systems: •  Two year Technological Universities  •  Four year technical institutes (federal level) and four year institutes (state level)  •  Four year universities (state level)  •  Four year universities (federal level)  •  Four year polytechnics (state level)  Under the modernization of the higher education system a series of systematic changes resulted in the decentralization of higher education and a process of system differentiation at the institutional and regional level. The administration of Salinas de Gortari, Ernesto Zedillo and Vicente Fox promoted the new “federalization” of public administration which meant for a decentralization of basic public education, and basic services like health and social development, as well as fiscal changes for funding. Kent argues that decentralization of higher education did not function as planned, nor has it been implemented in all federal entities because of a mix of negotiations between the federal and state governments. The decentralization of higher education 21  has not been an integral decision, but more successive approximations conducted by the sub minister of higher education. The following table illustrates the changes in the higher education system during the 1990’s. TABLE 1: Higher Education System in Mexico 1990 – 2001. 1990  2001  Growth  Federal and State universities  43  46  7%  Technical institutes (federal level)  96  111  16%  Technological institutes (state level)  0  80  Technological universities  0  38  Polytechnic and Intercultural universities  0  3  Total Public Sector  139  278  100%  Universities  50  100  100%  Institutes, Academias, schools  162  545  236%  Total Private Sector  212  645  204%  Total Higher Education System  354  946  167%  Public Sector  Private Sector  Source: ANUIES Statistical Data Base  22  In the public sector the biggest growth was in the creation of technological institutes at the federal and state level. The private sector holds a substantial growth especially under the sector classified as non university institutions also called “demand absorbing”. This new diversity of the higher education subsystem is what state authorities and federal authorities are trying to regulate under the process of the new “federalization”. Within the public sector it is worth stating that technological universities, a sector created in 1991, created 61 institutions with a current enrolment of 66,000 students. According to Kent (2004) this represents an innovative model for Mexican higher education in terms of curricula and financial management. Still, analysts have criticized the performance of these institutions. According to external evaluations by the general coordination of technological universities in 2006 identified certain problems. Here I cite textual information from the evaluation (pag. 2334): (1) The positioning of technical universities is not recognized in the labour sector because the subsystem does not have enough diffusion; (2) the title “Tecnico Superior Universitario” is not tabulated in the labor market. This translates into problems for job seeking opportunities that are well paid. (3) Graduates feel resentment for getting a technical degree that cannot get them into the labor market they aspire to so they continue to look for advanced studies. This translates into a deviation of one the primal objectives of this subsystem: the labor insertion of its graduates. The private sector holds more growth visibility but less recognition than the differentiation of the public sector because of rapid expansion and differentiation. The private sector has been analyzed under Levy’s (1986) classification: universities (or elite institutions) and non-universities (demand absorbing) establishments. Over time analysis was made to illustrate the different subsectors in private higher education. For example, small institutions that 23  were demand-absorbing at one point in time may evolve into more academic consolidated institutions. Other small institutions may have erroneously been classified as “demand absorbing” when in fact they are specialized institutions designed to develop professionals in a specific discipline. Peña (2004) recently helped reclassify the different subsectors in private higher education:  a)  Universities: Academically reputable institutions offering undergraduate and  graduate programs in different disciplines. Faculty usually has good teaching and research credentials (although few private universities actually carry out research); all have national and other types of quality accreditations. This category is mostly supported by religious orders, industrial groups or associations which have kept their traditional format or expanded through multi campus systems and virtual education delivery. b)  Non-university establishments (demand-absorbing): Mostly new for-profit  establishments offering popular undergraduate degrees; Faculty has low teaching credentials and work part-time. Institutions in this category have no national accreditation from the government or other agencies. c)  Specialized Institutes: These are focused on training professionals in one or two  disciplines, with specialized academic infrastructure; faculty is a mix of full time and part-time but reputable practitioners; their programs are nationally accredited. Some of these institutes operate close to the sector in which they have an interest such as business, law firms, hotels or restaurants with an interest in training specialized workers for their industry.  24  d)  Non-university establishments in the process of academic consolidation: Formerly  non-university establishments that are in the process of strengthening their faculty and academic facilities; they aim to become respectable institutions. The number of establishments in this emerging category is very small compared to the total of non-university establishments. e)  Expanding Non-university Businesses: Institutes that have prospered as  entrepreneurial businesses, with intentions to grow in volume but not in academic quality; most faculty are part-time and under-qualified; offerings are low cost and popular degrees in the market by growing either by expanding their original facilities and/or by creating new outlets in other cities. f)  International corporations: Large public for-profit providers, such as Laurete  International Universities or Apollo Group. Laureate is a global network of 43 institutions of higher education spanning 20 countries with nearly 500,000 students worldwide. In Mexico Laureate owns two universities (Universidad del Valle de Mexico UVM, Universidad Tecnologica de Mexico UNITEC) and operates 35 campuses located throughout Mexico City and 15 Mexican States. The Apollo Group is the Parent company of the University of Phoenix.  Kent (2005) argues that the market has been left to a wide spread of private institutions that are mostly competing for volume by keeping low fees but are not in the process of improving quality. To some extent Mexican institutions are mostly corresponding to market driven- economies but have little regulation regarding academic quality. The quality control that does exist is created by the elite academic institutions.  25  Kent (2005) believes that there are favorable conditions for the expansion of private higher education: “Demographic structure, economic and social pressures have provoked a high demand for post secondary education in Mexico; minimum investment is required to establish an institution and offer an academic degree to the population; quality control is not being enforced although this has become an important issue and will probably change; higher education institutions are seeking practitioners to occupy the teaching demand needed in most higher education institutions; lack of legal distinction between for-profit and nonprofit establishments of higher education; and accreditation is still in a developing stage and students are not well informed of the distinctions in the private higher education system” (p.23). Critics of Mexican Higher Education have come to believe that the private higher education market is behaving similar to an informal economy. The demand for higher education has over shadowed the State’s capacity to regulate, and leaders in the public sector believe that the penetration of private higher education threatens the traditional universities and their central function in modern society. Kuznetsov and Dahlman (2008) point out that the infiltration of private higher education has been part of a policy goal. Government did not provide enough resources to meet the public demand. To Kuznetsov and Dahlman (2008) the most significant growth in the private sector has come from institutions with good academic reputations. These universities started as small establishments but found ways to create value in the market and expand in the following ways:  26  Expansion through a multicampus system:  This model was taken up by Monterrey  Technical Institute. Today, Tecnologico de Monterrey is a multi-campus university system with academic centers in different regions of the country. The work of the Monterrey Technical Institute and of all of its campuses is supported by civil associations (industrial groups) from all parts of the country, who are committed to quality in higher education. Each year, the trustees of these civil associations meet to establish the goals which will guide the important decisions needed for the Tecnologico de Monterrey to achieve its mission of becoming an engine for the development of local communities and the country. Tecnologico de Monterrey has gained support of the national community, which participates in the lotteries the institution organizes to expand the scholarship program and the investment in infrastructure. Organizational growth from the support of religious orders:  The religious order path has  been both of single and multi-campus establishments. An example would be the Jesuit higher education system which owns seven types of universities in Mexico. Some universities have been kept as a single campus and some universities like Universidad Iberoamericana has established five campuses in different regions of the country. This example has been followed by other Catholic orders like Anahuac. Corporate expansion buyouts:  This formula comes from for-profit corporate  conglomerates like Apollo Group and Laureate International Universities. Laureate international bought a local university Universidad del Valle de Mexico (UVM). Today UVM is part of one of the biggest corporate educational providers with campuses located in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.  27  Online programmes:  Another form of expansion has been through online education. Tec  the Monterrey is currently offering online programs through its virtual campus in Spanish speaking countries.  Section II  2.3  Dynamics of National and Global Competition in Higher Education Relationships among higher education institutions are structured around cooperation and  competition. Marginson (2006) has chosen a particular elment (competition in higher education) to clarify the whole. According to him the relationship between the national and global spaces is complex and most often should be analyzed in a case by case manner because the global engagement varies from nation to nations; and the global flows between different nations and individual institutions are sometimes two ways and sometimes uni-directional. Marginson (2006) theorizes national competition in higher education by adapting Hirsh’s (1976) notion of positional goods in relation to the vertical segmentation of national competition. Higher education according to him operates as a positional good in which some degrees offer better social status and lifetime opportunities than others. According to Marginson (2006) the positional aspect is not the only consideration in the minds of prospective students but it is more important than academic quality. Institutional reputation is known, but teaching quality is not. 28  For example, Moogan (1999) found UK students were more influenced by university prestige than measures of program quality. Hirsh (1976) explains the zero sum dynamic of positional competition. Prestigious degrees present advantages on some only by denying them to others. “What winners win losers loose” (Hirsh 1976, p.52). There is an absolute limit to the number of positional goods at a given level of value. The number of such goods cannot be expanded without reducing unit value. For example, once everyone can enroll in Medicine and become a doctor, Medicine ceases to be a high income high status profession. Given the absolute limit on the number of high value positional goods; there is an absolute limit on the number of high value institutions, and on the size of those individual institutions within the prestige grouping. According to Marginson (2007) the rules of the game are well understood, but the consequences are often perverse. In a positional market there is competition between producers and competition between consumers. Producer universities compete for preferred ‘customers’. Student ‘customers’ compete for preferred institutions. Prestige sustains high paying students, competition drives them higher, and scarcity reproduces the prestige of the elite universities in a circular effect that always drives the reproduction of hierarchy. Individuals invest in costly education because it is perceived as a positional market that would create possibilities related to social status and professional leadership. Positional markets in higher education become a positional arms race in which the hierarchy of students is pushed with the hierarchy of universities, and each group creates structures to sustain each other. Vertical segmentation is a natural process in positional competition because the arms race to gain attributes and resources causes some institutions to perform at a higher level than others.  29  Whether non-for profit or for profit, anywhere in the world, these institutions must struggle to fill their places and secure revenues. According to Marginson (2007), “the dynamic of scarcity and exclusion creates the elite/mass dualism and drives further vertical segmentation within it” (p.8). This creates stratification within a system which is formal and informal and varies by nation and its competitive context. Competition has been intensifying over the last several decades in almost all domains. Global higher education is produced and consumed within a worldwide university hierarchy in which it has spread across geography, so nations must compete to maintain their existing prosperity. Competition has spread where there is growing needs, but scarce resources. This has caused export nations of higher education to benefit from emerging markets that lack national higher education development in emerging nations. Without such hierarchy there would be no positional advantage and hence no worldwide social competition through higher education. The global hierarchy is subject to constant alternations which are guided by national economic development, inner city economic development, innovation and innovative capacity, etc. Marginson (2007) believes that higher education in developing countries is more unstable and more changeable than national positional hierarchies in the industrialized nations. Marginson (2007) states that “national and global competition in higher education will always produce globally stratified outcomes unless modified by policy action that is coordinated across borders” (p.37). The challenges of competition in higher education raise the question on the next working definition elaborated by (Marginson, 2007) related to the potential of ‘public good’ and ‘private good’ in higher education.  30  2.4  The ‘Public Good’ and ‘Private Good’ of Higher Education  The conception in neo-classical economics Samuelson (1954) developed a neo-classical economic definition of ‘public’ goods. He believed that ‘public goods’ are non-rivalrous because they can be consumed by any number of people. They are non-excludable, because the benefits cannot be restricted to an individual, such as social tolerance, or law and order. Goods can have one or the other quality in part, and can be designated ‘part-public’ goods. For example, the concept of ‘club goods’ has been described as rivalrous but non excludable (Sandler 1999, pp. 40–42). In Samuelson’s framework, ‘private’ goods are goods that are both rivalrous and excludable. Samuelson tried to adopt a boundary between public and private. For him a good is fundamentally public or private, and it is determined by the nature of the product. Products are naturally non-rivalrous and/or non-excludable, or they are naturally private goods. Samuelson assumes that the market defines the product and that the market is private; and therefore private goods should be produced in markets. In this argument public or part-public goods are normally under-provided in economic markets because they can be acquired for free because the goods are non-excludable. This approach has become the dominant conception in neoclassical economics, and consequently adapted by mainstream neo-liberal thinking in public policy. Another concept from economics is ‘externalities’. Marginson (2007) outlines that an externality in economics is a cost or benefit not transmitted through price exchanges; it is absorbed by a party who did not agree to the action. An example in education would be the benefits not experienced by the individual who pays for the costs of education. For example,  31  when a student learns to use a computer, she or he becomes aware of a range of products provided by technology companies that did not pay for the costs of the education. Marginson (2007) believes that the concepts of excludability, rivalry, and underproduction of public goods in markets, and externalities, are helpful to us because they can help understand the public/private distinctions in higher education. He also states that neoclassical economics does not have all the answers to the public/private problem. According to Marginson (2007) it is poor judgment to place an individual value on collective goods such as common literacy in the population, in contrast with the individual benefits obtained by a single degree. Common literacy in the population cannot be compared to the individual benefits of a single degree certificate. Marginson (2009) also believes it is poor judgment that education is ‘naturally’ a club good, a good that is non-rivalrous in consumption but excludable because its benefits can be confined to individuals. Clearly some types of education can be appreciated as rivalrous but not all of the benefits are excludable. To claim higher education as a ‘club good’ does not help on the definition of the variable character of higher education. For example, basic research published freely in the public domain is less excludable than commercial research which is subject to both rivalry and excludability. Marginson (2007) argues that it is more helpful to consider education as a policy choice that is potentially rivalrous or non-rivalrous, and potentially excludable or non-excludable, rather than focusing on defining the intrinsic value of the good. Society has continued to make new constructions and understandings of ‘public’ and ‘private’ in education and other sectors. In this literature review the working definition of the public/private divide by Marginson (2007) has been conceptually framed in relation to three sites: higher education in general, national higher education systems and global relations in 32  higher education. Before engaging with the working definition of Marginson (2007); I will begin with the assumptions and methods of how the public and private good have been described in the literature.  Assumptions and Methods The core public/private distinction in liberal theory is the dualism between the state and market. The dualism has been mapped into the state/market distinction, but the application of this mapping creates analytical weaknesses (Marginson, 2007). For example, governments and state agencies can set up markets, manage markets, own and conduct business activity and generate profits. According to Marginson (2009), if we take “state” and “market” separately, the state and non-state differentiation is about ownership. Marginson (2007) argues that the outcomes of higher education goods can be either ‘private’ or ‘public’. This gives an opportunity to appreciate the interrelationships of public and private qualities that take place in higher education institutions. In a dualistic frame the more higher education is private the less it is public, and vice versa. Dualism is a handicap when analyzing the overlap between two ideologically drawn extremes (Dow, 1990, 1996). According to Marginson (2007) it is more useful to understand public and private as heterogeneous qualities that carry the potential of a positive or a negative sum, depending on the production. The production of public and private goods is often interdependent, which means the production of one kind of good provides conditions necessary to the other. Public goods produced in higher education are not necessarily providing private goods received by individuals. For example, public goods include collective goods that cannot be 33  individualized such as the benefits of the environment. Also we have come to believe that public/private means something different in the local, national and in the global level. According to Marginson (2007) we need to develop a public/private conception that can work consistently across local, national and global dimensions.  The concept in political philosophy Marginson (2007) states that political philosophy uses the public/private dimension more broadly. For example, the term ‘public’ can be understood by how the good is produced and by whom, who controls it, how widely it is distributed, and who benefits from it. Here ‘public’ can refer to goods that are collectively produced and/or consumed. The democratic philosophical argument of the ‘public’ refers to goods that are broadly accessible, produced with transparency, or decided within the community. The term ‘public’ in liberal political philosophy is often associated with government or the state. The term ‘private’ refers to any non state production like: the market, individual markets in particular sectors, the home and family, the inner self, etc. Again it is apparent that usage is loose and eclectic suggesting the need for consistent definitions. The problem here, according to Marginson is that the legal distinction between government and non-government ownership does not grasp the necessary range of meanings or interpretations.  34  Problems in the traditional conceptions Marginson (2007) argues that the problem with the public/private approach is that they are treated as mutually exclusive. The economic perspective associates ‘public’ as not in the market; the statist notion associates ‘public’ with the state. Neoclassical economics define public/private with an implicit bias of high individualism and market forms of social organization. For economics, efficiency in the allocation of a product predisposes us to market solutions, so the neoliberal policy maker appreciates higher education as a natural private good (Marginson, 1997). Neo-classical economics mostly focuses on market competition and differentiated solutions, but ignores the possibility of producing ‘public goods’ in the private sphere. Marginson (2007) believes that the statist definition is equally unhelpful. The ‘public’ is strictly related to government or the state, which underestimates the capacity of universities to shape their own economic and social personalities through non market activity, such as global research collaboration. Second it neglects the possibility of selling degrees to international students as a commercial product. Third it neglects the potential for collective goods and externalities generated not in government but in civil associations and markets as well. Fourth, statism does not approach the possibility of global public goods. This is because in the global sphere there is no government, so it does not include the potential of producing global public goods. According to Marginson (2007) statism manages higher education within a public and state good, but cross-border higher education is managed as a private good in the market. “The nation is public the global is market” (Marginson, 2007, p.314). Even though statism agrees with  35  neo classical economics on the global environment they disagree sharply about the national environment.  A preferred approach to public/private Marginson (2007) argues that conceptions in economics and political philosophy are useful in studies of higher education. He also argues that our definition of the public/private should be based on the realities of the higher education sector and coherent policy making, and the approach should be robust in relation to a range of political and economic theorisations. He defines public goods as those that: (1) Public goods have a significant element of non-rivalry and/or non-exclusivity, and (2) goods that are made broadly available across populations.