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Philosophy of Management

Volume 6, Issue 1, 2007

Transforming Rationalities

A Scott Carson
Pages 17-34

Should a For-Profit Corporation Own and Operate a University?

For-profit universities are degree-granting institutions that are owned and operated by business corporations. This paper addresses two related public policy questions about for-profit universities. First, should governments and appropriate regulatory bodies permit for-profit universities to grant degrees in their jurisdiction? Second, should higher education policy be developed to create for-profit universities? In this paper, a property rights argument is presented to demonstrate that a corporation should have the right to offer degrees if certain regulatory tests can be met. In limited circumstances, governments might consider establishing for-profit universities, but only if they promote public goods.

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