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. News 30 April 2019

    Critical voices at Pearson’s AGM

    Edubusiness Pearson was the subject of much criticism last week at its AGM in London.

    Critical voices at Pearson’s AGM
  2. Opinion 25 April 2019

    “Let’s spark a global discussion on copyright exceptions for education and research!”, by David Edwards

    David Edwards

    Today it’s World Intellectual Property Day – a good day to remind us that it’s time to reform copyright law. We need action to change copyright systems that are hindering free expression and failing to promote diverse and prosperous societies for the benefit of all.

    “Let’s spark a global discussion on copyright exceptions for education and research!”, by David Edwards
  3. News 20 March 2019

    Ghana: why teachers are saying no to Ark schools

    A new study shines light on the shadows behind a philanthropic organisation’s plans to promote private education in Ghana.

    Ghana: why teachers are saying no to Ark schools
  4. Opinion 17 March 2019

    Commercial Activity in Pacific Education

    We have recently completed a scoping study with members of the Council of Pacific Education (COPE) – a regional organisation of education unions from the South Pacific and a sub-branch of Education International - to map the trends of education reform throughout Pacific Island nations. First, it is necessary to...

    Commercial Activity in Pacific Education
  5. News 13 March 2019

    Iraq: The region and education system of Kurdistan pass into oblivion

    The Kurdistan Teachers' Union (KTU) issued a distress call about the deplorable situation of teachers in the public education system, which continues to deteriorate in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

    Iraq: The region and education system of Kurdistan pass into oblivion
  6. Opinion 3 March 2019

    Philanthropy and education — A wolf in sheep’s clothing

    By Antonio Olmedo, University of Bristol  & Carolina Junemann, UCL Institute of Education, London In our latest report entitled In sheep’s clothing: Philanthropy and the privatisation of the ‘democratic’ state , we seek to advance our existing knowledge on the shape and new roles of philanthropic actors at different levels...

    Philanthropy and education — A wolf in sheep’s clothing
  7. News 1 March 2019

    Australia: education union and activists will make the 2019 federal election the ‘education election’

    At their Federal conference, Australian Education Union’ leaders and activists welcomed the commitment made by the Labour party to greatly increase funding for public education, and reaffirmed their determination to ensure that the upcoming federal election focus on education issues.

    Australia: education union and activists will make the 2019 federal election the ‘education election’
  8. News 28 February 2019

    Haiti: trade union front for quality public education, social dialogue and a statute for teachers in the private sector

    Despite many obstacles, Education International’s Haitian affiliates are jointly campaigning for quality public education and the establishment of a dialogue with the Minister of Education. They are also supporting a statute for teachers in the private sector.

    Haiti: trade union front for quality public education, social dialogue and a statute for teachers in the private sector
  9. Opinion 27 February 2019

    Teacher Unions, Teachers & Resistance to the Privatisation of Government Schooling

    By Bob Lingard, Emeritus Professor, The University of Queensland and Professorial Fellow, Australian Catholic University[1] There has been opposition of various kinds to the privatisation and commercialisation of government schooling in nations around the globe, including from parents, community groups, activists, teacher unions and teachers.

    Teacher Unions, Teachers & Resistance to the Privatisation of Government Schooling
  10. News 25 February 2019

    Australia: Entrenched inequality in public school funding

    The Australian Education Union (AEU) has reacted to a report into the provision of childcare, education and training: highlighting that pubic authorities favour private schools over public schools when it comes to funding, and demanding that an end be put to the Morrison government’s inequal treateent of public schools.

    Australia: Entrenched inequality in public school funding
  11. News 18 February 2019

    Another step on the path towards open access

    Education International has answered a call for consultation on open access of research, stressing that the public good is served by the widest and most accessible dissemination of scholarly work and educational material.

    Another step on the path towards open access
  12. Publications and Research

    What do we really know about Bridge International Academies?

    Curtis B. Riep
    11 February 2019

    Bridge International Academies (BIA) is the fastest-growing chain of ‘low-fee’ schools in the world, having ‘reached 500,000 children through hundreds of schools across Africa and India’ (BIA, 2018) and planning ‘to be the global leader in providing education to families who live on US$2 a day per person or less’...

    What do we really know about Bridge International Academies?
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