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

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? 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.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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