(p.315) This means that it is possible for state-owned entities to produce some private goods in the market. Milton Friedman (1962) suggested that it is possible to create externalities in which the education of one person can help the productivity of others. For example, the selling of commercial education across borders might help improve tolerance and cultural sharing. However, public goods are normally under produced in economic markets because producers and consumers normally focus on private benefits for themselves. Marginson’s (2007) point is that higher education is essentially neither public nor private. Higher education can produce public and private goods or a mix of the two. The definition of public and private is determined by public policy which is determined by institutional leaders and other personnel who hold power in the governance and decision making process. It is  36  important to keep in mind the capacity of policy makers not just to augment market competition but to expand the elements of non-rivalry and non-excludability in production and distribution. Marginson (2007) is conscious that policy actions to augment public goods will involve political conflicts and often complex tradeoffs between the public and the private sectors.  Applying the argument of public/private to higher education Marginson (2007) believes that higher education in the world can be exclusively public, private or a mix. Free state controlled universities produce certain private goods and private universities also contribute to public goods, collective goods and externalities. This doesn’t mean that the public/private mix is always the same everywhere. According to Marginson (2007) the different public/private relationships are one of the key elements that differentiate institutions and national policies. Institutions and national systems in which higher education is organized as a market place greater focus on private goods to the extent that the public/private mix is reduced to zero sums of public goods. What is important in determining the public/private character of goods is not ownership but the purposes of the institution or unit (Marginson, 2007). Commercial research centers in state or private universities normally protect knowledge that is excludable, confined to private ownership and accessible to exploitation by its owners before entering the public domain.  37  Changing public/private boundaries: the global dimension According to Marginson (2007) globalization is expanding the potentials for global private goods and global public goods. He argues that globalization is often associated with the increase of private goods through trade liberalization, but globalization can also augment the scale and scope of public goods. “Global interdependence increases the extent of cross border externalities, whereby actions in one nation create benefits or costs for people in another” (Marginson 2007, p.323). Marginson (2007) believes that the problem lies in the production of public goods because they can only be considered and regulated in a policy space, but there is no global policy space in higher education. Government and policy practices for higher education are mostly confined to national boundaries. In the absence of a global policy space where global public goods can be considered, international higher education comes to be treated as a trading and market environment, in which only the production of global private goods is recognized. Thus in a global dimension we find ourselves needing a framework for analysis and policy making. In summary, according to Marginson (2007) the global dimension of higher education produces a mix of private and public goods. Globalization enhances the potential for both kinds of goods, but we do not have global policy that is focusing on the mix, because private goods for the most part are understood at the global dimension but public goods are not. Marginson (2007) believes that access to the global public goods need to be enhanced. The democratization of planning and production of the national and global public goods makes for a more transparent and broader distribution encouraging policy discussion and involving a range of non state agencies and actors.  38  The social imaginary of globalization Rizvi and Lingard (2009) are interested in the ideological claims of globalization but moreover how people internalize them. It is important to make a distinction between ideology and a social imaginary to understand the process of translation. Globalization has produced not only economic, political and cultural shifts, but also changed the sense of identity and belonging of the people’s social imaginary. According to the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor the idea of social imaginary involves a complex, unstructured and contingent mix of the empirical and the effective; not a deep understanding of our situation in which our world becomes clear. The idea of social imaginary is parallel to Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of ‘habitus’ (1986). A social imaginary is how a society thinks collectively by the ordinary people within a familiar understanding and justification of everyday practices. A social imaginary is appreciated in images, myths, parables, stories, legends, mass media and popular culture. Through these practices sociability becomes possible. Taylor insists that the social imaginary is embedded in everyday notions but also in theories and ideologies and, by implication, in policies. Taylor’s analysis suggests that neoliberal discourses of globalization are embedded within a social imaginary, and that their transformation requires the exercise of collective political agency, and in imagining them differently. Taylor believes the social imaginary involves a collective social energy that is not only conditioned to time and space, but is always diverse and highly contested within and across societies. It is through collective sense of imagination that society is created, but is also subjected to social change. 39  The discussion of Rizvi and Lingard (2009) indicates that neoliberalism has become dominant in the social imaginary of globalization. This has occurred through a range of processes related to economic, political and cultural interests. Each of these global processes influences not only national systems of education but has also the neoliberal imaginary of education. Each nation and education system is affected in different ways depending on the global pressures. Rizvi and Lingard view national governments as the policy makers, but being influenced by global processes. They note that globalization has many debates but a particular social imaginary of globalization has become dominant. This demands and examination of the ways in which education has been shaped and new ways of imagining education.  40  CHAPTER III.  3.1  Methods  Introduction The use of a qualitative study permits a closer look at the subject, uses the researcher as  the primary instrument of data collection and analysis, and permits inductive analysis and findings that are richly descriptive (Sharan 1998). Yin (1994) suggests that ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions in a case study bring a distinctive advantage because they enable the researcher to focus on the process, context, and discovery of qualitative inquiry. The design of the qualitative case study was used to gain an in-depth understanding of an institution as a “bounded system” and what it can reveal about a current phenomenon. I began the study with the theoretical perspective that private higher education in Mexico has been increasingly affected by global and local processes (economic, political, social and technological) that influence a case study organization and its opportunities. I wanted to investigate how these processes are negotiated as they create value or threaten the institution’s possibilities relative to the ‘public’ and ‘private’ goods of the institution. To set up this inquiry process, I formulated three main research questions:  1. What are the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge of upper level management with regard to the global and local forces (economic, political, technological, and social) that influence the organization and its opportunities?  41  2. What are the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge of upper level management in internal processes in response to external pressures relative to the ‘public’ and ‘private’ good? 3. How does the institution position itself relative to other educational opportunities (public and private) at the local, national, and global levels?  3.2 Site Selection The study focuses on a private business school in Mexico, here called ‘the school’. Manuel Gomez Morin, along with other Mexican diplomats and intellectuals, founded the business school for the Bank of Mexico in 1929, with the objective to train employees for the Bank. In 1931, the Bank of Mexico was restructured and the school was released from the Bank of Mexico’s charge. In 1932, with the petition of professors, students and the community the school reopened its doors to give life to the business school as an independent entity from the Bank of Mexico. Today the institution operates under a “Civil Society” legal structure and holds a “presidential decree” granted in 1939 by the president of Mexico, Lazaro Cardenas. The presidential decree granted academic autonomy to the institution. Today the institution has an enrolment of 10,500 students. Since the 1990s the institution has gone through a development phase by creating six satellite campuses: Reforma, Dinamarca, Tlalnepantla, Toluca, Chiapas, Liverpool (virtual) and Querétaro. Since its establishment the school has maintained its specialization, which makes it unique in its genre. The school is distinguished and well-positioned within the Mexican higher education sector due to: •  Degree programs: undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies 42  •  Different learning modalities: onsite learning, blended learning, and online learning  •  Presidential decree granting academic autonomy  •  Size of staff: 1,276 employees between professionals and faculty  •  Number of alumni: 120,000 since 1929  •  Expansion model: multi-campus system  •  Awards: in 2006, the school was awarded the Certificate of Academic Excellence by the Ministry of Education of Mexico. In the same way, in March 2008, the school was ratified as an Institution of Academic Excellence until 2014.  TABLE 2: Current Population at the School Campuses:  Management Campus  team  Professors  Students  Total  Corporativo  172  N/A  N/A  Reforma  149  438  3484  4071  Tlalnepantla  59  151  1152  1362  Dinamarca  59  124  954  1137  Tuxtla  22  92  410  524  Virtual  14  96  766  876  Toluca  29  101  761  891  Querétaro  31  27  255  313  Corporate education  18  Total  553  18 1029  7782  9192  43  Miller and Salkind (2002) and Creswell (1998) indicate that in a qualitative case study the approach to the context of the case should be described in detail. The context involves situating the case within its setting as well as within its larger, overall environment. This research study was conducted on six satellite campuses: three in Mexico City, one in the state of Queretaro and one in the state of Toluca. The three campuses in Mexico City were selected for being the oldest (Reforma), the newest in the city (Tlanepantla), and the graduate studies campus (Dinamarca). The Queretaro and Toluca campus were selected for being the new campus establishments outside but close to Mexico City. The following are the campuses that were included in the study: •  Campus Reforma - This campus is in Mexico City, with 65 years of operation. The campus holds around 100 classrooms for undergraduate courses in business.  •  Campus Tlanepantla –This campus in Mexico City started operations in 2005. The campus holds 40 classrooms for undergraduate , graduate and continuing study courses in business.  •  Campus Dinamarca - This campus in Mexico City started operations in 2003. The campus holds 30 classrooms for graduate studies and continuing studies in business.  •  Campus Querétaro – This new campus, founded in 2009, is situated in Prolongación Fray Sebastian de Gallegos, Querétaro. The campus holds 40 classrooms for undergraduate degrees in business as well as postgraduate and continuing studies.  •  Campus Toluca – This campus was founded in 2008. The campus holds 40 classrooms for undergraduate degrees in business as well as postgraduate and continuing studies.  44  3.3  Researcher’s Positionality  I have worked for the school, and I am related to one of the founding leaders of the institution as my grandfather was one of the first professors there. Currently my uncle and my father own and operate the school. According to Mehra (2001), this condition makes this researcher an insider. Being an insider can usually be of benefit to the researcher because of the ease in identifying key informants, the ability to gain access to participants and documents that may not be granted to outsiders, the familiarity with the institution and its culture, and because insiders are trusted with relevant information (Brayboy & Deyhle, 2000).  As an individual who has close connections to the institution, I had access to strategic resources and individuals. In normal circumstances, these resources would not have been available for outsiders or people who are not involved in the institution. I acknowledge the advantages of having access to these resources in order to conduct this study. However, I also recognize that being an insider presents important challenges in order to obtain reliable information. That is, interviewees might feel uncomfortable providing job-related as well as personal and confidential information to someone who has close ties with the institution. In an attempt to overcome this challenge I made sure to inform the participants that the project is an academic project for the University of British Columbia in Canada. I informed the participants that the project was approved by the Behavioral Research Ethics Board at UBC and that the researcher will manage and use the information in an anonymous way in order to prevent any potential risks to the people being interviewed. In addition interviewees were also informed that their names would not be mentioned and that they could withdraw from the study at any point without the need to provide any further explanation or information. The signing of an informed  45  consent agreement by the interviewees also played an important role in helping the people being interviewed to feel comfortable during the interview process.  3.4  Methods for Data Collection The collection of data occurred through semi-structured interviews (see Appendices for  interviewing protocol), observations, and a review of the school’s web site and archives for relevant documents and statistics about the institution. I conducted the interviews in Spanish because most participants were native Spanish speakers, to ensure they felt comfortable during the interview. The questions in the protocol were presented in clusters of topics and given to the participant a week before the interview began so that he or she had an opportunity to ask questions about the protocol and the interview process. After each interview I took field notes to see if there were any key concepts or ideas that were worth keeping in mind as I went through the interview process. The interviews were digitally recorded and I transcribed them for analysis. Going through the transcription process allowed me to identify and reflect on the concepts and ideas that were revealed in the interviews, and provided the possibility for participants to review what they said and give them a chance to add or reshape the given text if they wanted. I sent each participant the transcription of our meeting; I confirmed approval and received feedback. The feedback I did receive from each participant was taken into consideration for transcript and coding process and it was later stored in a private file and the email was deleted to keep the anonymity of the participant.  46  3.5  Interview Participant Selection  A strategic sample of participants (men and women) with high-level positions in the school was chosen for interviews. They are executive administrators, mid-level administrators, and campus deans. A total of 14 individuals were interviewed: five executive administrators (President, Vice President, Chief Financial officer, Chief Operations officer, and Chief of Academic Affairs), four middle management administrators (Director of Virtual campus, Director of Corporate training, Coordinator of Marketing, Coordinator of Institutional Communications), and five campus deans (from the campuses at Reforma, Toluca, Dinamarca, Queretaro, Tlalnepantla). I set up the sample population by choosing the most influential individuals that met the following criteria: (1) high-level organizational status (position and formulation of rules and procedures); (2) authority over the control and use of valued resources; (3) able to participate in the interview and reflect as individuals on the questions framed in the research project; and (4) able to continue participating in the process if needed after the interviews via email or an informal talk. See appendix for a list of interview participants by job title.  3.6  Pilot Interview To test the interview questions, I conducted a pilot interview with a close relative that  works in the school. The informal session took place the weekend of my arrival in Mexico City before I started the recruitment sessions with all the participants. This interview was helpful since it gave me a practice run with someone that is a family member and would give me trusted advice and feedback on the interview process that would happen in two weeks. This pilot study 47  was digitally recorded and transcribed as well. Afterwards I had time to go over the interview and make improvements for the protocol and my approach for the next two weeks. The pilot interview served also as an experience to learn from an interview process. The pilot interview helped me refined the protocol approach and made me aware of the upper level context which helped to know how to deal with the upcoming interviews. I appreciated the feedback that ‘just listening’ while interviewing would help the individual let down their professional guard and open up more genuinely.  3.7  Interview Transcription The interviews were conducted in Spanish and translated into English. Tilley (2003)  challenges the objectivity of the transcription process. She believes that the dictation of the text is likely to capture the judgment of what is important and what is not. The transcriber will constantly make subjective decisions on how best to describe the way things are said in all aspects of the grammatical use. Having in mind that transcribing is a complex process I followed the general guidelines suggested by Slim and Thompson (1995, p. 87) for the interview transcriptions: The basic rule of transcription is to render the original speech into written text as accurately as possible by including hesitation, repetition, exclamation, emphasis and dialect. It is important not to correct grammar or word order, or to attempt to make the account read more like a written one…. References within the text which might not be clear to an outsider-- for example, allusions to local dignitaries, organizations and cultural events-- (should be) briefly explained in notes at the end of the transcript. 48  Clearly the idea of translation while transcribing does introduce an element of subjectivity into the study, yet this study is focused in exploring the themes and process patterns of the participants’ assumptions, beliefs and knowledge and not a detailed linguistic analysis. Therefore I did not transcribe with the linguistic specifics detailed, but I did go back to the audio to make sure I was capturing the tone of the participant’s speech as well as the words. In addition, while transcribing I kept notes on ideas that had links to the theory, research questions, and notable quotes for analysis. The concepts were later used for the final analysis. Despite the preventive practices in an interview transcription process I assume that textual data can never fully translate what takes place in an interview (Kvale, 1996). Since the intention was not to produce a verbatim record I decided to use an iterative process that would help me achieve a systematic and consistent transcription process. Each transcript was identified with the name of the interviewee and the position and responsibilities they hold. Once the transcripts were checked for accuracy and reviewed by the interview participant, the files were kept in my computer, protected by security software. Upon Returning from Mexico to Vancouver I printed a hard copy of each transcript and kept these in locked in a file cabinet. The field notes taken in the interview and after the interview helped to add other details like setting descriptions, reflections, thoughts on links to the theory and other topics that emerged, notable quotes and personal notes to the interviews (Rubin & Rubin, 2005). This file was also useful when going through the analysis process.  49  3.8  Procedures for Data Analysis-Coding Once the interviews were translated, I used Saldaña’s (1998) coding manual to code the  data. Saldaña (1998) describes a qualitative code as a word or short phrase that symbolically reveals an attribute from a text or visual data. The data in this case consisted of interview transcripts, observation field notes, documents, video, website, and e-mail correspondence. Saldaña (1998) believes that the coding process can be divided into first cycle and second cycle processes. “The first cycle coding processes can range in magnitude from a single word to a full sentence to an entire page of text to a stream of moving images. In second cycle coding process, the portions coded can be the exact same units, longer passages of text and even a reconfiguration of the codes themselves developed thus far” (p. 3). For the first cycle coding process I used two coding methods: (1) Attribute coding and (2) Structural coding. Attribute coding is appropriate for the basic description of information such as the field setting, participants’ characteristics or demographics, timeframe and other variables of interest. For this study the data needed to be organized around multiple persons and sites, and a wide variety of data forms (e.g., interview transcripts, historical strategic documents, balance sheets, organizational charts, etc). The value of attribute coding is to have good qualitative data management that provides essential participant information and contexts for analysis and interpretation. Structural coding applies to a conceptual phrase that represents a topic of inquiry that relates to a specific research question used to conduct the interview (MacQueen, McLellanLemal, Bartholow, & Milstein, 2008). Structural coding is question-based and “acts as labeling 50  and indexing device, allowing researchers to quickly access data likely to be relevant to a particular analysis from a larger data set” (Namey, Guest, Thairu, & Johnson, 2008, p. 141). The structural coding helped me identify large topics in the interview data that could be segmented for an in-depth analysis within or across topics (McQueen, 2008). The coding method was kept at the question level, but also broken down into categories for further qualitative data analysis. I further identified the code frequency of each category to help me identify which were the themes or ideas most commonly expressed and which rarely occurred. The nature of semi-structured interviews guided participants’ responses to certain directions. This helped my contrast different perceptions of participants on the same issues which helped me identify additional themes to reflect upon. During the process of looking for themes that emerged directly from the data, I tried to listen with generosity, and critically to all the different things the participants had to say. This process revealed that by learning to listen to the “what” and “how” of a process you eventually begin to appreciate the “why” as well. After the process described above, second cycle coding was needed to advance the organizational analysis of the data coded through the first cycle method. The value for second cycle coding was to develop a coherent synthesis of the data into themes and concepts. The primary goal of this phase was to develop a thematic, conceptual and theoretical organization from the first cycle coding. These meant that the first cycle codes were reorganized to select a smaller and more select list of broader categories, themes or concepts. During this cycle I developed category labels that identify similarly coded data. Four methods were used: (1) Pattern codes helped give meaning to the organization of data, (2) Focused coding method helped categorize coded data based on conceptual similarities, (3) Axial  51  coding helped structure how categories and subcategories relate to each other, and (4) Theoretical coding progressed toward discovering the central core that reveals the primary theme of the research. I adopted these methods in order to follow a series of steps. I did not intend to follow these steps as a functional check list or a linear recipe. Rather, I used them as a data coding framework to carry out the coding process systematically and to be able to maximize coding in a qualitative inquiry.  