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Impact of the Financial and Economic Crisis on Public Expenditure on Higher/Tertiary Education in Europe and Slovenia

Vesna Skrbinjek and Dušan Lesjak
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Vesna Skrbinjek: International School for Social and Business Studies, Slovenia
Dušan Lesjak: International School for Social and Business Studies, Slovenia

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Abstract: The paper deals with changes in tertiary education (TE) funding in 28 European countries after 2007. We focus on two aspects: first, does the public expenditure on TE change (decrease/increase) in proportion to the changes (decreases/increases) in public expenditure on education and second, did countries, which invested the highest share of public funds on TE (measured in % of GDP) before the crisis (in 2007), managed to maintain or increase their share during the crisis (until 2012)? We cover public funding using quantitative methodological approach, complemented with the results of research conducted from European University Association (EUA) and others. The results imply that in proportion to the reduction in the share of public expenditure on education generally decreases the share of public expenditure dedicated to TE, but more slowly. Majority of countries with high or medium investment in TE (as % of their GDB in 2007), managed to maintain or increase public expenditure on TE until 2012. This group includes Scandinavian countries (except Iceland), Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and France, as well as Poland and Slovakia. Most severe cuts in public expenditure on TE took place in Baltic and southern European countries as well as in Hungary, Czech Republic, Ireland, Netherlands and Iceland. In Great Britain (Wales and England) drastic reductions in public expenditure are a result of the funding reform. Public expenditure for HE in Slovenia decreased more gradually but trajectory for the future years is rather negative.

Keywords: tertiary education; higher education; public funding; financial crisis; economic crisis; Europe; Slovenia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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