Corporatization of academia began when the university presidents decided to defund the universities and seek out corporate partners. This strategy was proposed by Corporate Higher Education Forum (C.H.E.F). Under this strategy, corporations started funding university professors for the research that could only benefit their organization instead of benefitting the student community at large. Hence, professors began working to benefit their funders rather than their students. The corporations, then place patents and copyrights on the researches which became inaccessible even for the students of those universities that have produced the research themselves.
Private corporations multiply the price of those researches manifold and then sell them at staggering rates to be kept in the university libraries and other sources accessible by the public. In other words, public funds are used as an indirect subsidy to private businesses. Moreover, confining knowledge from students and general public is strictly against the education dissemination agenda of the educational institutions.
The Berkeley-Novartis agreement of 1998 signed between University of California and agricultural biotechnology company, Syngenta, formerly, Novartis is one of the examples of strategic corporate alliance between business firms and academic institutions. Under such agreements, corporations pay millions of dollars to academic institutions in exchange of exclusive monopoly over their research results of the universities.
Prior to corporatization of academic institutions, in 1979, US universities obtained 264 patents. That number increased to 2436 patents in 1997 and 3450 in 2003. Resultantly, royalty revenues to universities boosted by more than 520 percent between 1991 and 2000. Besides, corporate funding of university research rose from 2.3 percent in early 1970s to 8 percent in 2000. (Jerry G. Thursby)
Corporatization of educational institutions hasn’t only restricted the sources of knowledge from students and public at large but has also snatched from the society, a credible and unbiased source of knowledge in the wake of treachery and fraud being rampant in the society.