3.9  Further Analysis Data collection and analysis is a simultaneous activity in qualitative research (Sharan,  1998). It begins with the first data collection (interview, observation) which leads to the refinement or reformulation of questions. After going through the first and second cycle coding process I displayed the initial findings on a series of tables and matrixes. I began the process of data analysis with the premise of making sense and extracting meaning out of the data. Making sense of the data involved consolidating, reducing, and interpreting what people have said and what I had read in documents. According to Sharan (1998) “data analysis is a complex process that involves moving back and forth between concrete bits of data and abstract concepts, between inductive and deductive reasoning, between description and interpretation” (p.178). I continued the process of analysis by constructing matrixes that would correspond to the questions of the research. For the first research question I constructed a matrix and divided it into different categories (economic, political, social and technological) pressures affecting the institution’s decision. Within this matrix I also constructed 52  sub-categories to identify the most relevant themes. For the second question I designed a matrix and divided different categories that help generate revenue to the institution. Within this matrix I constructed subcategories for each main category to reveal the themes that were relevant for this question. Finally, for the third question I designed a comparative scheme to identify the activities (public and private) that the school is realizing today. Next, I constructed a diagram to link and contrast the themes and tried to determine whether there were significant differences or similarities between them. I then analyzed the findings using the different theoretical frameworks as presented in the review of the literature. Finally I triangulated the findings with the institution’s strategic documents (mission statements, strategic plans, and financial statements). In this process of analysis I was challenged by the different levels of analysis that required intuition as well as analytical skill. The process was enhanced by using data analysis techniques by using a systematic approach and data displays (matrixes and diagrams) to demonstrate how to construct meaning from qualitative data.  3.10  Ethical Considerations The practice of research is concerned with producing principled and legitimate  knowledge (Sharan 1998). It is important to be able to trust research results, especially when there is a human intervention. To trust educational research it is important that accountability is being met for validity and reliability. Ensuring validity and reliability in qualitative research involves conducting an ethical investigation. To ensure this I went through external and internal accountability process while doing my research. To ensure that the research proposal was acceptable within an ethical boundary, I submitted my proposal to the Behavioral Research 53  Ethics Board of the University of British Columbia. I also informed formally and informally the school where I carried out the study. I obtained the approval of the rector and vice rector of the school, in writing. Once I had authorization I contacted the participants and obtained the permission of each participant and explained the purpose, objectives and protection of their rights before the interview took place. The consent form was written in both Spanish and English. In addition, participants were assured at all times that they could remove themselves from the study. Participants were invited to choose the best time and space for the interview. All the people interviewed remained anonymous throughout the analysis of the information and in the writing of the thesis. Finally I protected all the interview data by safeguarding it in a secure location. The only people that have access to the interview data are my supervisor and I, although participants have the right to access their data if they want.  3.11  Limitations to the Study A limitation to the study is that it presents a snapshot of the institution at a fixed point in  time. However the study snapshot will be relevant to the institution and others because it holds a reflexive snapshot in a time where Mexico is going through important structural changes in the higher education system. There are valuable insights that have been taken up in the study that will illuminate research in private higher education in Mexico and could serve in the future as a basis for deeper longitudinal study.  54  CHAPTER IV. Findings I  4.1  Introduction Every country has created its own higher education system with unique public/private  distinctions. Higher education in most nations is understood as ‘public’, but recently ‘private’ aspects of higher education have become increasingly important to a level where private higher education has had the biggest expansion in history. In this case a private institution located in Mexico was chosen as the focus of a qualitative case study. Interviews and informal talks with the upper management of the institution (elite interviews) were undertaken to understand their perceptions of the external forces and internal processes that are shaping the private/public interaction in the institution. The data reveal how and why private and public higher education is currently delivered in the Mexican higher education system. Through the multiple findings in the interviews with upper management and campus deans, informal conversations, and a review of institutional documents, the findings chapters present several themes that describe the external pressures and internal processes that influence the organization and its opportunities relative to the private/public interaction. The themes are organized according to the research questions of the study but also presented in a way so that the reader can distinguish and contrast the points of view of the executive administration and campus deans, which will help understand a wider but focused analysis of a private higher education institution in Mexico. This chapter will present findings relating to the first research question, and the next chapter will discuss findings relating to the second and third research question.  55  First, with regard to the first research question of the study, the upper-level management’s assumptions, beliefs and knowledge regarding external pressures are presented with the findings in this discussion organized into four categories: (1) political, (2) economic, (3) technological, and (4) social forces that affect organizational decision-making and survival. The responses to the first research question reveal answers to the third research question (how the institution positions itself relative to other educational opportunities); this is discussed at the end of the chapter.  4.2 Findings- Research Question One  What are the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge of upper level management with regard to the global and local forces (economic, political, technological, and social) that influence the organization and its opportunities?  Interpretations of the external environment are critical for understanding how the environment influences the organization and its opportunities relative to the private/public distinction. When asked about the external forces, upper-level managers expressed their perspectives, which I then categorized into four main themes (political, economic, technological and social). These themes provide an adequate framework for presenting the findings. Table 1 displays these themes and their sub-themes.  56  TABLE 3: Themes Relative to External Forces Political  Economic  Technological  Social  political  institutional  organizational  gender equity  development  diversification  technology  dysfunctional  competition in  learning with and  political authority  private higher  about technology  mobility  education politics of  Digital divide  security  governance territorial principles of power  As seen in Table 1, the first theme describes the administrators’ understanding of political pressures related to: (1) political development, (2) dysfunctional political authority, (3) politics of governance, and (4) territorial principles of power. The second theme derives from the administrators’ understanding of the economic pressures related to: (1) institutional diversification and (2) competition in private higher education. The third theme provides an understanding of their views of technological change related to: (1) organizational technology, (2) learning with and about technology and (3) Digital divide. The fourth theme provides an understanding of their perspectives on changes in the social environment relating to: (1) gender equity, (2) mobility, and (3) security. Although these themes provide a schema for examining the 57  findings related to assumption of administrators regarding external pressures it is not always possible to establish clear boundaries between and among them. This means that the categories are interconnected by processes that are related to one another and to the organization’s transactions for the most part.  Political Forces The findings in this category revealed an understanding of political pressures related to: (1) political development, (2) dysfunctional political authority, (3) politics of governance, and (4) territorial principles of power.  Political development The administrators of the case study institution believe that the expansion of private higher education has been caused in great measure by a national development model of higher education, low academic regulation, and trade liberalization. The political discourse of a development model of higher education in Mexico is illustrated by the following assertion of one executive administrator but agreed by many of them: There is currently a political discourse claiming that Mexico’s problems will be solved with more education in terms of quality and accessibility. Quality and accessibility have been greatly politicized to the point where it has caused a power struggle towards by whom and how should higher education in Mexico be steered in the upcoming years. Today 65% of the population attends public education and 35% of the population is 58  enrolled in private higher education. Private higher education today accounts for 1,300 institutions. Out of this number I would say that only 100 universities are offering quality in their programs and the rest, which are called “universidades patito” 1 , are lacking quality standards. This has been a product of the incapacity of the state to supply public education and instead the state has politically enabled entrepreneurial initiatives to the private sector. (EA Vice president)  The unique political history of the case study institution is significant to their current market position in terms of their prestige and relationship with public higher education. The “creation story” of the institution is highlighted in this comment by the institution’s President: The school became independent from the Bank of Mexico in 1929. The school obtained a presidential decree which offered academic autonomy and was established as a legal entity to be able to operate under regular fiscal conditions. The presidential decree and legal identity as ‘sociedad civil’ gave the institution independence to operate under the pressures of market-oriented activities and with the condition that the school has to report academic obligations to the Ministry of Education on a regular basis but does not have to go through the process of academic certification. (President)  Administrators believe that the presidential decree and relationship with the Ministry of Education have given the institution an entrepreneurial advantage because the school is able to 1  Patito is a slang term meaning “little duck” that refers to cheap and low‐quality goods in the Mercado, or general marketplace. This term was used in relation to the lower‐tier institutions in Mexico by several of the study participants. Later in the thesis I discuss the implications of these “Patito Universities” in more detail.  59  create academic programs more efficiently to respond to the constant changes of the educational market. The advantage of having governmental license but with academic autonomy is further explained in the following statement by the President: One of the great benefits of the presidential decree is the ability to be entrepreneurial. While most private institutions have to go through an academic certification process by SEP 2 , which normally can take up to 4 years of certification, in the case of the school we have the capacity to design a curriculum in six months to one year. The presidential decree is a powerful asset that permits us to design academic programs more efficiently, which helps us to be more responsive to the business community and the student needs to succeed professionally. We are about to launch a new degree in the market, Management in Communications and Entertainment, which took us only one year to launch into the market. (President)  Dysfunctional political authority When asked follow up questions about academic regulation administrators in general expressed the following: (1) there is a lack of regulation from the Ministry of Education, (2) there is a lack of mandatory external regulation, and (3) profit-driven incentives exist in the higher education sector. For example, one executive administrator mentioned: Patito institutions began to offer degrees without the official academic program certification from the Ministry of Education. This procedure started to backfire when students graduating from a non-certified institution weren’t being recognized in the job 2  SEP is the Secretaría de Educación Pública, the Ministry of Education in Mexico.  60  market because their degree did not have an official certification by SEP or UNAM 3 . Students and families protested to the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education, in order to avoid a political conflict, certified their degrees without proper procedures of certification from the educational institution. (Chief Operations Officer)  This example clearly indicates a dysfunctional political authority by revealing the state vulnerability against market or social forces. Linked to this problem, the Ministry of Education has for a long time been criticized by the higher education sector for offering inefficient accreditation services to private institutions. In this regard, one executive administrator mentioned the following: Currently the Ministry of Education (SEP) wants to simplify the academic certification process so that more academic programs can be certified. This brings opportunities and threats to the system. Opportunity because the state will be able to be more informed and in control of the new breed of academic programs of private institutes. A threat because, “patito universities” will be able to register educational programs more easily without necessarily sustaining a higher quality of academic programs. This is a big risk that is being taken by the Ministry of Education that could further threaten academic quality in the higher education system. (Chief Academic Officer)  3  UNAM is the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, the largest research university in the country.  61  politics of governance Mexico’s pressures to certify universities with an easier process is an example of the government trying to abandon the centralized, semi-authoritarian political system that is inefficient and weak in policy capability in favour of a more efficient state that would be able to steer an increasingly differentiated higher education system. Administrators still see the threat of an academically weak system organized around the “politics of governance”, and are concerned with how the country can build academic quality and relevance for a nation of 95 million people while going through economic and political reforms and unforeseen social constraints. As one executive administrator mentioned: Mexican higher education governance on quality is weak, and the state management structures are still broken at times for political games, instead of developing effective academic strategies. Politics of governance has become one of the biggest challenges for the state in the upcoming years. (Chief Academic Officer)  Territorial principles of power Another important finding related to political forces is the territorial principles of power in the higher education system. Since Mexico has been moving from a social welfare model of higher education built around political negotiations to a developmental model which has emphasized the governance of performance, relevance to the labour market, and privatization, new territorial principles of power have emerged, especially in the private higher education sector. As one campus dean noted:  62  There has been a change in the political relationships between higher education, the Mexican society and government. The traditional form of higher education in Mexico has been questioned by society and society has been demanding new types of course offerings, academic models, accountability and efficiency in the use of resources. This public higher education crisis has turned out as an opportunity for private higher education development of new academic models and effective positioning in the higher education market and higher education system. (Campus Dean)  This finding shows one administrator’s assumptions about how private higher education relates to the state today, and how this has shifted power to private higher education in the Mexican society. Yet, other administrators suggest that the relationship with government is distant. As the Chief Academic Officer noted: We continue to be disintegrated with the public higher education structure. We don’t expect anything from them (funding) as they don’t expect much from us except the usual accreditation regulations. There is a level of vigilance but I don’t think we do much partnership to bring solutions together for the greater good of higher education in Mexico. I think we coexist in a polarized system that is founded in different political views. This is not only a concern for this institution but many other administrators from other private universities feel the same way. (Chief Academic Officer)  This comment reveals a level of discontent and concern by this and other administrators for the way private higher education has been loosely integrated into the higher education system 63  in Mexico. In a period of two decades higher education has gone through a process of institutional differentiation that has given rise to different structures (old and new establishments, university and non-university institutions, public and private, catholic and secular, elite and massive, single mission and demand-absorbing institutions, research oriented and teaching establishments, for-profit and not-for-profit, national and transnational institutions). Today administrators believe that we have a variety of institutions coexisting in an unclear operating framework. It can be argued that the comments from the administration raise the question of clarity of political purpose for the higher education system in Mexico. Public and private higher education seemed to be moving along a path that does not necessarily forge stronger possibilities for the ‘public good’ related to accessibility and quality for the higher education system.  Economic Forces Administrators argue that economic pressures in higher education are linked to political reconfigurations. The findings in this section reveal two prevailing assumption and beliefs held by upper management. First, the institution experiences the impact of the economic cycles which affect the supply and demand in the higher education market. This has resulted in increasing institutional diversification and stratification. Second, administrators believe there is an increasing competition within higher education at a national and global level. Institutional diversification Since Mexico’s modernization of the higher education in the 1990s, the expansion of private institutions has diversified the higher education system. According to literature presented in Chapter 2, the diversification of the system has been loosely regulated by the government 64  which has caused a series of pressures to the system and the market. Since the government gives no funding to private higher education institutions, the private higher education system is more vulnerable to economic cycles. As one executive administrator stated: Most of the student accessibility in private higher education is conditioned to the socioeconomic background of individuals and families. This means that economic cycles have a great impact on enrolment which is our main source of funding. Quality of education is also affected by the economic cycles because the private higher education system today has been informally structured by the market in a three tier system. First, you have the high tuition universities which in most part are considered the most prestigious, second you have the middle tuition universities which are considered of similar quality but not as prestigious. Third you have the low tuition which are considered lower in quality but are the most accessible in terms of tuition cost. This institutional diversification which is highly conditional to the economic cycles greatly affects the two main priorities of higher education in Mexico: accessibility and quality. (Chief Operations Officer)  This perception has led upper management to believe that the private market is one of the major influences on demand and accessibility in the entire higher education system. Furthermore, administrators believe that in many cases students perceive a direct relationship between the cost of tuition and the quality the education they are getting. This view is illustrated by the following statement from an executive administrator: We have to be careful with tuition; if we raise or lower tuition you might change the perception of quality of the institution in the market. This is risky because moving into a 65  new competitive market might alter the appreciation of quality the student has of the institution. You also run the risk of engaging in a price war cycle with other more powerful institutions which affects the capital necessary for the institution to survive. Besides we do not like to compete on capital; we are an established institution and we worry about the visibility of our purpose and quality offered to our niche market. (Chief Financial Officer)  With the economic crisis of the last decade, students enrolled in private higher education are looking for new alternatives for paying tuition, such as loans, or they must choose a more affordable institution. This economic situation in a ‘positional market’ has created a higher competition between producers (institutions) and consumers (students). As stated by one campus Dean: Currently, the economic crisis has affected all of our student population. As a consequence [of the crisis] students’ parents have lost their jobs because businesses are closing down. Many students at the beginning of school depend on the families’ budget to pay for tuition. This poses serious challenges for students to pay for tuition which has caused students to look for alternatives. The competition has been keen on taking advantage of this vulnerability and is approaching the schools’ premises to offer our students “scholarships” of 85% discount and transferability of credits. The problem is some students jump into conclusion without clarifying the scholarship conditions and [without] noticing that they eventually have to pay a normal tuition. (CD Campus Dean)  66  In essence, some institutions have been “poaching” students from other institutions by offering them a lower tuition rate and credit transfers. According to the case study institution’s administrators and campus deans this poses a serious challenge for the higher education sector as a whole because some of the relationships between private universities are mostly about market competition rather than common cooperation to solve the student’s economic constraints. This type of behavior also emphasizes the increasing focus of higher education as a ‘vertical segmentation’ which is an inevitable process of ‘positional competition’ (Marginson, 2007). In market based higher education there is a potential that the production of positional goods creates a winner take all market that can lead to oligopoly or market closure. When a high value becomes centralized and concentrated in a small number of products, price differentials go up and universities are caught up in a wasteful ‘positional arms race’ in which costs are escalated and in the long term turn out to be offsetting the potential of academic opportunities. The creation of vertical segmentation the less the most prestigious universities find it necessary to make tuition more accessible to students by dropping tuition and creating better services. Rising tuition with a lack of proper student loans, private market or government provided, creates student disloyalty and reinforces the social closure of some educational opportunities and thus leads to a larger stratification in society. The case study institution is constrained by its tuition structure and the availability of student loans, as noted by the CFO: We are an institution that sustains itself only from tuition. Our target market has a middle- and middle-lower class socio-economic background. We have to be specifically careful with the tuition that we offer to our population otherwise the costs will be too high for families to afford to pay tuition. Although we offer student loans via commercial banks, Mexico still has an undeveloped credit culture which has resulted in a lack of 67  support for students that are in need of financing their higher education and the state does not offer any effective financing scheme. (Chief Financial Officer)  Thus, while tuition and pricing may seem like a purely economic issue relating to institutional revenue, the cost of higher education at a private institution also has an influence on perceived quality, and therefore institutional prestige and stratification, particularly in a system with little government regulation.  