Lessons from America: A Comparative Perspective on the Collegial Tradition
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In spite of the misgivings that have been expressed regarding the current health of the US system of higher education (Douglass, 2006 and 2007), there is little doubt that the central characteristics of the US model are widely admired (Bassett & Tapper, 2009: 127–129). In terms of undergraduate numbers, the United States established the first system of mass higher education. It is a highly diversified model with a plurality of institutional missions. Furthermore, it is the prime example of a model that depends for its sustenance upon a mix of public and private funding. Finally, it contributes many members to that elite ‘world-class’ sector of higher education, which several nations are anxious to see their leading universities join (Palfreyman & Tapper, 2009: 203–218).