" Privatization" encapsulates an ideological shift towards market principles such as competition, commercialization, deregulation, efficiency and changing forms of accountability. rn higher education, the privatization trend includes the full gamut from the creation of fully private institutions which operate without government financial support, to reforms in largely government-funded institutions operating in more of a quasi-market mode. This article examines privatization policies and speculates on their origins and their ramifications for universities around the world. In particular, it describes the impact of corporate managerialism (the import of management practices from the private sector) in institutions still largley under the control of governments, and focuses on examples of the particular effects of this ideological shift in three Australian universities. It argues that some traditional academic values should be preserved as important attributes of universities that enable them to operate in the public interest and maintain their role as a critical voice in society. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.