Competition in private higher education The higher education sector in Mexico is a space with imperfect and loose arrangements, characterized by uneven and changing patterns, with zones of autonomy and separation, and stable and unstable hierarchies. A particular perspective that was constantly repeated in the interviews was the thought that there is increasing national and global competition in the higher education sector, where competition is understood both as an economic and a social competition. Practically all of the administrators stated that competition is catalyzed by a growing diversity of private institutions. As stated by one campus dean: I perceive competition at all levels. Established universities like the Tec de Monterrey 4 have decided to expand their capacity by building a multi-campus system. Secondly, demand absorbing “patito universities” have been increasingly growing because of low regulation by the government. Thirdly, the entering of transnational educational  4  Tec de Monterrey is a large, private institution in Mexico.  68  corporations with intensive private capital have bought and established for-profit universities. This means that we increasingly have to find ways to be competitive and visible in our niche market otherwise we lose capacity to have potential students enrolling in our institution. (CD Campus Dean)  The last 20 years Mexico has gone through a vast and diverse expansion of private higher education. Higher education operates as a ‘positional good’ (Hirsh, 1976; Marginson, 2007) in which some degrees offer a better social status and lifetime of opportunities than others. The positional aspect is a strong consideration, just as institutional reputation. With a higher degree of institutional diversity more options are available, but there is a limit on the number of positional goods (degrees from particular institutions) at any given level of value and prestige. Administrators in the case study institution overwhelmingly perceive that variations in institutional prestige are increasingly creating a diverse but more importantly a stronger ‘positional market’, in Marginson’s terms (2007). Administrators see this demand coming from students as much as from employers: Today many Mexican families in the urban spaces invest in social status as a way to create opportunities that would lead them to more prosperous economic life. Social competition for status in private higher education is a matching game in which the hierarchy of students/families is synchronized with the hierarchy of the universities’ social prestige, and the group in each will want to sustain the other. (Campus Dean)  69  The competition in this ‘positional market’ is characterized mainly by affordability and prestige. A campus dean stated the following regarding the social dynamics of this economic phenomenon: When students are choosing their university degree their number one priority is status and employment opportunities. The focus on this value has to do partially with the profile of our population, which is a middle-low [income] population who have higher socioeconomic aspirations but do not have a comfortable socio-economic background. Their aspiration and drive is concentrated in career opportunities in the marketplace. Institutions with prestige whether new or old serve as the most important reason for prospective students when choosing their university. (Campus Dean)  The competition for students has become part of an arms race of prestige in private higher education which creates unequal distribution of social opportunities and reduces the possibilities of improving accessibility in higher education. This is a movement towards more vertical segmentation in the higher education structure and is inevitable in a cycle of positional and social competition. On the other hand the private higher education sector has been affected in terms of lower prestige institutions as well because of the recent expansion of demand-absorbing institutions that often offer lower cost and lower academic quality to students. An executive administrator illustrated this by stating the following: The lack of capacity of the state to supply public education to a lower socio-economic status has enabled “degree mill institutions” that offer a low cost and low quality 70  education. This has affected the reputation of private higher education. As a reaction established private universities decided to create an association of private universities called FIMPES 5 . This association’s objective is to certify private universities with institutional excellence. One of the purposes for creating this association was to begin to differentiate between the institutions with institutional excellence and the universities that lack academic institutional excellence. (Vice President) This is an example of how established private universities are responding to the market expansion of private institutions and the distribution of opportunities in private higher education and creating asymmetrical flows of power by creating independent associations that function as de facto monitoring bodies for quality. Furthermore, the general perceptions of upper management regarding economic competition are that they are constantly focusing on creating competitive strategies to secure revenue and a sustainable path for the institution. One of these competitive advantages mentioned by the study participants is the degree of technological expertise offered to the students through coursework and campus infrastructure. This is described in the next section.  5  FIMPES is La Federación de Instituciones Mexicanas Particulares de Educación Superior.  71  Technological Change Organizational technology All upper management expressed concerns about how technology has affected the institution academically and operationally. When the school was founded in 1929, the institution’s mission consisted of educating accountants for the Bank of Mexico, who would be employed across the country. This challenged the institution to innovate by using the highest level of correspondence (distance) teaching materials in Mexico. With expansion into a multicampus institution with many opportunities for face-to-face instruction, today the upper management believes that technological change has helped the institution become more effective at delivering education as a strategy for market competition. To achieve competitive differentiation administrators in this institution have decided to heavily invest in information and communication technologies to be able to improve the effectiveness of the educational and organizational model. To improve the educational model the administration expressed three strategic perspectives: (1) technology as a way to standardize the teaching and learning process in order to assure quality in all courses; (2) technology as a learning enhancing tool (3) technology as a way of enhancing the competitive skills of the students in the marketplace. For example one of the executive administrators responsible for the technology strategy describes the one of the driving forces behind the new education model that is highly supported by technology: It is imperative that our students become familiar and skilled with the new technologies that are being used in the business world today. We have a responsibility to form leaders of the business world and that means that they must continue to develop their 72  competencies through the use of new technology that is what they will find when they join the work force. (Chief Financial Officer)  This comment is also supported by a campus dean who described how technology offers quality and empowerment in the educational process: We have become a multi campus system. This has brought new challenges regarding standards of quality education across our campuses. With the use of technology we are now able to align and control the learning process to assure that the quality of the learning outcomes are met. We also believe that the new “digital campus” offers more efficient ways for students to empower their learning experience by providing them with the ability to have more visibility on their academic progress and be more efficient at managing their school work. (Campus Dean)  The technological strategy of the institution is to allow faculty members and students to be closely linked to the rapid technological changes that are taken place in the business world. The reason for being linked to these changes is because technology will give a competitive advantage over other higher education institutions. In terms of technology enhancing the student learning process, the administrators said that the institution expects students to develop a technological competence that will allow them to be professionally competent in the job market. Along this view one middle management administrator mentioned the following:  73  We are aware of the knowledge economy has changed the way people perform in organizations. The technology has affected our social dynamics in the workplace and outside the workplace. As a result our society, especially the business world, expects us to be competent with technology tools regarding information and communication. Students need to be able to respond to this demand in order to integrate into a society that is known to be globally interconnected by these tools. (Director of Virtual Campus)  The strategic emphasis of the administrators responding to the use of technology to support the learning experience is a clear response to “technological determinism” which has been defined as the impact of technology on society and the way in which social processes have appreciated the use of a particular technological innovation.  Learning with and about technology Access to and learning about technology is a general concern among upper management. The administration has decided to offer a technologically-enhanced program in “human resource services” as an opportunity to reach the growing market for professional careers tailored to the knowledge society. These new professionals are skilled in the electronic delivery of workplace education and training. The middle management administrator responsible for this area states the following: Many companies think that training employees is an easy task but in reality they have come to understand that this is a costly and important challenge to the business. In order  74  to maintain a level of talent in the company, employees must now be trained constantly on technological and professional changes in the business world. This phenomenon has pressured companies to create a new structure called the “corporate university”. The corporate university is looking for ways in which employees can be trained efficiently and effectively to the professional needs of the businesses in order to become more competitive in the market. Some companies have decided to partner with educational institutions to launch the corporate university. (Director of Corporate University)  The creation of the corporate university idea in the business sector has been in response to the shift from material production to information processing, the expansion of a networked industrial organization and the rise of socio-economic globalization. What is worth mentioning is that administrators appreciate this phenomenon only for economic benefits and not for people’s ability to make use of these technologies to engage in meaningful social practices. The outcome is that workers at the periphery of this movement will not have an opportunity to access digital technologies and they will reinforce existing patterns of stratification in the new economy. Technology was also seen to enable the institution to be more flexible in their organizational model in order to satisfy consumption needs from the market. As one executive administrator stated: My area is in charge of technology in the school. We see technology as an investment and not as an expense. Today, we are looking for ways in which technology can improve our decision capabilities, improve academic services and reduce costs to the institution. I believe that technology has helped transform information assets of the institution to make 75  it better and more competitive, starting with offering our students accessibility to new technologies that are needed in tomorrow’s workplace. (Chief Financial Officer)  Administrators, moreover, expect that through the implementation of a new technology, a “digital campus” offered by an international partner, the administrators, faculty members, and students will be able to benefit in different ways. The digital campus, according to one administrator, means that faculty members should use technology in order for students to have access to current information in the Internet as well as digital libraries. Furthermore, she stated that faculty members should use email to have an open communication with students regardless of physical and time barriers in order to be able to provide feedback when needed. She also stressed that faculty should network within the digital campus to maintain easily accessibility to students. By having a digital campus the institution assumes that students will be able to receive a similar quality of education regardless of the faculty member who is teaching the course. This assumption builds on a view that technology will help enhance and control the academic quality of the institution. Furthermore, it can be argued that upper management assumes how the academic and faculty work should be done. It is a characteristic that is found in other for-profit higher education institutions, where faculties have little autonomy over their teaching. As stated by one administrator: The objective of a digital campus by the way, in which it is structured, is to standardize the curriculum’s objectives and learning content. This is important to be able to assure a similar result in the different campuses of the system. This will allow us a level of  76  visibility that we did not have before. This type of technology is helpful towards improving efficiency in the academic work life. (Chief Operations Officer)  The findings presented above suggest that upper management appreciates technological change in two ways: (1) the use of technology at the school in response to the needs of the modern workplace; and (2) the use of technology as a strategic support for learning demands also supports the corporate learning interests of the employers upon which the organization indirectly depends for resources and support. Since the institution is linked to different local environments, especially now that it is growing in a multi-campus system, administrators believe that technological changes have helped the organization be more effective in the transactions that are needed for the institution to operate under increasing market competition.  The digital divide In the new economy, educational opportunities are affected by access to technology. The idea of “digital divide” has been used for a over a decade to identify the inequalities in access to information technology. Norris (2001) has suggested that the idea of the digital divide actually refers to three distinct divides. First, the global digital divide refers to the unequal Internet access between industrialized and developing societies. Secondly, Norris talks of a “social divide” which refers to the divide between the information rich and poor in each nation. And, finally, and perhaps more significantly, she introduces the idea of a “democratic divide” to signify the differences between those who do and do not use the enormous and growing resources of the Internet to engage, mobilize and participate in public life. 77  One of the big drivers of the “digital divide” is the business community. Every time businesses decide to upgrade their technology, employees and consumers must also adjust to the new changes. Most administrators agree that technological change has produced a “social divide” and only companies or individuals that can keep up with these changes will be able to integrate more easily with modern society. This idea is well appreciated by one middle management administrator: Today companies are using different types of technologies to boost their productivity and competitiveness. All the followers must catch up to these changes if they want to survive in the market. For companies it has become easy to deploy the physical availability of computers and internet, but the people’s ability to make use of the new technology in meaningful ways is the big challenge. Companies have decided to create or buy educational services to fulfill this challenge. People who are not included in this process will be excluded from what the modern business world expects. (Director of Corporate University)  As noted in the section above relating to technological changes, the administrators spoke of the growing digital competition within the business sector. This digital competition affects higher educational delivery, particularly in private institutions that are geared toward workforce development, as businesses seek more employees trained in the latest technological developments, and as the need arises for employees who can train other employees using information technology platforms in the fashion of a corporate university. Thus, by being directly responsive to these market competitions, the institution participates in a higher education  78  sector that is increasingly digitized. However, the curriculum and orientation of the institution seem not to be oriented toward the implications of digital life for all sectors of society, just the needs of the business community.  Social Change Most of higher educational policy in Mexico since the 1990s has been concerned with improving accessibility. Public policy has been used as an instrument to ensure greater participation in education in an attempt to reduce levels of social stratification. The commitment to equality in education is based on the principles of economic improvement and social justice. Policy actors believe that a more educated population will be good for the economic development of the country, while in terms of social justice they have viewed higher education as a right and pathway to social progression. A commitment to these policies in Mexico has led to more investments in public and private education. Such development has been uneven because of the social fabric of the Mexican society. The administrators’ perspectives regarding changes in these social conditions fall under the following categories: (1) gender equity, (2) mobility, and (3) security.  Gender equity It is believed by many countries and organizations that without gender equality no society can claim to be just (Rizvi & Lingard, 2009). It should be noted that no country or institution has achieved complete gender equity. There are considerable variances in approaches to educational  79  policies designed to promote gender equity. In case of this institution the administrators have stated how they have come to appreciate this topic and made institutional changes towards creating progression on gender equity. Administrators perceive that this social change should be and has been an important part of the institution’s mission. As one executive administrator stated: Today 60% of our students are women. This has brought essential infrastructure changes like creating new bathrooms and spaces for women because traditionally this school did not enroll a majority of women before. Our biggest challenge today with girls is not academic because they usually perform better than the boys, but finding equal career opportunities and equal earnings for females who are venturing in business world which is a highly competitive and gender biased. (Vice President)  Despite the paternalistic languages of “girls” and “boys” (since these students are adults), many administrators believe that public and private institutions are progressing towards gender equality. There is a reason to believe that investing in women’s education could bring social, cultural and economic progress. As mentioned by a female campus dean: I think that all institutions are changing and becoming more equal. [But] I see more women worried not just in the business sector but in all the sciences. It is evident that Mexico has been increasingly evolving on the social agenda although we still have much improvement to work on. The women’s social agenda began in the political arena but is now quickly permeating into academia as well. In this institution we have two examples  80  of women who are the leaders of campuses. This is a clear example of how the old structures are changing. (Campus Dean)  Another female executive administrator commented on the role of women in academia this way: Today I see more women administrators in strategic positions of the institution. In our community many women today are teachers and also professionals in the business world. I see women approaching educational challenges in more creative ways and expressing a more serious commitment towards higher education. (Director of Academic Affairs)  While the administrators note that institutional changes have begun to occur, the social climate in the business sector is somewhat out of their hands. An executive administrator comments on the challenges of success for professional women working in the business sector: We are worried that our majority of population which is women will not reach similar business success like our past generations because of remaining discrimination to females in some business sectors. (Vice President)  Administrators believe that the attainment of equal career opportunities is still marked by sexual discrimination. They feel that their female graduates are probably not enjoying similar economic rewards, social status and prestige as the male graduates. However, given that private higher education has a strong market-oriented approach; gender-related policies may be created with concern for gender equity as an instrumental economic logic related to effectiveness and 81  consumerism instead of looking also at how it relates to social and cultural progression. This means that the progression of gender equity in private institutions will likely not be focused on the ‘public good’ but more on the ‘private good’ benefits like capital accumulation, economic efficiency, and the like.  