New paper published in Higher Education Policy:

My article “Time is Money: Disentangling Higher Education Cost-Sharing and Commodification Through Deferred Graduate Retirement” is now online at the journal Higher Education Policy. The aim is to try to inject some out-of-the-box thinking into the debate around tuition fees, a debate that I think is somewhat stuck, not just politically, but conceptually. The question explored in this article is whether it is possible to make the beneficiaries of higher education bear some of the cost in ‘pure’ economic accounting terms, in order to ensure that free higher education does not end up being a regressive subsidy of relatively high-income families, but without detrimental effects of commercialisation and commodification of higher education. The basic idea is to avoid any kind of explicitly monetary transfers between the state, students, and universities, and instead raise the retirement age for graduates. At this stage it is more of a discussion piece with a back-of-the-envelope style feasibility calculation rather than a heavy economic analysis, but I strongly believe that there needs to be room in research for explicitly attempting to start an academic conversation rather than pretending to already have all the answers.

Check out the main article page or a public-access read-only full-text version.