One of the most important strategies of promoting higher education adopted in the recent years has been the promotion of private sector participation in higher education. It is argued by some that private higher education would improve equity, access and quality in higher education. But it shown here drawing from Indian and global experience that (a) public higher education has the greatest potential to address the issue of equity in higher education; (b) charity and philanthropy-based private sector may also have high potential in addressing this issue; (c) state-supported and effectively regulated private sector can address the issue to some extent; and (d) the private higher education sector based on the market principles can actually work against the principles and goals of access, equity and excellence in higher education.

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