The dynamics of ‘market-making’ in higher education

Janja Komljenovic, Susan L Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)
671 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines what to some is a well-worked furrow; the processes and outcomes involved in what is typically referred to as ‘marketization’ in the higher education sector. We do this through a case study of Newton University, where we reveal a rapid proliferation of market exchanges involving the administrative division of the university with the wider world. Our account of this process of ‘market making’ is developed in two (dialectically related) moves. First, we identify a range of market exchanges that have emerged in the context of wider ideological and political changes in the governance of higher education to make it a more globally competitive producer of knowledge, and a services sector. Second, we explore the ways in which making markets involve a considerable amount of microwork, such as the deployment of a range of framings, and socio-technical tools. Taken together, these market-making processes are recalibrating and remaking the structures, social relations and subjectivities, within and beyond the university and in turn reconstituting the university and the higher education sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-636
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number5
Early online date10 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Markets
  • Market-making
  • Higher Education
  • University
  • Callon and Çalışkan
  • Berndt and Boeckler


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