Document: Bibliography - Philanthropy Schools

Privatisation in Education Research Initiative
Publication Date:
Thu, 05/01/2012 - 17:06
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187.78 K

Etymologically, philanthropy refers to ‘the love of humanity’ and has its roots in earlier Greek times. However in modern social practice, it tends to refer to private initiatives for public good, focusing particularly on quality of life.  This formulation distinguishes it from business (private initiatives for private good, focusing on material prosperity) or government (public initiatives for public good, focusing on law and order).

In some countries, particularly the United States, there has been a long tradition of philanthropy that spans several centuries at least – with the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, and Spencer Foundations, to name few, engaged in a range of education initiatives ranging from funded-research projects to very large development projects in low income countries.  

More recent high profile philanthropic organisations include the creation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with Bill Gates of course gaining his wealth from the global firm, Microsoft. The Gates Foundation – when started  - received $31 billion from Warren Buffett, another famous entrepreneur. 

The rise of Public-Private-Partnerships in many education systems around the world have resulted in a significant increase in the number of philanthropic organisations working in partnership with other kinds of providers in education (government, business, non-profits, church). 

Though these sources of revenue are welcomed in education, some writers argue the tendency for some of these Foundations to exercise undue influence on policy in the sector, or to prioritise specific, favoured (high media impact) projects as opposed to systemic investment, leads to greater rather than less inequality in the sector.  

This bibliography provides a comprehensive lists of readings on this issue.

Photo credit: Gates Foundation

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