ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses those characteristics of universities which justify their treatment as institutions generating public goods, which, in turn, provides a rationale for their funding from a variety of public sources. It examines how the value generated by universities is perceived by students and how ready they are to pay tuition fees. Universities were founded and thrive in cities that play the most important roles in political, economic, and social life of a given geographical area. Universities generated value duly noted by decision-makers and, at the same time, developed on the basis of financial, human, and social resources present in respective urban centres. University education has features of both a public and a private good. Universities require more investment than other levels of education. The problem of social inclusiveness at universities has a long history, which, of course includes the absence of women. The cultural impact of universities is particularly evident in educating future elites coming from other countries.