Mobility Administrators perceive that students today place a high value on an international experience. This global trend is increasingly defining the institution’s identity and creating a desire for diversity and mobility in the educational community. One campus dean specifically recognized the nature and value of international education, which is mentioned in the following statement: Students are increasingly looking for an academic institution that offers international experiences. They are aware and desire to become ‘global citizens’. This means that studying abroad for a semester is a way to acquire cultural distinctiveness that will benefit them professionally, on a social status level and at a professional level. (Campus Dean)  Administrators’ assumptions about the mobility of students to become ‘global citizens’ is an example of how students desire to acquire social status and professional differentiation. This focus is related to the cultural practices and products of western countries. At the professional  82  level it is assumed that intercultural communication skills are essential for global trade. This may be influenced by the presence of mass global culture and media in Mexico.  Security Another aspect of mobility is the urban mobility found in a city like Mexico. This mega city has produced a series of social contingencies, one being insecurity. Most families in the City today are concerned about the security of their children. Since parents commonly pay for tuition, they are part of the process of choosing a university, and so they are looking for one with high security. As one of the Campus Dean in Mexico city stated: We are more and more experiencing security problems in the city. Student and parents are looking for schools with safe access and adequate security within the campus. In our campus we recently had to install security cameras and other security measures to respond to a recent security case that took place outside of our premises. This is a social problem that has infiltrated the higher education community because students have become targets of the insecurity of the city. (Campus Dean, Mexico City)  This view is shared by campus deans within the urban region of Mexico City. The challenges of intra-urban mobility are a sign of how feelings of insecurity are conditioning academic decisions in the city. In response families are choosing institutions with shorter travel distances and more security within the places they go about their daily life.  83  CHAPTER V. Findings II  In this the second of two chapters presenting the findings, the data pertaining to the second research question about discourses of privatization and the public good are presented under four main themes: (1) entrepreneurship, (2) marketing, (3) strategic management, and (4) stakeholder relationships. Finally, I present a brief analysis of how the institution is responding to the “public good”, relative to the third research question.  5.1 Findings- Research Question 2  What are the upper level administrators’ perceptions regarding internal processes in response to external pressures relative to the “private good”.  Theorists writing about organizational behavior have come to recognize the external pressures (context) of organizations and how they shape the internal processes and structures of organizations. In this section I reveal the findings of administrators’ assumptions, beliefs and knowledge of the internal processes that are focused on improving the institution’s possibilities relative to the “private good” of the organization. By applying these categories an analysis can be conducted of how internal processes are responding to the external pressures in the environment.  84  Entrepreneurship Market-oriented entrepreneurship in higher education is a process that is responding to the pressures of the new economy. This institution is currently going through new production services and organizational development that is affecting administrators, students, and faculty. Furthermore, in this time of economic crisis, entrepreneurship is having an effect on students who are increasingly participating as empowered consumers or as “student entrepreneurs” (Mars, 2009) within the space of higher education. Being a private business school, entrepreneurship has played an important part of the curriculum and operational structures since the universities foundation. With the increasing competition in the higher education market and the capacity to innovate with academic programs, administrators said that academic entrepreneurialism in the school has been increasing. They believe that the school’s solutions and responses to higher education trends are aligned with the knowledge economy. Their introduction of new products and services is an example of academic entrepreneurship within an emerging market in Mexico: adult education. Adult education is a rising market that offers the potential for revenues as workforce development becomes a key national education strategy. The result of this emerging market resulted in the creation of “executive programs” for working professionals. As noted by one administrator: Executive programs have been modified to fit the needs of working professionals. The traditional scheme of fixed hour schedules, and 9 to 5 working services, [and] exclusionary admissions policies put most working professionals out of reach of higher education opportunities. The new model of “executive programs” for working  85  professionals is based on accessibility, flexibility and inclusivity. This model was designed to meet the requirements of the working professionals by offering two modes of education: blended learning and online learning degrees. These programs were possible because of a combination of innovative activities and opportunity in the market place. (Director of Virtual Education) Another application of entrepreneurial principles in the institution is the development of the corporate university model in the business sector, as noted in the previous chapter. Business leaders have set out to create corporate universities in their companies because they know that intellectual capital management and human development are now important in the knowledge economy. Given that Mexican business development has largely relied on manual labour in previous decades, the information economy signals a change in business models for many Mexican companies. This idea can be exemplified by the following quote from a middle management administrator:  The changes that I think are moving organizations the most are technological. The technology change is what makes companies more competitive in the market place. With technology change comes the building of new skills in the company’s work force. Some companies have decided to look for partners that can help them develop tailored curricula, manage their educational process and if possible have a legitimate certification. We have decided to offer educational consulting to corporate universities and have been successful because companies are benefiting from outsourcing this service to higher education institutions. (Director of Corporate University)  86  This statement reveals the demand-side perspective of academic entrepreneurship because of a change in economic and social conditions in companies. The administrators’ assumptions about this opportunity structure is that companies are looking for a partner that can supply education to the needs of the company’s knowledge assets and be able to deploy this service and respond quickly to the knowledge demands that are caused by constant upgrades in the technological aspects in the company.  Another type of entrepreneurial behaviour that can be appreciated in the organization’s culture is innovation in organizational development. As one executive administrator stated:  Five years ago the institution decided to supply its service by opening new campuses in different geographic locations in response to opportunity in demand for higher education and reducing the risks of an increasingly competitive environment in the higher education sector. (Vice President) Most of the administration was supportive of a multi-campus strategy even though it had never been done before in the history of the institution. According to senior administrators this model was attractive because it encourages administrators to find sustainable and scalable solutions to one of the primary problems facing higher education in Mexico regarding accessibility. Administrators perceive ‘accessibility’ as a way of offering more educational opportunities across the country but with a resource-driven agenda. These are some examples of how the administration has conducted institutional entrepreneurship in a mix of innovative and creative responses to the problems facing the contemporary academy. Beyond the context of solutions to the private market place, the administrators believe that they are creating solutions to  87  social problems such as student access to higher education and community outreach relative to the ‘public good’.  Marketing When asked about marketing strategies used today in the school, upper management in general expressed three perspectives: (1) choosing value; (2) providing value; (3) and communicating value. These perspectives are built around the value chain of activities usually found in professionalized marketing departments. As one executive management administrator noted: We have restructured and professionalized our marketing department. Today, at least 100 people are dedicated to marketing-related activities, which were needed because of increasing competition in the higher education sector. Our marketing strategy had to be reinvented under the concept ‘go to market’ instead of being passive and waiting for prospective students to enroll in the school. (Vice President) By ‘go to market’ the administrator means that the school has created processes in which it must engage more closely with the educational market in order to persuade potential students to come to study at the school. Before going to market they must choose which value to communicate to potential students. The value is chosen by a series of market assessment strategies identified by the marketing department. These are very much in line with traditional marketing done in the business sector. In this regard one middle management administrator mentioned the following:  88  Today the school uses a series of segmentation strategies to our target markets. We have divided our potential customers into two: young (19-23 years of age), and the adult market (26-45 years of age). In order to be able to personalize our segmented market we are currently using an assessment tool called an “insight discovery test”. This personality test is designed to evaluate and understand more of the student’s inclinations and type of personality. With this information we are able to segment our prospective profile and know more about their personality and the professional inclinations of the individual. This tool is strategically useful because it gives us personal information about the prospect which permits the institution to attend to the needs of the student. (Marketing Coordinator) This administrator’s assumptions about the use of this tool are that it has helped the enrolment process to be more personalized and effective when admitting students. This is a change in how the institution has done recruiting. Before the personality test was applied the school used to administer an exam known as commonly as CENEVAL, although this is the name of the organization offering the service. The Centro Nacional de Evaluacion para la Educacion Superior A.C (CENEVAL) is responsible for offering the professional exam and providing the demographic figures of prospective students. According to administrators the CENEVAL information was not insightful and many times it took too long to help in the recruiting process and cost the institution too much. Administrators decided to change the evaluation methods because the ‘insight discovery tool’ provided more sophisticated information for targeting prospective students. Another marketing strategy that has been used to build the reputation of the school is the branding of the institution in the marketplace. Most administrators concluded that building the 89  institution’s brand is important in order to increase visibility and prestige. As one executive administrator stated: The last couple of years the school has invested on branding the institution in order to position the brand of the school distinctively in the minds of our prospective students. We are currently in a development stage where we have to push growth in a time of fragmented customer needs. We also must keep in mind that investing in marketing elements will result will increase our brand equity. (Vice President) This explanation strongly suggests how branding is intended to influence the perceived quality of the institution in the community and create brand loyalty. Administrators said that branding is about positioning of the institution by: (1) ensuring relevance to the customers’ frame of reference to choose the right value, (2) providing customers with the right value by leveraging rational and emotional benefits of the brand, and (3) delivering on the brand’s new promise by communicating the right value. Administrators recognize and embrace the potential of marketing practices; by doing so they are reinforcing a student-consumer perspective that retains a strong focus on ‘marketable goods’ in a competitive marketplace. Administrators’ assumptions, beliefs, and knowledge about marketing are essential to understand how much marketing influences other processes in the institution, like recruiting (calling potential students “pre-customers”), retention (student as customer), and alumni (graduate as “post-customer”). One middle management administrator emphasized the intended efforts in marketing in the following way: Prospects (pre-customers) spend more time today on the Internet than ever before. We have begun to use online marketing techniques like never before which has [been] more 90  cost effective and helps us communicate at a more personal level. These techniques have helped to build a stronger community in the institution at different levels (pre-customer, customer and post-customer. (Marketing Coordinator) Student retention strategies are considered customer relations strategies. Regarding retention, an executive administrator mentioned the following: Today we are evaluating every campus dean for their performance on retention strategies. This means that a good performance in customer retention will help marketing costs go down and will bring more enrolment to the institution. Loyal students frequently bring in new students, which is a cost effective strategy for the institution because it costs the institution to find new ones. (Chief Operations Officer) Most administrators said that they see benefit in introducing new marketing processes in order to create value and satisfy customer needs. They believe that the emphasis on marketing practices translates into better outcomes relative to revenue generation. There were no negative comments during the interviews towards the language of student as consumer or the marketing processes. However, many administrators were concerned with the sensibility and good use of these techniques and practices, essentially trusting in the power of marketing and its influences. Their assumption is that poorly executed marketing processes may destroy institutional value. They feel that the public is more informed and aware than ever before, more educational options exist and more importantly the institution’s brand can be easily degraded if the institution promises something they can’t deliver.  91  Strategic Management The institutional reasons for applying strategic management processes are: (1) the ability of the organization to be effective in a competitive marketplace by creating acceptable outcomes and actions, and (2) the ability of creating internal efficiency within the organization. The ability to be effective in the marketplace is often dependent upon management’s understanding of the local environment. In this regard, one executive administrator made an observation: When we are looking for a place to open a new campus, we develop a market research strategy to be aware of the market potential in the area. The market potential is defined by volume of supply (higher education institutions) in the area and the demand (potential customers). Information about the market is obtained with different sources containing demographic, geographic, competitive information of the area. Once we have enough information (qualitative or quantitative) to feel confident, we can decide whether or not the next campus can operate in a sustainable way. (Vice President) This finding reveals how market research is being used as a method to process information about the environment in which the institution may want to develop a new campus. Throughout the interviews, the upper management expressed that they are increasingly worried about improving organizational performance, especially now that the institution is serving different regional markets. The various senior executives said that the institution must provide for clear roles within a structure matched by the needs of the business (accountability), articulate and structure a vision of the future (direction by evidence), and develop an environment that encourages openness, trust and challenge (strong culture).  92  Stakeholder Relationships Stakeholder’s relationships have a major impact on the internal processes of the institution. Inter-organizational dependence has been part of in the history of the school since the beginning of its creation. According to administrators, relationships with other organizations can provide benefits in a competitive marketplace. As one campus dean stated: Many of our direct competitors own high schools which makes it easier for them to create market interlocks. In our case we don’t have a high school system so we are building partnerships with high school institutions that that compete with the interlocks of higher education systems with high schools. (Campus Dean) This comment shows how the higher education sector is increasingly coordinating among interdependent organizations either by partnerships or by buying out high schools. The growth and competitive conditions of private higher education and private secondary education has produced more formalized inter-organizational mechanisms, some with centralized structures of authority or information and others with partnerships with asymmetrical distribution of power. Another type of partnership that is occurring in the institution is joint ventures to provide further educational credentials for faculty and to launch new programs into the market. As one campus dean pointed out: We recently partnered with UNAM’s Faculty of Administration to offer our professors doctorate programs in order to advance their careers as well as the institution’s academic quality. Partnering with the best research institution in Mexico will help us become more recognized in our community. We have been building strong relationship with the Dean of the faculty of business in UNAM that we are talking of offering a joint program 93  between UNAM and the school. We are also talking about partnering with one of Mexico’s best law schools, Escuela Libre de Derecho, to offer a graduate program that offers law and economics in one degree. Both schools add value to our business programs. UNAM is focused on research which is something we lack in the scope of our programs and Escuela Libre de Derecho is a prestigious law school that would benefit students looking for degrees in economics and law. (Campus Dean) Joint programs are not only with national universities. The school has also decided to partner with international institutions. The response to these partnerships is that the school is looking to internationalize its programs, which is a service that is highly valued and demanded by the higher education market, as noted in the previous chapter. As one executive administrator stated: When we decided to launch our degree in hotel management, we decided to offer the degree with a school that specializes in hotel management. We partner with a specialized school in France so that we could offer our students an international experience. This degree became a big success not just because the industry was at the time very popular but the curriculum was very attractive because it included a two-year study in France with our partnering school. When graduating from this program students would be recognized by both institutions at an affordable price compared with people who go to study abroad. In the graduate school we decided to do a similar partnership with Edinburgh business school’s MBA program. Graduates will earn both degrees and will be permitted to study in both schools if they choose. (Vice President)  94  The joint programs that the school has developed recently are financially justified because economies of scale are possible and because they increase the prestige of the institution. Aside from the academic community the school has also partnered with different stakeholders in the business community by emphasizing active management of the relationships and the promotion of shared interests. New partnerships in the technology sector have developed, as one executive administrator noted: We have recently partnered with software and telecommunications companies like SunGard higher education, Oracle, Microsoft and Sysco Systems. Their products and services help support the operation of the institution. These companies are not only offering technology tools but offering services that are directly related to academia. For example SYSCO systems have a foundation called “Institute of entrepreneurship”; this institute is currently offering to the school a free online course on entrepreneurship. Microsoft has also donated office tools that work as applied educational tools. For example a virtual simulation of the Mexican stock exchange so that students can apply statistics to a course related to financial markets. (President) Businesses that partner with academic institutions are offering useful technological products, and in exchange academic institutions are letting businesses influence and position themselves in academic spaces so that students use these tools. The administrators think that this is a way of overlapping “private good” and “public good” services. Upper management do not seem to question how much private companies are filtering in the space of academia; on the contrary they welcome many of the solutions that bring technological innovation to academia as well as any company that is investing in the institution’s long-term success.  95  Another type of partnerships that the school invests in is with professional associations. This type of partnership is illustrated by the following comment of one campus dean: We currently have a partnership with The Mexican Finance Institute. The institute is trying to promote its profession by organizing a finance competition with different students of different universities. We are involved not only by participating with our students but our scholars also participate by evaluating the projects of students. Another association we work with very closely is the Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Publicos (Institute of Public Accountants). We are constantly collaborating towards the improvement of the public accountant profession. We consult with the association to get the review of the most current changes in the profession so that our curricula are constantly being actualized. In exchange we offer academic space for knowledge dissemination related to the development of the public accountant profession. (Campus Dean) Upper management in general understands and values the different partnerships as essential to organizational effectiveness and survival. Recently another type of partnerships is being promoted because of a new demand by stakeholders in the environment. As one campus dean stated: A recent social agenda in the business community has been pressuring organizations to become more ‘socially minded’ with their environment. Since we are affected by the pressures and close to the community [we] decided to become more socially responsibly by formally making partnerships with Non Governmental Organizations NGO in projects that have a positive impact in social projects and ecological projects. One example is our 96  partnership with an organization called “Reforestemos”. This organization objective is to promote the conservation of wildlife specifically in deforested areas near Mexico City. Other projects in which the school is getting involved are social projects like “Campamento EcoAlberto”. This is a project in the state of Hidalgo in which the indigenous community is trying to promote eco tourism. The school has been involved with this community by providing professional advice on how to structure their business model and avoid [the migration of ] indigenous people [who might] go look for work in the US. (Campus Dean) These findings reveal how the school is creating a structured ‘social agenda’, but one dominated by the trends of the business community. The dominant challenges have become managing the exchanges of diverse interests especially when the business community main purpose is to make the organization more competitive and therefore more effective in the marketplace.  