IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Autonomy or Oligarchy? Changing effects of university endowments in winner takes all markets

26 October 2016, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

Autonomy or Oligarchy?

Event Information

Open to



Room 604, Level 6, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

In this seminar Heinz-Dieter Meyer will direct attention to important changes in the role and funding of elite private universities in the United States.

At the centre of these changes is the private endowment-an institution that has for much of its history been a pivotal element of innovation and autonomy, but which is recently tilting towards the production and reproduction of oligarchic institutional conditions.
In the context of an explosion of wealth inequality in winner-take-all markets where elite higher education serves to provide coveted access to rare positional goods, the in-perpetuity endowment as currently configured allows a small group of globally leading institutions to become rentiers who can support themselves nearly exclusively through the returns on their endowed capital. With that, a century-old dynamic of innovation and change of American higher education is at risk of collapsing.

Presented by: Heinz-Dieter Meyer, SUNY, Albany USA
This event is free and open to those involved in higher education.
Places are limited. Please contactl: alison.peacock@ucl.ac.uk