Higher education thrives on stability. If in a country there is uncertainty and uncontrolled change at all levels - the economic, the political and the social, as well as the academic - then the universities and colleges may be exciting or despairing places to be, but teaching and research are the first to suffer. It was made plain that the promise of social mobility which had been one of the main attractions of a university education for Argentina's youth, and the hope that this training of new professions would advance the country, were now at an end. The military governments tried, following their free market economic principles in the field of education, to reduce the burden it placed on state expenditure. The political questioning of the role of the institution from within, and the real power that students have enjoyed in the debate about the running of the universities are also very different from Britain.