- Message from Project Director, D. Bruce Johnstone

All scholarly projects have life spans, and the International Comparative Higher Education Finance and Accessibility Project, housed in the Center for Comparative and Global Studies in Education at the University at Buffalo, is no exception.

I retired from active teaching in 2006, although I continued to advise my 14 PhD students through the completion of their doctorates, and I continue still (as of this writing in early 2014) as Director of the International Comparative Higher Education Finance and Accessibility Project (although without the core grant from the Ford Foundation that had supported the Project since 1999). Also, since 2010, I have been without former Project Manager, Pamela Marcucci and the team of PhD students and Project Associates who had constructed the Project website at

Nevertheless, I have continued to actively consult, lecture, travel, and publish. Since my 2006 semi-retirement, I have co-written or co-edited four books, the principal contribution being Johnstone and Marcucci, Financing Higher Education Worldwide: Who Pays? Who Should Pay? published in 2010 by the Johns Hopkins University Press, which is the culmination of years of work on international comparative higher education finance, tuition fee policies, student loans, and accessibility. Since publication of this book and the winding down of the doctoral concentration in Comparative and Global Studies in Education in 2010, I have also presented lectures and papers in some 16 cities in 13 countries and added five papers to the collection available on Project Website. And in 2014, with the assistance of two new Project Associates--Dr. Namsook Kim, assistant director of the Center for Comparative and Global Studies in Education and Vanessa Haddad, a doctoral student in Educational Culture, Policy and Society, we are updating the country studies to incorporate new policies in the structure, governance, and finance of post-secondary education in countries throughout the world.

This said, we can also look back at some of the accomplishments of the Project in the first decade of the new century:

  • The most extensive body of theoretical and policy-oriented literature on higher educational finance and "cost-sharing,” plus some 45 up-to-date country studies on the Project Website at <>.
  • Johnstone and Marcucci's book, Financing Higher Education Worldwide: Who Pays? Who Should Pay? plus many monographs, book chapters, and articles on higher education finance, financial assistance, and student loans, all in an international comparative perspective.
  • Key papers on higher education finance, cost-sharing, tuition fee policies, and student loans translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.
  • Ph.D. graduates from some 15 countries trained in higher education policy analysis, including doctoral dissertations and other student publications dealing with aspects of higher education finance and cost-sharing in Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Latvia, China, India and the United States.
  • Further capacity building through fellowships for visiting scholars and advanced graduate students from Argentina, the Czech Republic, Chile, China, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Mongolia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, the Ukraine and Vietnam.
  • Successful conferences in Buffalo, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Prague, Moscow, Wuhan and Arusha, Tanzania on the technically complex and politically contested concept of "cost sharing" in East Africa, Central Europe, Russia, and China.

So, the Project continues in 2014 on a reduced scale, without grant support, new PhD students, or visiting scholars, to examine the critical, politically-contested, and ever changing landscape of tuition fees, financial assistance, and student loan policies worldwide.

D. Bruce Johnstone
Project Director
February 2014




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