Academia, Inc.

How Corporatization Is Transforming Canadian Universities

By Jamie Brownlee  

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Canadian universities are being slowly but inexorably corporatized. Casualizing academic labour, remaking students into consumers of education, implementing corporate management models and commercializing academic research all point to the ascendance of business interests and values in Canada’s higher education system.

Academia, Inc. examines the tensions that result from the merging of two fundamentally incompatible institutions — the university and the corporation. Brownlee argues that moving from liberal education to corporate job training, public service to profit-making and critical research to commercial invention radically undermines the goals of higher education. Investigating the history, causes and impacts of corporatization, this book explores how this transformation has taken shape and its ramifications for both universities and society as a whole. Brownlee suggests several strategies for resisting this process.

  • EPUB
  • ISBN: 9781552667521
  • May 2015
  • For sale worldwide
  • Kindle
  • ISBN: 9781552668085
  • June 2015
  • For sale worldwide

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  • Although anyone in close proximity to post-secondary education already knows it in their bones, there has been not nearly enough ink spilled on the ongoing corporatization of the university. Jamie Brownlee offers one of the most complete accounts of that process.

    — (full review)

  • Brownlee traces the historical trajectory of the Canadian university toward “academic capitalism.” In the present state, universities are run like corporations, geared to maximize bums in seats and to meet industry needs for skilled workers and cheap R & D.

    — Briarpatch, November 2015 (full review)


  • The Corporate Takeover of the University
  • Corporate Power and Higher Education
  • University Teaching and the Casualization of Academic Labour
  • The Rise of the Student-Consumer
  • Managing Universities Like a Business
  • Laying a Base for Private Profit: Corporate Corruption of Academic Research
  • Resisting Corporatization: Universities and Social Justice
  • References
  • Index


  • Jamie Brownlee

    Jamie Brownlee obtained his PhD in sociology and political economy from Carleton University. He teaches and conducts research in the areas of Canadian and international political economy, corporate crime, freedom of information, environmental politics and climate change, and the sociology of education. He is the author of Ruling Canada: Corporate Cohesion and Democracy and co-editor of Access to Information and Social Justice: Critical Research Strategies for Journalists, Scholars and Activists.