City Research Online

Charity and finance in the university

Beverungen, A., Hoedemaekers, C. & Veldman, J. (2014). Charity and finance in the university. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 25(1), pp. 58-66. doi: 10.1016/


In this paper we explore the financialisation of the university, and how it is possible that universities behave as if they were private corporations despite legally being corporations with a charitable status. We argue that this is largely attributable to financialisation, which creates tension with the university's charitable status. The paper commences with a brief history of incorporation, and examines developments in corporate governance. With the dominance of finance, and the treatment of institutions as mere nexus of contracts, distinctions between public and private become redundant. The paper continues with an account of the effects of financialisation on university governance, under which the university acts increasingly like a for-profit corporation, with its financial governance in direct contradiction to its charitable status. Here, the university emerges as a key site of neoliberalism, where financialised subjects are shaped. Finally, we examine to what extent the financialisation of the university may be halted through a reflection on its status as a charitable corporation.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2012, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: Critical, Public sector, Financialisation, Universities
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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