Ei-iE

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 5 April 2018

    Education and copyright. It matters to you!

    (YES you can share these images and videos with your students, colleagues and anyone! But that is not always the case.)

    Education and copyright. It matters to you!
  2. News 5 April 2018

    Australia: Educators’ campaign for public schools’ fair funding

    The Australian Education Union is demanding that public schools are properly resourced by public authorities with the launch of a new phase of its schools funding campaign – “Fair Funding Now!”

    Australia: Educators’ campaign for public schools’ fair funding
  3. News 28 March 2018

    Open access to research highlighted at CIES conference

    Education International and its affiliates’ work on open science and the publishing industry was showcased at this year’s Comparative International Education Society (CIES) conference.

    Open access to research highlighted at CIES conference
  4. News 28 February 2018

    New Zealand: Government announces end of charter schools

    New Zealand’s Education Minister has announced the end of charter schools, marking the conclusion of an education initiative dubbed “a failed, expensive experiment” by unions.

    New Zealand: Government announces end of charter schools
  5. Opinion 27 February 2018

    #WDR2018 Reality Check #16: Early Childhood Education, Poverty and Privatization: Why is ECE so important and underfunded in World Bank policy? By Carol Anne Spreen

    Carol Anne Spreen

    Learning does not begin when a child enters school. It is widely known that from birth to age five the brain develops more rapidly than at any other stage of life, and it is also most sensitive to influences from the external environment (such as cognitive stimulation, language development, care,...

    #WDR2018 Reality Check #16: Early Childhood Education, Poverty and Privatization: Why is ECE so important and underfunded in World Bank policy? By Carol Anne Spreen
  6. News 22 February 2018

    Kenya: Bridge loses court case

    The High Court of Kenya in Nairobi has dismissed a complaint of Bridge Academies against the education union KNUT and its General Secretary Wilson Sossion, taking a stand for the defense of quality education.

    Kenya: Bridge loses court case
  7. News 8 February 2018

    Uganda: unlicensed schools continue to operate, defying Government’s decision

    The battle between the private school chain Bridge International Academies and the Ugandan authorities is far from over as the company continues to operate its schools despite government warnings to comply with minimum standards.

    Uganda: unlicensed schools continue to operate, defying Government’s decision
  8. Opinion 5 December 2017

    #WDR2018 Reality Check #6: “A sceptic’s review” by Prachi Srivastava

    Prachi Srivastava

    When the World Bank announced that the 2018 World Development Report (WDR) would be on education, I was sceptical. I’m not denying the Bank’s research expertise. It devotes substantial money and staff and has a trove of reports that are accessible in the public domain. It’s also open to criticism...

    #WDR2018 Reality Check #6: “A sceptic’s review” by Prachi Srivastava
  9. News 27 November 2017

    Mauritania: teacher unions united in call to save the national education system

    Faced with the chronic shortage of teachers in the country, the use of contract teachers and an increasing privatisation in education, the trade unions have called on public authorities to urgently remedy the situation and parents to mobilise to save the national education system.

    Mauritania: teacher unions united in call to save the national education system