This buzzword has actually been around for a while:
Higher Education Is a Government-Created Cartel
By Conn Carroll
August 6 2013
The government-created accreditation cartel is one of the biggest reasons why college costs continue to rise and there is very little innovation in the higher education industry. It is no accident that the Fortune 500 company list from 1983 looks nothing like it does today, but the US News College Rankings have been virtually unchanged since they began in 1983.
Higher Education Cartel, Meet Creative Destruction
By Charles Hugh Smith
September 10, 2013
Modern colleges and universities have collectively become a rent-seeking cartel, an alliance of nominally competitive institutions that maintains a highly profitable monopoly of accreditation.
Correspondent Mark G. succinctly summarizes why higher education is ripe for the creative destruction of its cartel model. His brief account captures the essential dynamics so well that I made it the foreword of my book The Nearly Free University and The Emerging Economy: The Revolution in Higher Education.
But now the candidates for the GOP nomination are trying to turn “cartel” into the linchpin word in their campaigns:
Rubio Wants to Take on Higher Education ‘Cartel’
July 8, 2015
Inside Higher Ed
“Within my first 100 days, I will bust this cartel by establishing a new accreditation process that welcomes low-cost, innovative providers,” the Florida Republican and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination said in prepared statement.
Ted Cruz: Time to Defeat ‘Washington Cartel’
June 24, 2015
The Washington Times
Sen. Ted Cruz took aim at his congressional colleagues Wednesday, accusing them of being part of a “Washington Cartel” that fattens the pockets of lobbyists and special interests groups at the expense of hard-working Americans.