Luc E. Weber, University of Geneva
Higher education (HE), more than most other goods or services, can be provided either by the public sector or the market. It can be also paid for either by the State (the taxpayers or lenders) or by private interests (individuals, business or other private sources, e.g. foundations).
This flexibility is rather unique. Even if is true that no goods or services are 100% public or private, some are basically public (e.g. foreign affairs, defence, fire brigade, etc) and paid for consequently by the taxpayers — or by borrowing — whereas others are mainly private (durable goods, hotels and restaurants, banking, etc) and bought in the market.
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