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Public policy making, fundraisers and philanthropic giving in UK higher education in the 21st century: the examples of two policy incentives

Kraemer, Simone Public policy making, fundraisers and philanthropic giving in UK higher education in the 21st century: the examples of two policy incentives. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:73691)

Language: English
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Philanthropy in the provision of UK higher education remains a relatively underexplored field despite its long history in higher education. Since the early 2000s, when the question of financing higher education was high on the policy agenda, philanthropy in higher education has received notable policy attention, with two specific policy incentives to foster giving: a capacity-building scheme and a match-funding scheme. The rise in philanthropic income in recent years is often attributed to these policies; however, the aim of this thesis is to examine this notable change and commitment to philanthropy and fundraising in the wider context of the changing UK higher education sector and what role those who deliver these policies, the fundraisers, played. Philanthropy's appearance on the policy agenda and its role has so far been unexplained; this thesis explores philanthropy and fundraising's role and investigates the drivers of the policy interventions from 2002 onward. Secondary data analysis from the annual Ross-CASE survey was employed to examine philanthropic income trends across 73 Higher Education Institutions over the past 9 years. Archival data was then analysed to understand the historic and contemporary role of philanthropy at different institutions. Finally, interviews were conducted with 15 senior fundraising professionals to elicit their views on the state of policymaking and philanthropy and fundraising's role in the process. Kingdon's (2003; [1995], [1984]) theoretical lens of the Multiple Streams Approach was a conceptual tool used to examine why a policy window opened. This research uncovers a complex, ongoing shift of funding in higher education from private to public to private again that suggests a more consistent role for philanthropic funding and fundraisers than is often anticipated. It also identifies a scale of responses to policy by fundraisers that helps illuminate variations in policy application and fundraisers' roles in complex institutional bureaucracies and also indicates a precarious position that they take on. This research argues for a crucial yet hidden role for fundraisers as Campus-Level Bureaucrats, developed from the widely applied Street-Level Bureaucrat theory by Lipsky (2010; [1980]) in which fundraisers have a limited and at times precarious role as stakeholders in the policy and institutional process. The findings contribute to an understanding of philanthropy's complex and multifaceted role in a heterogeneous higher education sector, where fundraising results vary considerably so short-term policies cannot address all of the variations and inequalities in the sector. They also suggest that the increased success of philanthropic funding is not just attributable to policy, but more so to the wider trends of development and professionalisation of fundraising and the compliance of fundraisers with policy and institutional philanthropic goals. Current policymaking in this area cannot be fully understood without incorporating historic knowledge and current understanding of philanthropy's role and value, which can impact the development of future policies and practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Bradley, Kate
Thesis advisor: Breeze, Beth
Uncontrolled keywords: Philanthropy, UK higher education, fundraisers, policy making, policy windows, fundraising, policy incentives
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2019 09:10 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:04 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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