Abstracts: September 25th, 2002

J.A. ChandlerIn 1991 eight polytechnics offered a BA in public administration while five universities provided the degree with either public or social policy. Currently, no higher education institution in Britain offers a BA degree solely entitled ‘public administration’. The subject area is, however, offered in 16 higher education institutions under a variety of names that include the words ‘public’, ‘management’, ‘policy’ and ‘administration’. This paper analyses the reasons for the transformation during the 1990s in undergraduate courses for the public sector. It is argued that these changes do not so much derive from academics, employers or students taking on board an enthusiasm for new public management but are as much the consequences of deregulation of student choice and an expansion in student numbers that has not been matched in financial terms. The consequence has been to increasingly move this sector towards business and management teaching geared to private sector interests and away from its more political and social science roots.

Public Administration 2002 volume 80. ISSN 0033-3298.

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