97  5.2 Findings- Research Question 3  What are the upper level administrators’ perceptions regarding internal processes in response to the “public good”.  Serving stakeholders in Mexican higher education produces a mix of public and private goods. In the previous section I presented the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge regarding how internal processes are responding to external pressures relative to the production of private goods. In this section I explore how state regulations and increasing orientation to stakeholder consideration in the environment produces “public goods” that create long term value to organizations. Private higher education has been mandated by the state to produce two national benefits relative to the “public good”: scholarships and public service commitments. As one executive administrator stated: By law all private higher education institutions must offer at least 5% of scholarships to students every semester. The scholarships are offered under the conditions of each institution. Another government obligation which all higher education institutions must comply is for all students to spend 480 hours on social service. This is equivalent to a semester’s work on a social project and must be accredited in order for the student to be able to obtain its university degree. (President)  98  These findings are the main public good obligations that administrators perceive are for the protection and benefit of the public or some large subclass of the public. Some administrators believe that the regulatory process may be occasionally inadequate, but the goal of these policies mandated by the state is towards serving the public interest. Beyond the mandated responsibilities of providing some scholarships and requiring students to conduct public service, the school’s upper management recently decided to establish a social responsibility department that would respond to conditions in the market. The reasons for this creation can be illustrated by the following comment from one of the executive administrators: Recently a trend in the higher education sector, mainly promoted by the Tec de Monterrey and the business community, began to pressure private higher education institutions to pursue more social responsibility projects. The school has always had social projects but these were never structured within the social responsibility conception. We decided to create a department that would help us coordinate and guide social entrepreneurship in the school. The department is designed to monitor and assess the impact of the school’s social responsibility projects and continue to build its reputation. (Vice President) When asked how the institution is guiding social responsibility, the middle management administrator responsible for the department noted that it was “a strategic investment.” The main focus of the social responsibility program is a partnership with a non-profit organization. This relationship is described by one administrator this way:  99  We have decided to partner with CEMEFI (Centro Mexicano para la Filantropia). The CEMEFI is a private not-for-profit organization whose objective is to promote social responsibility. The CEMEFI offers businesses and organizations a social responsibility distinction if you commit to four obligations: (1) caring for your community, (2) institutional life, (3) environmental conservation, and (4) enterprise ethics. These four obligations have 39 obligations which the organizations have to comply in order to get the distinction. This institution is the most renowned in Latin America and has around 300 accredited enterprises; three or four are private universities in Mexico. (Coordiantor of Institutional Communications) This trend has led administrators to view and appreciate social responsibility as an industry evolution and a political tool. As one administrator argued: From our view point this has created a political mechanism that helps us enhance our educational cause. (Coordiantor of Institutional Communication) Social responsibility as an organizational focus has enabled the school to be a political actor by participating in social cooperation activities that also advance its status within the business community. Administrators perceive that this instrumental social agenda reflects how the school is allocating resources to strategically create a case for to the public that the institution is worth keeping and growing. By extension, social entrepreneurship provides a public justification for private higher education. Additionally, other social entrepreneurship projects have been added to the school’s mission. Recently, the schools decided to create a foundation that will help provide funding for scholarships in the institution. As described by one executive administrator: 100  The objective of this foundation is to raise funds for scholarships to students from external donors like stakeholders, alumni, and in some cases the student body. The challenge for the fundraising activity is finding individuals who want to donate. Unfortunately, in Mexico we don’t have a strong philanthropic culture; this means that more effort and resources have to be invested in order to increase scholarships in the school. Today we have very few donations for scholarships and we would like to increase the social responsiveness but it will probably take time to change our culture. (Chief Financial Officer) Administrators’ assumptions are that this non-profit foundation helps to create “public good” products within a private structure. Administrators believe that there is currently slow progress on this foundation initiative because many think that Mexico philanthropic culture is weak and can vary in time and place. This finding suggests that the quality of this social opportunity is highly conditioned by the stakeholder’s interests on funding higher education to students that lack funding for their education. The interpretation about furthering the “public good” in the institution might not be working consistently across the local, national or international boundaries of the school. Practically all administrators, when asked about social responsibility, stated that social responsibility has always been an essential practice in this institution, but recently the range of obligations in the social responsibility department have been more ambitious than in the past. The executive administration and the deans of the school seem to have a common understanding of the new social responsibility practices in which they all have begun to approach in creative ways. While there are strong views about stake holder interests within the social responsibility agenda, it is also recognized that practice is currently limited in this area. 101  In summary the current situation of the social responsibility project to produce ‘public goods’ in not dealt with as their focused routine, but rather than as an add-on with an instrumental role toward other organizational purposes: reputation and brand equity, productivity, efficiency, improved risk profile, innovation, improved access to capital, licenses to operate (social and normative), attraction and retention of employees, mitigation of environmental, economic and social impact. Generally the executive administrators believe that social responsibility can help the organization improve its competitive advantage. Thus, administrators feel responsible to continue with social responsibility and to reward strong social responsibility performance.  102  CHAPTER VI.  6.1  Conclusion  Introduction This study has examined the processes and potential of private higher education relative  to the private/public good. It is unique since its focus is on the perspective of high level management in an established private institution with strong entrepreneurial activity. This chapter revisits the purpose of the study and the research questions posed in the first chapter, with an emphasis on addressing a discussion on the findings related to: (1) competition in higher education, (2) potential of generating public and private goods and (3) positional competition relative to other educational opportunities (public and private) at the local, national and global levels. Implications and recommendations for research on the public/private divide in higher education are also addressed. The purpose of this chapter is to provide meaning out of the findings that were presented in chapters Four and Five. It is important to acknowledge that the findings are limited to the perspectives of high level management in the institution; voices from faculty and students were not included in this study.  Revisiting the purposes of the study and the research questions The purpose of this study was to examine the processes and discourses of a private institution in Mexico relative to the contestations of the public/private good in higher education. This study attempted to answer three main questions discussed below. The research questions are  103  restated here in an attempt to underline the results associated with those questions and to assess the extent to which this study has achieved its intended purposes. Regarding the first research question: What are the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge of upper level management with regard to the global and local forces (economic, political, technological, and social) that influence the organization and its opportunities? This study has shown that there are no significant differences among high level executives about the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge with regard to the global and local forces (economic, political, technological and social) that influence the organization and its opportunities. In fact there is mutual appreciation and reinforcement between the executive team and Deans over industry competition in the private sector in the past 20 years. The political pressures developed around four political themes: (1) political development, (2) dysfunctional political authority, (3) politics of governance, and (4) territorial principles of power. Administrators believe that higher education in Mexico has been greatly politicized to the point where it has caused a power struggle towards whom and how higher education in Mexico should be steered in the coming years. Dysfunctional political authority and territorial principles of power seemed to be the political forces that are affecting the institution the most. Dysfunctional political authority has given an unpopular image to the private sector because of the development of the ‘patito’ sector, but it has also benefited the established institutions because it has given a differentiation opportunity for further positioning themselves. Administrators’ concerns about social issues are the following: (1) gender equity, (2) digital divide, (3) mobility, and (4) security. Although these themes lay out different challenges  104  for the institution, the themes are interconnected and embedded in neoliberal ideology which affects the social formation and possibilities of the institution. Investment in technology in the school is associated with achieving competitive differentiation in the organization and academia. The administration expressed three strategic perspectives: (1) technology as a way to standardize the teaching and learning process in order to assure quality in all courses; (2) technology as a learning enhancing tool, and (3) technology as a way of enhancing the competitive skills of the students in the marketplace. All five thematic external pressures helped to understand the processes and potential of private higher education relative to the private/public good because it exposed the constraints and opportunities that influence the institution’s decisions. As the institution tries to alter and adapt to the environment the institution will be subject to new constraints as the patterns of interdependence change. In relation to the second research question: What are the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge of upper level management in internal processes in response to external pressures relative to the “public” and “private” good? The findings of the study strongly suggest that the potential for private/public goods in higher education is possible if private and public are not treated as a zero sum game. This means that this organization is making social progress mostly under the condition of addressing strategic competitive advantage and social responsibility. This institution demonstrates action towards improving under such conditions although it is in a premature state were the potential of creating shared value between private and public goods still needs greater strategic focus towards the social domain.  105  Finally the third question: How does the institution position itself relative to other educational opportunities (public and private) at the local, national, and global levels? Markets and competitive forces are growing rapidly in Mexican higher education. This interaction produces system-wide pressures in the ways higher education relates to students, families, firms and governments. An important change in the higher education sector is that private higher education today is no longer a subordinate sector within the system because it knows it holds a major presence with signs of growing in importance and diversity. The adding of complexity and stratification brings a complexity in which institutional coherence and integrity require better attention and management of central officials, university administrators, and faculty. Burton Clark (1995) poses the question of system coordination clearly: “Every national system of higher education is subject to a rising tide of complexity. Mass, even universal, access in place or on its way means that not only are there more students but more different types of students… Complexity of tasks drives differentiation… With so much differentiation and fragmentation of universities and higher education systems taking place, institutional coherence and integrity require more attention from central officials, university administrators and faculty. There are no magic reforms, but incremental, reasonable adjustments can be made along a number of lines that help to pull together that which has been rent asunder… Compared to state forms of allocation, markets are disorderly places. To live well in markets one needs not only to be able to live with disorder but to grasp its benefits and to make use of them.” (Clark 1995, 159-162 passim) A synthesized analysis of the main findings is presented in the next section.  106  6.2  Discussion and Examination of the Findings  1. Discussion on competition in higher education The structure and dynamics of Mexican higher education have gone through significant shifts in values and practices. The developmental model from the 1990s has had political conflicts which have weakened public institutions. To use Burton Clark’s terminology, Mexican higher education is not academically bottom heavy; it comes from a weak academic base, and its amateur management structures were given to political games that hindered the developing academic strategies. The governance of Mexican higher education has loose management structures which do not help steer the increasing diversity and competitive environment of higher education. The shifts in the values and practices of higher education are not only coming at the national level. According to Rizvi and Lingard (2009) global pressures are also affecting higher education with the increasing domination of a global private ideology characterized by the diminishing role of the state, free trade, increase privatization, and individualism, and consumerism (Cohen & Kennedy 2007, p.176). The current literature on globalized higher education acknowledges the importance of local pressures but does not map competition, which was a word that was constantly mentioned by executive administrators and deans throughout the interview process. Porter’s (1979) framework for competitive industry structure analysis helps us determine the competitive intensity and dynamics of a market structure. It is important to understand the functionality of the word competition in order to illuminate more the forces and power relationships affecting and influencing the higher education sector.  107  Porter’s (1979) competitive forces are: (1) the entry of new competitors, (2) the intensity of competitive rivalry, (3) the threat of substitute products or services, (4) the bargaining power of customers, (5) and the bargaining power of suppliers. The biggest threat from new competitors can be appreciated by the current expansion of private institutions called “patito” institutions and transnational corporation offering on site or online education. These institutions have grown in urban spaces where the demand for low-cost education is high and public education is not available or is not attractive to the market. The intensity of competitive rivalry in this institution is visible because established private institutions have expanded their capacities with new competitive strategies mainly on the dimensions of price, quality and innovation. The threat of substitute products and services is mostly appreciated with the perceived level of product differentiation which is marked by social and economic position and buyers switching to other products because they become more accessible to the market. The bargaining power of customers is described as the ability of the market to put pressure on the sector in terms of quality and price. Students can force down prices by pressuring the institutions and playing the rivals against one another. This pressure was revealed with the dynamic of some private institutions offering disguised scholarships as an attempt to attract potential students or “poach” students who are already enrolled in other universities. The bargaining power of suppliers is also described as the market of inputs. In this case administrators mentioned an increasing power in technology suppliers because technology has elevated cost and increased interdependency which puts pressure in the power to negotiate. Still, the complexity of managing a multiple campus organization and the pressure to innovate was an effort that needed to be made to be more competitive in the market according to executive administrators and deans of the school. 108  Understanding competitive forces and their underlying causes in a sector, reveals the roots of the competitive dynamism that has dramatically changed in the last decade. This is important because it reveals how institutions are being influenced and altered in the micro context by dominant patterns of social, economic, political and technological developments. The drivers of industry competition, the ways in which companies gain and sustain competitive advantage, and the principles of developing distinctive purposes are at the core of competition. An understanding of how competition is being played out provides the foundations on which other organizational choices are built. Competitiveness of locations was not addressed but competition has spread and intensified in nations, states and cities. As technology has allowed companies to become more global in their activities and as capital moves more freely across borders, many theorists claim that location diminishes in importance. Other theorists show how the prosperity of organizations and entire countries is dependent on the local environment in which competition takes place. According to this theorists the new model of competitiveness reveals unfamiliar roles of organizations in shaping their competitive context; the need for a new type of relationships between organizations, government, and local institutions, and entirely new ways of thinking about government policy.  2. Discussion of the public/private good Marginson (2007) argues that public and private goods are often interdependent. He believes the production of one kind of good provides conditions necessary to the other. He reminds us of the capacity of policy makers not just to augment competition, but to take counter 109  actions, to expand the elements of non-rivalry and non-exclusivity in production and distribution. In the Mexican higher education system the conditions to generate private/public goods are perceived as distant. As one administrator mentioned: I think we coexist in a polarized system that is founded in different political views. This is not only a concern for this institution but many other administrators from other private universities feel the same way. (Chief Academic Officer)  This observation parallels on Marginson’s (2007) argument. He states that if the higher education system or institution is organized as a market it will probably place greater emphasis on generating private goods. The Mexican private sector is strongly organized around market structures to produce private goods. According to Marginson (2007) the more private good incentives there are, the more possibility there is that public/private are zero sum. This reduces the potential for private universities to produce public goods. Recent literature, missing in Marginson’s (2007) argument, looks at the relationship and the conditions between institutions (private good) and society (public good) that does not treat private incentives and social welfare as a zero sum game even under increasing private incentives and a competitive context. According to Porter and Kramer (2006) social responsibility if applied strategically to the mission of the institution can become a source of social progress as the institution applies considerable resources, innovation and moral purposes to activities that benefit society. Porter and Kramer (2006) believe that the ideal condition for ‘public good’ initiatives is to stop thinking of social responsibility in generic ways, and instead craft social initiatives appropriate to the mission of the institution. Social responsibility can be much more than just 110  cost, constraint or charitable deed. If approached strategically, social responsibility generates opportunity, innovation, and competitive advantage for institutions while solving social problems. According to Porter and Kramer (2006) to gain strategic social responsibility the institutions have to identify points of intersection between the institution and society. The interdependence between an organization and society takes two forms. The first form is through the operations which can be view as inside-out linkages. Every process that adds value to the mission of the institution creates a positive or a negative social consequence. The second form is found in the external factors that influence the organization. These can be called outside-in linkages. The private sector operates within a competitive context which significantly affects its ability to carry out a strategy, especially in the long run. Social conditions form a key part of this context. The competitive context garners less attention than internal processes but can have greater strategic importance for the organization and society. Another strategic condition is ensuring the health of the competitive context because it benefits both the company and the community. Porter and Kramer (2006) argue that each institution must select issues that intersect with a particular purpose because other social agendas are best left to organizations like NGO’s or government institutions that are better position to address them. The essential condition that should guide a social responsibility initiative is not whether a cause is worthy but whether it presents an opportunity to create shared value – that is, a meaningful benefit for society that is also valuable for the organization.  111  Generic social issues may be important to society but are neither significantly affected by the organizations’ operations nor influenced by the organization’s competiveness. Core academic processes like teaching are those that are significantly affected by the institutions activities in the ordinary course of the organization. Social dimensions in a competitive context are dynamics in the external environment that significantly affect the underlying drivers of competitiveness in the places where the organization operates. According to Porter and Kramer (2006) the heart of any competitive strategy is a unique value proposition: a set of needs an organizations can meet for its chosen market that others cannot. The most strategic and potential initiative in the private/public domain is when the organization adds a private/public dimension to its value proposition, making the public/private potential integral to the overall strategy. According to Porter and Kramer (2006) each organization should identify a particular set of societal problems that is best equipped to help resolve and in which it can gain a sustainable and competitive benefit. Addressing the private/public potential by creating shared value will lead to self sustaining solutions that do not depend on private or government subsidies. When a well run organization uses a moral purpose, resources, expertise, and human talent to address problems that it understands and in which it has a stake, it can create private/public potential within a competitive context. Certainly, Marginson’s (2007) approach has a similar argument but he did not consider that the context of competition could itself be a condition for creating private/public goods. Depending on the level of competition and the position of the institution at the local, national and global level, institutions can create positive and negative externalities between each other. To understand the effect of positive or negative externalities it is important to discuss and understand how positional competition has been taken up in the Mexican higher education sector.  