What kind of influence will market and quasi-market forces have on post-secondary education in the future? Will they become prevalent, as it is now the case in many other activities formerly provided by the public sector? Will tertiary education institutions become more clearly demand-driven, leading to changes in their internal management and teaching practices as well as in a shift in they core missions?
New approaches to governance in OECD countries combine the authority of the State and the power of markets in new ways. There is a strong demand for better public management. Accountability, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness, responsiveness and forward vision are now considered as the principal components of good public governance, which universities are and will increasingly be asked to implement. The shift towards more autonomy and entrepreneurship is widespread and institutions with very different profiles are increasingly able to compete with each other both within countries and across borders. These developments are set in a context of debate about national budget priorities; about the efficiency of resource use; about the organisation of higher education and private provision of higher education; and about how costs should be shared among different groups in the society (taxpayers, students and families, companies). Institutions are increasingly freer to develop their own strategies and determine their own priorities. Governments and other policy makers have to combine the encouragement of efficiency and excellence with the promotion of equity.