Brentnall (2013) argues that instead of teaching the traditionally rich values of critical thinking and questioning the usual conceptions, the universities have become more commercialised with terms such as “leadership”, “teamwork” and “skills” as top teaching priorities. The education bill was cut by £2 billion, resembling less attention to this crucial part of the growing economy. One of the primary impacts of this is that UK universities would not be able to compete with other global universities growing in their capacity to attract thousands of international students (Bok, 2009). When neoliberal theories occupies the education sector of UK, the main intent does not remain provision of superior education but opening up markets for free trade and making profit generation as the sole objective. This then damages the primary agenda of universities and makes it more vulnerable to collapse when there are fewer enrolments and admissions.
Lynch (2006) has analysed the mass liberalisation of education in Europe and in UK since the last 100 years. There have been major benefits, but it seems to take a new road where it no longer represents the government right to support, because private investors and capitalists are taking up universities and turning them into commodities to be sold at market value. This raises the price of education that has demotivated many domestic and international students to enrol in UK universities. This is a human right violation, where intentional fee hikes create a barrier for poor students to have access to quality education.
In addition, the number of students as compared to the availability of student fees has mattered a lot. As student loan availability increased, the number of students decreased. This is proving the fact that education has become a commodity to be bought with debt where lenders make profit. The debt cost rose very quickly during 1980 and 2000 when the UK markets were highly liberalised and universities started inviting international students.
Altbach & Knight (2007) discusses the internationalisation of UK universities in which the primary motive of free trade, knowledge exchange and collaborative education are used as disguised mediums of making money. This is because earning money from free trade and trade relations is the primary motive, which includes education. This has made education more costly for domestic and international students. Especially higher education has become very expensive such that about 70-80% of students cannot enrol without taking a loan. This, in turn, makes the banks and financial institutions richer and students bear the burden of costly education.
Porfilio & Yu (2006) has carried out a research about the commercialisation process of UK universities and has concluded that the teaching standards and the teacher student relationship have deteriorated to a large extent. This is because the intention of universities have changed from providing quality education to faster churn out students and keep making money from higher fees. The teaching standard has decreased and has replaced the higher critical thinking approach that remains the cornerstone of renowned universities like Oxford. This indicates that the commercialisation attempts are more towards declining the quality and standard benchmarks of education rather than facilitating genuine policy intent of the government to provide the best quality education.