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Skills for sale: what is being commodified in higher education?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Further and Higher Education
Issue number2
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)199-206
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


'Commodification' is a sociological term that has become widely adopted as part of the higher education lexicon. It has been argued that an increased emphasis on the commercial relevance of university courses is anathema to the values of the academy, resulting from the widespread adoption of neo-liberal policies towards education. This article will discuss the use of the word commodification in this context, with particular emphasis on its economic roots. It will identify three models of commodification derived from the literature and use these to attempt an understanding of what it is that universities are selling. Finally, the article will examine the use of the term commodification within the broader debtae about the purpose of higher education.