112  3. Discussion on positional competition and subsectors of Mexican higher education According to Marginson (2007) each national higher education system is judged by students, families, employers, and graduates depending on the institution and field of study. This means that higher education operates as a ‘positional good’. In economics, positional goods are products and services whose value is mostly (if not exclusively) a function of their ranking in desirability. Positional goods in the private and public sector compete for prestige and desirability (Marginson 2007) Marginson (2006) states that in a positional market there is competition between producers and consumers. Producer universities compete for preferred customers those-able to pay tuition. Wealthy families (consumers) invest and compete in high value education to maintain their social and professional status. According to Marginson (2006) “positional markets in higher education are a matching game in which the hierarchy of students’ families is synchronized with the hierarchy of universities; and the group in each hierarchy is steeped in the habits of sustaining the other” (p.6) Today private higher education in Mexico has become a sector of increased desirability because society has embraced and legitimized private higher education. As mentioned by one administrator in the study: ‘Today the established private higher education system for many Mexicans offers better social status and lifelong opportunities than public universities’. To understand the positional context it is important to reveal the positional markers that have been developed in the sector. Currently there are two strong criteria used to map the positional markers of Mexican private higher education. The criteria for the first taxonomy 113  relates to tuition value and reputation. The second criterion has been mapped under academic quality which is best understood by the accreditation the institutions possess. In the first taxonomy one executive administrator described the hierarchy as such: 1. Institutions with the highest tuition and highest prestige in the region. 2. Institutions with lower tuition but regarded with prestige. 3. Institutions with the lowest tuition but regarded with bad reputation. This taxonomy is helpful to understand how positional markers are defined and linked (tuition and reputation) to label the different groupings of the Mexican subsector and how they might create positive or negative externalities within each other. According to Marginson (2007) this type of appreciation creates vertical market segmentation. The academic quality taxonomy has been approached by Silas (2005). Silas argues that private institutions in Mexico can be classified based on their accreditation bodies. This approach yields as a three-tier taxonomy: (1) high profile (having at least four accreditations), (2) mid profile (having one or two accreditations, (3) low profile (institutions without accreditation and with only a license to operate). The first category corresponds to the classically labelled elite subsector and the third is closely related to the demand-absorbing sector; the second category shows the in-between institutions in a mix standing. The mid-profile institutions like the one in the case study have an interesting position because these institutions receive both positive and negative pressures from above and below and produce positive and negative externalities above and below.  114  According to Silas (2005), in Mexico there are four basic schemes of accreditation operating. The first three involve institution-wide analysis and the fourth only certifies programs: (1) international accreditation such as the one granted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), [4 institutions]; (2) membership in the National Association of Universities and Institutes of Higher Education (ANUIES), [22 institutions]; (3) membership in the Federacion de Instituciones Mexicanas Particulares de Educacion Superior (FIMPES) [77 private institutions]; and having programs accredited by one of the 15 organizations officially recognized as accrediting bodies [32 private universities]. The mapping of both taxonomies helps us appreciate the positional markers of competition in the Mexican higher education subsectors: (1) economic value (tuition), (2) reputation (need for status differentiation), (3) academic reputation (accrediting bodies). These competitive markers shape the ‘positional goods’ of the higher education sector and their underlying value reveals the way institutions acquire resources and the ways in which competition and power can be influenced over time. In a few years to come competition will rise and demand will be less because of a changing demographic structure, which could lead to an oligopoly market form in which the market will be dominated only a few institutions. This could cause shrinkage of the diversity of institutions and as a consequence an unequal distribution of social opportunities (Teese, 2000). This logic results in a winner take all market and where, unfortunately, many of the benefits of intellectual life would be concentrated in a small group of institutions (Frank, 2001). According to Marginson (2006) vertical segmentation, of a system is an inevitable element of positional competition, because the production of positional goods combines competition with oligopoly and market closure. 115  ‘Patito’ institutions subsector The positional context of the ‘patito’ sector is important to discuss because it has become the fastest growing subsector. These institutions have been labeled as patito (little duck), in reference to low quality and other limitations. On the positive side, these institutions provide opportunities to lower-income students who have not been accepted by public institutions or cannot afford more expensive and selective private institutions. These institutions have been described by analysts, critics, and executive administrators as a low cost and low academic quality subsector that operates similar to the dynamics of an informal economy. Building a market under an informal but competitive context has created a series of positive positional externalities like improving the reputation of high and especially mid profile institutions as well as negative externalities like decreasing the overall reputation of private higher education. Activities in the informal economy regularly challenge, bypass, or ignore the control of ‘strong’ sectors. This popularly organized sector usually found in Latin America is the reflection of the distortions and failures of the development process in a region (Portes & Hoffman, 2003). The analysis of the causes and internal dynamics of the Latin American informal economy sheds light on the three most persistent problems facing the region: the deficiency of domestic investment, the failure of state policies, and social inequality. Within the informal economy we witness the logic, potential and limits of the free “untamed market” (Hart 1990, p.158). Analysis of the processes of the informal economy sector can produce a better understanding of the present and potential character of this developing subsector but also contribute to a better appreciation of how universal social principles may be applied in a specific context (Centeno & Lopez-Alves, 2001). Before examining the relationship I will draw on contemporary definitions of the informal economy. 116  Researchers have defined the informal sector as “those actions of economic agents that fail to adhere to the established institutional rules or are denied their protection” (Fiege, 1990, p.990). However a clear distinction must be made between informal and illegal activities because each possesses a distinct characteristic that sets it apart from the other. Sociologists recognize that legal and criminal, like normal or abnormal, are socially defined categories subject to change. However, illegal enterprises involve the production and commercialization of goods that are defined in a specific society as illicit, while informal enterprise deals, for the most part, with licit goods. By explicitly distinguishing between three categories – formal, informal, and illegal activities – it is possible to explore their mutual relationships systematically, a task that becomes difficult when illegal and informal are confused. This theoretical framework helps to reveal how a new market in the higher education sector was created and is sustaining itself because of supportive structures found in the informal sector. In the study nothing was mentioned within the criminal dimension but the process of production and distribution within the informal dimension can be appreciated because many ‘patito’ universities offer no formal university certification recognized by the ministry of education or a proper infrastructure for academic facilities which means that the process of production, distribution and the final product fall into the informal category. While legal, their operation might be considered unethical, if fraudulent credentials or substandard degrees are conferred. Informal economies are affected by two factors: a) the regulatory intent of the state; and b) the social structure and culture of the population subject to it. According to Castells and Portes (1989) the informal economy will develop when and where it can. This is not just true in underdeveloped countries, but also of the informal economies of richer societies. However, the 117  “degrees of freedom” for this development to take place are affected both by the regulatory capacity of state agents and the scope of regulation that they are expected to enforce. The two dimensions are not necessarily related. States of the same level of enforcement capability may assume very different regulatory “loads”. A weak state may assign to itself ambitious regulatory measures over civil society. This is a common situation in Latin America as criticized by De Soto and his followers (De Soto 1989; Bromley, 1994). These states may be described as “frustrated” because of the permanent contradiction between bureaucratic regulations and their inability to enforce them in practice. They give rise to an informal sector precisely because ever-expanding rules force economic actors to find ways around them and because a weak and frequently corrupt state apparatus facilitates the violation of these rules. This situation can be appreciated in one of the interviews conducted in this study: Patito institutions began to offer degrees without the official academic program certification from the Ministry of Education. This procedure started to backfire when students graduating from a non-certified institution weren’t being recognized in the job market because their degree did not have an official certification by SEP or UNAM. Students and families protested to the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education, in order to avoid a political conflict, certified their degrees without proper procedures of certification from the educational institution. (Chief Operations Officer)  The relationship between the state and the informal economy is thus cyclically causal and negatively correlated. The weaker the state the more likely an economic sector is to be able to 118  avoid accountability to the state. The informalization of academic standards which impact the institutions bottom line ‘economic life’ leads to the weakening of state authority. This produces the state’s attempts to re-establish its authority which in turn, produces more avoidance mechanisms, thereby further weakening official authority. This process can be appreciated in the higher education sector with the example of the state deciding to reestablished authority by creating The National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions (ANUIES) which has recognized only the most prestigious public and private higher education institutions. The association is involved in the development of programs, plans and national policies for higher education, as well as in establishing agencies aimed at fostering the development of higher education in the country. This organization has excluded the ‘patito’ subsector. To a certain extent the public sector is also elevating its positional good by creating ANUIES and excluding the patito sector. According to Portes and Haller (2003), this situation has created the process of informalization under “Frustrated” States.  TABLE 4: Process of informalization under “Frustrated” States: Avoidance mechanisms by civic society (Lack of informed Student choice) Attempts to establish/re-establish official controls (Emergence of accreditation bodies- FIMPES and ANUIES)  Weakening of state authority (Lack of regulation from the private sector)  Informalization of economy and society (Growth of ‘patitos’) 119  Informal enterprises have a double function. First, they employ and provide income to a large segment of the population that otherwise would be deprived of any means of subsistence. In the case of ‘patito’ universities, they provide education to those who would be otherwise excluded from higher education (Diaz, 1993; Cheng and Gereffi, 1994; Meagher, 1995). Second, the goods and services provided by informal producers lower the costs of consumption contributing significantly to their viability in the low economic sector (Portes & Walton 1981). Thus the low wages received by formal sector employees in nations like Mexico are partially compensated for by the greater acquisitive power of these wages through cheap informallyproduced goods and services like the patito sector. These realities help explain why informal activities have been commonly tolerated by Latin American governments in direct contradiction to their manifest law-enforcement duties. The functionality of the informal sector is linked to the dynamic of positional goods by creating differentiated market spaces of production and distribution (formal and informal) that are constrained by different conditions created in the state and in the private market. In this sense, the functionality of the informal sector creates positive externalities to the formal public and private sector that have the intention of creating positional goods, but negative externalities to those laboring or consuming in the informal sector because it creates social inequalities to students or teachers aspiring to move into the formal sector. The perpetuation of informal practices ensures the continuation of hierarchical segmentation, further limits the private/public potential and the capacity to steer effectively the higher education system for the public good. Another layer which is important to acknowledge is that higher education is produced and consumed within a global hierarchy in which inequality between nations exists, like the  120  inequality of capital, knowledge and unidirectional flow of people. These effects are all associated with a global hierarchy which has created a positional advantage structure and a worldwide social competition. If higher education across nations continues to develop positional goods, higher education globally will be strongly stratified and the potential to deliver public goods needed to develop a nation will be constrained. According to Marginson (2007) national and global competition in higher education will continue to produce and distribute globally stratified products unless policy is also coordinated across borders. Implications This research project leads to several implications for private institutions who want to understand the pressures and potential of their public/private good. First, as argued by Marginson (2007), public/private goods in higher education are not always a zero sum and under certain conditions provide possibility for each other. In the case of this private institution, although the main purpose and processes are oriented towards generating private goods within a competitive market context, this institution has demonstrated that there is potential to create public goods, although this is marginalized because the system structure favors and influences the creation of positional goods. Regarding implications for social innovations in established institutions Christensen, Baumann, Ruggles, and Sadtler (2006) remind us that institutions usually invest in resources, processes, and partners to support the status quo. This structures makes it difficult and unappealing for organizations to challenge the established way of doing things. Organizations are set up to support their models. Because implementing a simpler, less expensive, more accessible product or service could sabotage their current offerings; it is difficult to create disruptive innovation that would help create more public goods. Therefore, scholars believe that  121  innovations will likely come from outside the ranks of the established players. Currently many of the non established players might be introducing innovative programs that can only be offered under the informal market structure. There are implications to the greater good of the higher education system because the acceptance of these products might only create positive benefits to the owners (profit making) but negative externalities to the higher education system and its students. According to Christensen, Baumann, Ruggles, and Sadtler (2006) ‘catalytic innovators’ share five qualities: (1) creating systemic social change through scaling and replication, (2) They meet a need that is either over served (because the existing solution is more complex than many people require) or not served at all, (3) they offer products and services that are simpler and less costly than existing alternatives, (4) They generate resources, such as donations, grants, volunteer manpower, or intellectual capital, in ways that are initially unattractive to incumbent competitors and (5) they are often ignored, disparaged, or even encouraged by existing players for whom the business model is unprofitable or otherwise unattractive and who therefore avoid or retreat from the market segment. (p.3)  Executive administrators and deans in this institution should be aware of the implications that the innovation of social entrepreneurship can bring to the rest of the sector and try to capture the attention of faculty, practitioners and students by promoting the concept. Mars and Metcalfe (2009) believe that the distinction between social entrepreneurship and social development is that the former inherently centers on innovation. Social entrepreneurs move beyond existing social structures by employing innovative strategies that if successful lead to sustainable and scalable social transformation.  122  The third implication is that social entrepreneurship raises concerns regarding social activism. Altbach (1997) argued that students are becoming less civically engaged and more focused on their individual economic success. This means that social entrepreneurialism can be marginalized not only from the administration of the institution but along with other forms of student and faculty activism. The fourth implication is for the role that the state plays in policy to favor social responsibility initiatives. This doesn’t mean that the state should promote more bureaucratic control. Instead the state should promote a stronger civil society, by developing a well networked democracy (Evans 1995; Putnam 1993, 2000; Oxhorn 1995). Rodrik (2000) argues that a society that lacks a vibrant network of connections forged in non state institutions appears to have little chance of developing the institutional and cultural practices for sustainable growth. The unconstructive competitive context of Mexican higher education marginalizes the possibilities of creating public goods and a positive influence to society. Private institutions must go beyond the boundaries of social responsibility and start thinking about social integration and inclusiveness (Christensen, Baumann, Ruggles, & Sadtler 2006). This means that resources and innovation are important but trying to change the conception of civil society is also important because it will give us better possibilities of how we want to live together in society.  Conclusion The findings of this study provide evidence of how the senior executives of a private institution have a particular conception of education that is being influenced through a range of complex processes at the local, national and global level. The neoliberal view of education in this institution is reflected across the organizations’ processes and affects the ways in which the  123  administration interpreted and imagined the possibilities of the institution relative to the public and private good. Competition is one of society’s most powerful forces in many fields of human endeavour. Competition is pervasive, whether it involves companies contesting markets, countries coping with globalization, or social organizations responding to societal needs. Every organization needs a strategy in order to deliver value for its constituents. This view, however, can overshadow the potential of serving the ‘public good’ (less exclusivity and less rivalry) because the processes are influenced by signification, domination and legitimization structures that are continually shaped the ‘private good’(more rivalrycompetitive context and more exclusivity – positional goods). Social and economic goals should not be inherently conflicting. The only real conflict lies in the means. Harmonizing and pursuing simultaneously economic and social goals can be done through a focus on improving on the democratic benefits of competition, innovation and social value. Thus, when reinforcing these processes administrators should look for ways to maximize the potential of the out-side in linkages and inside-out linkages with a socially minded approach and create innovative structures that foster shared public/private value. 6.3  Recommendations for Policy, the Institution and Research Avenues One of the objectives of this study was that the findings of the study could serve as a  body of knowledge for improving decision making regarding processes and distribution of the public and the private good. My second objective is that the study could identify how the institution positions itself relative to other educational opportunities (public and private) at the local, national, and global levels. The scope of the study was carried out as a qualitative case study for the higher education system in Mexico, it’s important to bring back a comprehensive discussion of current global trends in educational policy to continue to look for improvement in 124  higher education policy. Governments have been re-aligning educational policies towards what they perceive to be the imperatives of globalization. They examine the transformative effects of globalization on the discursive terrain within which educational policies are developed and enacted, arguing that this terrain is increasingly informed by a range of neo-liberal policies which have fundamentally changed the ways in which we think about educational governance. The process of inquiry reveals the external pressures influencing the institution and the organizational processes of one private higher education institution relative to the public and private good. I will suggest two innovation approaches to work at the institutional level in the social responsibility agenda so that the institution can continue to look for ways most appropriate to the institutions mission but also think of alternatives under social innovation frameworks for the future in order to expand on the argument that public/private should not be considered are a zero sum but more like an interdependent cycle of value creation.  