Education International
Education International

EI: Education is not a commodity

published 5 May 2015 updated 6 May 2015

Reports that the governments of Australia, Colombia, New Zealand and Norway are proposing the inclusion of education within the scope of the TiSA are of grave concern.

Education International (EI) joins the calls of Member Organisations in Australia, Colombia, New Zealand and Norway on their governments to withdraw their support for this proposal in any further negotiations. They should instead join with countries such as Mexico, Switzerland, Korea, Taiwan and Japan, which have opposed the inclusion of education in the TiSA.  Education International restates its longstanding opposition to trade agreements which seek to liberalise and further commercialise and privatise education. The liberalisation of education and facilitation of the private education market, as a consequence of including education in the TiSA, would have negative consequences for public education. Restricting the capacity of governments to regulate the provision of education in their national interests poses a direct threat to quality public education for all, potentially impacting on student learning conditions and the working conditions of teachers, academics and other education workers. It is also a direct challenge to democratic processes and the public governance of education. The lack of transparency associated with the TiSA negotiations and the fact that the final details of any agreement struck will not be disclosed until five years after it is signed are condemned. Education International calls on all governments to exclude education from trade agreements.