Ranjan Kumar Sahoo


Neoliberalism is currently the most prevalent political philosophy across the world. It is a term used to describe the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market capitalism. The typical policies associated with neoliberalism include free trade, globalization, privatization, and changes in government spending to stimulate the private sector. This paper aims to better understand the reasons for this neoliberal turn in higher education and explore the visible and invisible ramifications of this paradigm shift in the policies for higher education in India. The paper focuses on the origins and meaning of neoliberalism, its application and practice in higher education, as well as the issues and critiques that have been raised in this context. The author offers both a critique of the neoliberal paradigm of marketized education and a challenge to academics to act as public intellectuals, both individually and with civil society organizations, to establish a counter-hegemonic discourse to neoliberalism for higher education. The paper concludes that neoliberal education reforms have made higher education much more diverse and have given rise to more learning opportunities; however, in India, which has enshrined systemic inequalities, neoliberalism has further reinforced existing inequalities, and public universities have lost their autonomy and led to knowledge capitalism.


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neoliberalism, higher education, knowledge capitalism, privatization

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