Policy discussion and alternatives David Labaree (2003) argues that education policy has traditionally involved three distinct but often competing values: democratic equality, social mobility, and social efficiency. He believes policy has three values, but recently one has been overshadowing the others. For Labarre democratic equality promotes the development of democratic citizens who can participate in democratic communities in a critically informed manner. Its focus is on equal access and equal treatment of all citizens and on regarding education as a public good. This implies that society can reach its potential if every member of a community is educated to realize their full potential. The primary purpose of education is the creation of productive citizens able 125  to maximize personal fulfillment, not simply efficient workers. The purposes of education, from this perspective, are those more social and cultural than economic, focused more on the community than on the individual. The idea of social mobility gives rise to providing individuals with a range of private goods that are offered in the market. The social mobility views education as competitive, serving the function of economic benefits and social status to individuals. It suggests that social rewards should be based on both effort and intelligence. It maintains that the market rewards those who work harder and have inherently superior skills and talent. Social mobility view does not deny a role for education in promoting social equality, but leaves the responsibility to the market. Public policy under social mobility suggests the strengthening of structures that enable each individual to have formal access to educational institutions within the market. It thus emphasizes individual choice, freedom for students to gain in their own way the knowledge and skills they will require for finding a place within the labor market and thus achieving social mobility. Social mobility’s focus is on competition and the capacity of the market to bring equality, liberty and efficiency. The third view of education is called social efficiency. While the social mobility view focuses on individuals, the social efficiency views the role of education with a wider focus. The focus must be instrumental to be able to develop workers able to contribute to the economic productivity of nations and. Its focus is not as much on the needs and development of individuals as on the efficiency with which educational systems operate. The emphasis is on the system’s capacity to make an adequate return on investment, assessed in terms of its contribution to producing workers with knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to increasing productivity within the knowledge economy. In this way, education is viewed as both a public and a private good: public because it contributes to the economic well-being and social development of a 126  community; and private because it serves individual interests within a competitive market. However, it is important to stress that the notion of the public good that the social efficiency view promotes is markedly different from social democratic conceptions, which regard education as intrinsically good, and not linked instrumentally to organizational efficiency, economic outcomes and productivity. In recent years, policy on social efficiency in education appears to be the dominant view. This view constructs the hegemonic power of the neoliberal imaginary. This imaginary has redefined educational values in largely economic terms, linked to the concerns of social efficiency. It has emphasized the importance of market dynamics around a view of education as a private good. It has linked the purposes of education to the requirements of the global economy. Today it is important to understand the global interconnectivity and interdependence in different ways, with implications for rethinking educational values that require us to engage in ways that do not prioritize the economic over all other human concerns. After examining the private institution it is clear that there is a consistent neoliberal imaginary of globalization. It is important to make strategic policy changes in order not to compromise the goals of access and equality which has widened inequalities not only in our country but across nations. It has made the goals of gender and racial equity more difficult to realize. Hegemonic neoliberal globalization has greatly benefited some countries, sectors and groups of people but it also has had unsuccessful consequences for others and has made educational systems less integrative and more vertically segmented. The effects of the higher education system in Mexico and the private sector are a clear message of how we must reconsider social and education policies that look beyond the dictates of neoliberal globalization,  127  and re imagine another globalization that does not reject the facts of global interconnectivity and interdependence, but seeks to interpret them differently, so as to consider the important role education must play in creating a more sustainable (economic, environmental and social) global future. In working towards such a future it is not simply possible to rely upon governments or the innovation and civic approach found in healthy local communities, but we must rely on new global network of networks to bring structural changes to higher education. Rizvi and Lingard (2009) remind us that we must explore an alternative imaginary of globalization, based not on a singular, individualistic and economist view of human needs, but emphasizing the importance of individual heterogeneity and the multidimensional nature of welfare and welfare needs. This requires that we begin to focus locally, nationally and globally on achieving the greater collective good.  Recommendations for the institution The findings of the study suggest a strong support towards neoliberal values, manifested in the validity of market mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of the institution. Currently there is progressive social agenda in place but requires expanding public good purposes and creative effort if the institution whishes to expand the private/public good potential. Many times too much of the money available to address social needs is used to maintain status quo. This means that the institution provides relatively specific ‘public good’ solutions to a narrow range of people. This is a good alternative but unlikely to reach far broader populations that are in need of an educational opportunity.  128  I believe that greater focus on market efficiency and individual benefits will only diminish the collective social and cultural aspects of human behavior. The institution should be seeking to reinforce values and structures with broader educational multi purposes. Not all the values should be focused around market economy and citizen-consumer choice. I recognize that much depends on how these values are politically mediated by particular global, national and institutional policy practices, but also how ideas and discourses are used within particular social imaginaries. The institution has an opportunity to alter the imagination and help lead progressive changes for the institution and the private sector in Mexico. With creative approaches the institution can imagine different ways which are more socially progressive and help improve individual and community experiences in the institution. The private sector and the institutions that formed part of it should approach this challenge collectively because today higher education in the private sector is showing major social consequences, benefiting some individuals and communities but also further marginalizing the poor the socially disadvantage. To challenge the status quo the institution should continue approaching sustainable innovation by improving the link between strategy and society using frameworks that guide the school mission and core purposes to continue to make incremental improvements so that the relationship between private and public good are not treated as a zero sum game. To reach a broader population it is important to support the ideas and practices that are approaching socialsector problems in a fundamentally new way and creating scalable and sustainable solutions Break through innovation should also be considered for future investment because technology investments should use the resources to grow, refine, and revitalize their current social responsibility offerings to advance social goals. An organization that has aligned their resources, processes, and values towards the private should also create scalable, and sustainable 129  innovations that will create benefits for society more effectively and help inspire more social entrepreneur projects in the private sector. The institution should recognize that Globalization itself should not only offer private goods but also more global democratic solutions because private markets are never complete and if so you cannot expect that the so called free markets to work perfectly for the public good, especially for developing countries where the information needed to make sound economic decisions is often lacking or based on informal markets that end un negatively affecting the social agenda. The institution, the sector and the government should play a bigger role collectively in shaping market behavior, with well chosen policy interventions that benefit society as a whole.  Suggestions for future research The findings of this study have provided and analysis of how the senior executives of a private institution have a particular conception of education that is being influenced through a range of complex processes at the local, national and global level. Senior administrator’s conceptions influencing the organization possibilities are still purposefully designed and imagined as a ‘private’ good which emphasizes what the nature of the local, national and global context of the institution is currently experiencing. Based upon this research project, further studies could explore similar issues in order to provide higher education administrators with empirically based information that could improve the directions of higher education institutions. The findings of this study show that additional studies regarding the motivations and incentives that encourage elites in institutions are critical 130  towards understanding more about power structures, especially in institutions where the decision making process is highly concentrated in the high level structure. This study furthermore has demonstrated the high level management assumptions, beliefs and values regarding ‘private’ and ‘public’ goods produced in Mexico. 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Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publishing.  141  APPENDICES UBC Behavioral Research Ethics Board Certificate of Approval  CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL - MINIMAL RISK INSTITUTION / UBC BREB DEPARTMENT: NUMBER: Amy Metcalfe UBC/Education/Educational H10-00046 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting Studies INSTITUTION(S) WHERE RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUT: PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR:  Institution  N/A  Site  N/A  Other locations where the research will be conducted:  This research study will be conducted at a private institution in Mexico City, Mexico. CO-INVESTIGATOR(S): Kalervo N. Gulson Thomas J. Sork SPONSORING AGENCIES: N/A PROJECT TITLE: The public/private divide in Mexican higher education CERTIFICATE EXPIRY DATE: January 21, 2011 DOCUMENTS INCLUDED IN THIS APPROVAL: Document Name  Protocol: Proposal_The public private divide Mexican HE Consent Forms: consent form Questionnaire, Questionnaire Cover Letter, Tests: Research questionaire_EBC Letter of Initial Contact: Letter of initial contact Other Documents: Site authorization letter  DATE APPROVED: January 21, 2010 Version  Date  N/A  January 11, 2010  N/A  February 10, 2010  N/A  January 11, 2010  N/A  February 10, 2010  N/A  February 10, 2010  The application for ethical review and the document(s) listed above have been reviewed and the procedures were found to be acceptable on ethical grounds for research involving human subjects.  Approval is issued on behalf of the Behavioural Research Ethics Board and signed electronically by one of the following:  142  Letter of Initial Contact  Department of Educational Studies University of British Columbia Mailing address: 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4  Date: 12 Feb 2010  Dear: Dr. Carlos Prieto Sierra My name is Carlos Prieto and I am a Master’s student at the University of British Columbia in the Faculty of Education in the Educational Studies Department. Under the supervision of Dr. Amy Scott Metcalfe, I will be initiating a research project relating to private higher education in Mexico. The purpose of this study is to examine the organizational discourses of one private higher education institution in Mexico relative to contestations between the global “ideology of privatization” in education and the “global public good” of private education. My project is entitled: The public/private divide in Mexican higher education This study involves participating in a one hour semi-structured interview. I will be in Mexico City in the month of February, 2010, and would like to set up an interview with you at your convenience. The purpose of this letter is to introduce my research and to obtain your permission to audio record the interviews. I will contact you within a week of receiving this letter in order to arrange an interview meeting time that is convenient for you. In addition, this letter is to obtain your permission to use the research data in any future journal article or other publication. I will return transcripts of your individual interviews to you so that you have the opportunity to review and edit them. Audio recordings of the interviews and the transcriptions are to be stored and kept locked in a filing cabinet in my supervisor’s office in the Department of Educational Studies at UBC. In accordance with UBC ethics policy, please understand that your participation in this research project is voluntary and that you may withdraw at any time. Confidentiality is ensured as the names of the participants will not be identified when the results are reported. The institution will be given a pseudonym in any future publications, including my thesis.If you have any concerns about your treatment or rights as a research subject, you may telephone the Research Subject Information Line in the UBC Office of Research Services at the University of British Columbia, at 604-822-8598. If you require more information about my research area you may also contact my doctoral supervisor, Dr. Amy Scott Metcalfe at 604. 822.5331 or via e-mail amy.metcalfe@ubc.ca If you give me permission to carry out this project with your involvement, please sign the consent form on the following page. A copy of this letter of initial contact will be copied for you for your files. Kind thanks, Carlos Prieto, MA student Educational Studies Faculty of Education, UBC  143  Consent Form  Department of Educational Studies University of British Columbia Mailing address: 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4  Date: Project title: The public/private divide in Mexican higher education Principal Investigator: Amy Metcalfe, UBC Faculty of Education, 604-822-5331 Co-Investigator(s): Carlos Prieto, UBC Faculty of Education, MA Higher Education, 778 384 4084 The following regards an MA thesis that will conclude with a knowledge claim. The use of the information will concern the protection of the participant’s rights and certain information may only be accessed by those permitted. Sponsor: Currently without sponsor Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the organizational discourses of one private higher education institution in Mexico relative to contestations between the global “ideology of privatization” in education (Rizvi, 2006; Rizvi & Lingard, 2009) and the “global public good” of private education (Marginson, 2007; Menashy, 2009). Research Questions:  1. What are the perceptions of the upper‐managerial staff at the case study institution of the organization’s external influences and opportunities, particularly those that might relate to global and local forces (economic, political, social)? 2. To what extent are discourses of privatization and the public good present in the institution’s mission statement, strategic planning documents, and other organizational materials? Has this changed over time? 3. How does the institution position itself relative to other educational opportunities (public and private) at the local, national, and global levels?  144  Study Procedures: All interviews will be conducted by the same researcher. The average length of an interview session will be approximately an hour; however, each session will be reserved for two hours to provide sufficient time for the interviewee to fully express his/her ideas. Interviews will be conducted in either Spanish or English according to the preference of the interviewee, audio-recorded and later transcribed by this researcher into a digital computer document file. The researcher will also perform translation of the interviews where necessary. In addition, the researcher will take field notes to help inform regarding relevant issues not captured in the recordings. Interview sessions will provide social interaction through conversation focused upon questioning and listening (by the researcher) and answering (by the respondent) that allows constructing a situated narrative about the study topics (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000b; Rubin, H. J. & Rubin, I. S.,1995). The analysis of collected data involves several steps. First, each interview will be transcribed into a document file, such as Microsoft Word. Second, all transcribed interviews will be grouped and organized by position within the institution. Documents will be organized by topic and year of publication. Potential Risks: There are no known risks to participating in this study. Potential Benefits: The participants may find benefit in considering their responses to the interview questions, and in reading the findings of the study. They may find the study relevant to a better understanding of the institution’s development and the evolution of private higher education, which has become of great concern to the modernization of the Mexican higher education system. Confidentiality: In terms of confidentiality all information will be well stored and kept as confidential documents in code numbers in a locked filling cabinet. Subjects will remain anonymous in any reports of the completed study. The institution will be referred to by a pseudonym in all printed documentation. Remuneration/Compensation: None. Contact for information about the study: If you have any questions or desire further information with respect to this study, you may contact my supervisor, Amy Metcalfe, PhD at 604-822-5331or email at amy.metcalfe@ubc.ca . Contact for concerns about the rights of research subjects: If you have any concerns about your treatment or rights as a research subject, you may contact the Research Subject Information Line in the UBC Office of Research Services at 604-822-8598 or if long distance e-mail to RSIL@ors.ubc.ca.  145  Consent: Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary and you may refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time without jeopardy to your employment. Your signature below indicates that you have received a copy of this consent form for your own records. Your signature indicates that you consent to participate in this study. ____________________________________________________ Subject Signature  Date  ____________________________________________________ Printed Name of the Subject signing above The signature of a Witness is not required for behavioural research.  146  Protocol for interviewing Interview Protocol Matrix 1. Topic – Global and local forces (economic, political, technological and social) affecting the organization and higher education in Mexico. Questions: 1. What are some of the Global and local pressures (economic, political, technological and social) affecting the organization and its opportunities? Theoretical background: Globalization of education Author: Rizvi & Lingard, 2009 Global and local forces  Empirical  Ideological  Social imaginary  Economic  Political  Technological  Social  Description (empirical, ideological and social imaginary)  2. Topic: Processes in which the organization engages to create revenue and possibilities for the organization.  147  Questions: 1. What kind of entrepreneurial processes exist that create revenue and possibilities for the organization? 2. How has this changed over time? 3. What are the most important investments for the organization today? 4. What are the larger social benefits to which EBC contributes? (non‐revenue producing or non‐ profit oriented)  Theoretical background: Academic capitalism and the new economy Author: Saughter and Rhoads 2004 Focus  Definition Processes Causes and effects  Knew circuits of knowledge  Interstitial organizational emergence  Intermediate Networks  Managerial capacity  New investment , marketing and consumption behaviors  3. Topic – Potential and distinction of public and private goods in EBC Theoretical background: Marginson, 2007 & Menashy, 2009 1. How does the institution position itself relative to other educational opportunities (public and private) at the local, national, and global levels? 2. Public and private goods are often interdependent, in that the production of one kind of a good provides conditions necessary to the other? Does EBC have any mechanisms for creating the interdependence of this? 148  Topic  Definition  Examples in EBC  Are both rivalrous and excludable. These goods are produced in the market subject to status differential and or economic market competition Private Good  Non rivalrous have a significant element of non rivalry and non exclusivity. These goods are non rivalrous because they can be consumed by any number of people without being depleted Public Good  149  Table 1: Executive Management Roles and Responsibilities  Code EM (Executive managment)  professional position Gender Age  EM (Executive managment)  EBC: Rectoría Adjunta (Vice president)  EM (Executive managment)  EBC: Vicerrector (Chief Operations officer)  M  M  EM (Executive managment)  60  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  55  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  59  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  58  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  28  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  42  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  EBC: Rector (President) M  EBC: Adm y Finanzas (Chief financial officer) M  EBC: Coordinador MM (Middle General de management) Mercadotecnia (Marketing coordinator) M  CD (Campus Dean)  EBC: Director del Campus Reforma M  Office  150  MM (Middle management) EBC: Directora 37  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  50  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  45  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  43  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  46  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  43  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  de Educación Corporativa  F EBC: Directora del Campus MM (Middle Virtual (Virtual management) Campus Director) F  EM (Executive managment)  CD (Campus Dean)  EBC: Director Regional (Campus Dean) Nor-Poniente  EBC: Directora del Campus Toluca Durán  M  F  EBC: (Chief of  EM academic (Executive affairs) management) Directora  Académica  CD (Campus Dean)  CD (Campus Dean)  EBC: (Campus Dean) Directora del Campus Tlalnepantla  EBC: Director del Campus Dinamarca  F  F  M  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  151  EBC: Coordinador General de MM (Middle Relaciones management) Públicas (Institutional communications coordinator)  M  30  Type: Interview transcript Duration: 1 hr  152  Table 2: Organizational Chart  RECTOR  DIRECTORA ACADÉMICA  Coord. Gral. de Relaciones Públicas  Coordinador General de MercadotecniaJuan  RECTOR ADJUNTO  DIRECTOR REGIONAL NOR-PONIENTE  VICERRECTOR  Departamentos Académicos  Director de Control Escolar  Coordinador General de Evaluación Educativa  Director Campus Reforma  Coordinadora General de Diseño Curricular  Director Campus Dinamarca  Directora de Educación Corporativa  Coordinadores Generales de Educación Corporativa  Director Campus Toluca  Director Campus Querétaro  DIR. GRAL. DE ADMON. Y FINANZAS  Contralora  Director de Tec. de Información y Comunicaciones IC.  Directora de Administración de Personal Coordinador General de Prospectiva  Coordinador General de Investigación y Capacitación Docente (Vacante)  Coordinadora General de Aplicaciones y Servicios  Directora Campus Tlalnepantla  Coordinador General de Procesos I  Director Campus Chiapas  Coordinadora de Librería y Papelería  Director de Campus Virtual  Coordinador de Proyectos de Construcción  Supervisor de Mantenimiento  153  


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