Ei-iE

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Fighting the commercialisation of education

Education is a human right and a public good that can be fully realised only through the provision of free, equitable, inclusive, quality public education. The growing commercialisation and privatisation in and of the sector is the greatest threat to the universal right to education.

Across the world, corporate interests are striving to transform all levels of education, from early childhood to higher education, into yet another market with winners and losers. As private-sector management models are applied to education institutions, employment conditions in the sector are being undermined. As low-fee, low-quality private schools expand rapidly, there is a risk that governments abrogate their responsibility to ensure the right to education for all. Unaccountable corporations have undue influence on education policies and institutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this trend which risks transforming education into a commodity, favouring profit over quality education.

As educators, we put students before profit. In 2015 we launched our Global Response to the Commercialisation and Privatisation of Education. Through this campaign, we work to expose and challenge the policies and practices of governments, intergovernmental organisations and international financial institutions which undermine public education and the rights and status of teachers and education support personnel. We also resist global corporate actors, especially education technology providers, who push the commercialisation and privatisation in and of education.

Our work in this area

  1. Opinion 26 July 2019

    “Education Unions and the Struggle for Democracy”, by Hugo Yasky.

    Hugo Rubén Yasky

    “As we approach the centenary of the birth of Paulo Freire, whose teachings continue to inspire and influence our actions, the Latin American Pedagogical Movement, EILA and its national member organisations embody the collective will to defend education as a social right and a powerful means for the emancipation of...

    “Education Unions and the Struggle for Democracy”, by Hugo Yasky.
  2. News 25 July 2019

    EI celebrates education champions

    Today Education International honoured two outstanding activists during its 8th World Congress in Bangkok, Thailand. Curtis Riep received the Albert Shanker Education Award and Jalila al Salman received the Mary Hatwood Futrell Human and Trade Union Rights Award.

    EI celebrates education champions
  3. Opinion 24 July 2019

    Trump, Trumps, Trumpted: Cat and Mouse Games in ‘The Education House of Cards’

    By Susan L Robertson, Professor of Sociology of Education - Faculty of Education, Cambridge I’ve recently been heard remarking  I never thought I would say  politics appears to be trumping economics. Of course, I am mostly talking about the disastrous consequences for the UK economy if BREXIT  finally comes to...

    Trump, Trumps, Trumpted: Cat and Mouse Games in ‘The Education House of Cards’
  4. News 20 July 2019

    The highs and lows of higher education analysed at EI Congress

    Participants at the higher education caucus learnt from academics from all over the world on topics ranging from the lack of funds, privatisation and commercialisation of higher education to precarious employment conditions and attacks on academic freedom.

    The highs and lows of higher education analysed at EI Congress
  5. News 13 June 2019

    Former EI President Thulas Nxesi appointed to South Africa’s cabinet

    Education international and the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union welcome the decision of the President of South Africa’s to appoint former President of Education International, Cde Thulas Nxesi, to the Cabinet of South Africa as Minister of Labour and Employment.

    Former EI President Thulas Nxesi appointed to South Africa’s cabinet
  6. Opinion 3 June 2019

    Imagining Good Universities

    By Raewyn Connell There's been a lot of discussion of the bad things that have been happening to universities recently. We've seen a stream of books with titles like "The University in Ruins", "The Fall of the Faculty", "Selling Students Short", "The End of the South African University".

    Imagining Good Universities
  7. Opinion 27 May 2019

    “When Open Educational Resources and platform capitalism meet”, by Nikola Wachter.

    Nikola Wachter

    Technological advances have an ever increasing impact on every aspect of the education system, from the provisioning of education to working conditions and administrative governance. Unfortunately, technology is too often dumped onto education institutions leaving behind a big ecological footprint but no educational improvement. However, there are also many examples...

    “When Open Educational Resources and platform capitalism meet”, by Nikola Wachter.
  8. News 17 May 2019

    Access to Quality Education Under Threat in Honduras

    A new study reveals the mechanisms by which privatisation of education is spreading in Honduras as a result of the passivity of authorities, creating barriers to accessing education.

    Access to Quality Education Under Threat in Honduras
  9. Opinion 15 May 2019

    Education in Honduras: between privatisation and globalisation

    By D. Brent Edwards Jr.[1] , Mauro C. Moschetti[2] & Alejandro Caravaca[3] In the context of the numerous challenges facing public education systems worldwide, increasing privatisation and commodification represent one of the greatest challenges for equality in access to quality education. In a study recently conducted with the support of...

    Education in Honduras: between privatisation and globalisation
  10. Opinion 13 May 2019

    The university business

    By Sylvain Marois, Laval University, Quebec “[…] domination is administration.”

    The university business
  11. Opinion 9 May 2019

    Privatisation: an international problem needs a united solution

    By Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary National Education Union, United Kingdom Teachers enter the profession as champions of a human right – the right to education. We dedicate our careers to advancing the opportunities of the next generation and facilitating the delivery of a public good.

    Privatisation: an international problem needs a united solution
  12. Opinion 2 May 2019

    Pearson’s vision for ‘next generation’ learning: Disrupting teaching and profiting from student data

    By Anna Hogan, University of Queensland & Sam Sellar, Manchester Metropolitan University Pearson is holding its AGM on Friday April 26 and will outline its plans to increase its share of the rapidly expanding global education market. This is an opportune time to reflect on the potential impact of Pearson’s...

    Pearson’s vision for ‘next generation’ learning: Disrupting teaching and profiting from student data