The marketisation of higher education is a growing worldwide trend. Increasingly, market steering is replacing or supplementing government steering. Tuition fees are being introduced or increased, usually at the expense of state grants to institutions. Grants for student support are being replaced or supplemented by loans. Commercial rankings and league tables to guide student choice are proliferating with institutions devoting increasing resources to marketing, branding and customer service. The UK is a particularly good example of this, not only because it is a country where marketisation has arguably proceeded furthest, but also because of the variations that exist as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland increasingly diverge from England.

In Everything for Sale, Roger Brown argues that the competitive regime that is now applicable to our Higher Education system was the logical, and possibly inevitable, outcome of a process that began with the introduction of full cost fees for overseas students in 1980. Through chapters including:

  • Markets and Non-Markets
  • The Institutional Pattern of Provision
  • The Funding of Research
  • The Funding of Student Education
  • Quality Assurance
  • The Impact of Marketisation: Efficiency, diversity and equity;


He shows how the evaluation and funding of research, the funding of student education, quality assurance, and the structure of the system have increasingly been organised on market or quasi-market lines.

As well as helping to explain the evolution of British higher education over the past thirty years, the book contains some important messages about the consequences of introducing or extending market competition in universities’ core activities of teaching and research.

This timely and comprehensive book is essential reading for all academics at University level and anyone involved in Higher Education policy.

chapter |10 pages


chapter |18 pages

Markets and non-markets

chapter |30 pages

The funding of research

chapter |24 pages

Quality assurance

chapter |21 pages

The impact of marketisation

Efficiency, diversity and equity

chapter |20 pages

The impact of marketisation


chapter |17 pages

Lessons from marketisation