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Charity and finance in the university

By A. Beverungen, C. Hoedemaekers and J. Veldman


In this paper we explore the financialisation of the university, and how it is possible that universities behave as if they were private corporations despite legally being corporations with a charitable status. We argue that this is largely attributable to financialisation, which creates tension with the university's charitable status. The paper commences with a brief history of incorporation, and examines developments in corporate governance. With the dominance of finance, and the treatment of institutions as mere nexus of contracts, distinctions between public and private become redundant. The paper continues with an account of the effects of financialisation on university governance, under which the university acts increasingly like a for-profit corporation, with its financial governance in direct contradiction to its charitable status. Here, the university emerges as a key site of neoliberalism, where financialised subjects are shaped. Finally, we examine to what extent the financialisation of the university may be halted through a reflection on its status as a charitable corporation

Topics: HG, HV, LB2300
Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.1016/
OAI identifier:
Provided by: City Research Online

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