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 10 March 2011

    Is there a future for Doha?

    While acknowledging that the end of year deadline to conclude the talks is extremely tight, Mexican Ambassador de Mateo was somewhat optimistic that a conclusion this year would be possible.

    Is there a future for Doha?
  2. News 4 January 2011

    Unaccountable ‘free schools’ are not wanted say teachers

    A survey of British parents conducted by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), an EI affiliate, has found that a majority of new ‘free schools’ being opened in England are not wanted or needed.

    Unaccountable ‘free schools’ are not wanted say teachers
  3. News 28 October 2010

    ACTA: Deal or no deal?

    What’s been described as a near final draft of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was released in October amidst confusion over whether a deal had in fact been reached.

    ACTA: Deal or no deal?
  4. News 28 October 2010

    EU and Malaysia launch free trade talks

    The launch of negotiations follows an impasse in talks between the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that began in 2007.

    EU and Malaysia launch free trade talks
  5. News 28 October 2010

    South Africa to support EU trade partnership

    In an apparent about-turn, South African officials now say they are prepared to conclude an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and the five-nation South African Customs Union (SACU) by the year’s end.

    South Africa to support EU trade partnership
  6. News 28 October 2010

    Study warns of environmental impact from Canada-EU trade pact

    A report released the end of August cautions a comprehensive free trade deal between Canada and the European Union could lead to rising greenhouse gas emissions, privatization of water services, and disruptions to "First Nations" communities.

    Study warns of environmental impact from Canada-EU trade pact
  7. News 20 July 2010

    Developing countries denounce ACTA

    Opposition to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in the developing world is mounting, with India and China formally raising complaints last month at the World Trade Organization.

    Developing countries denounce ACTA
  8. News 20 July 2010

    G-20 drop Doha deadline

    The declaration issued by the leaders of the 20 largest economies meeting in Toronto, Canada in June repeated the group’s commitments to oppose protectionism and support open markets, but notably omitted a prior promise to conclude the World Trade Organization’s Doha round of trade talks by the end of this...

    G-20 drop Doha deadline
  9. News 20 July 2010

    Second Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership talks conclude

    Representatives from eight Pacific-rim nations met in San Francisco last month for the second round of negotiations aimed at establishing a new regional free trade zone.

    Second Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership talks conclude
  10. News 19 May 2010

    Unions call for implementation of global Financial Transaction Tax

    Ahead of the informal meeting of the vice Finance Ministers and deputy Central Bankers of the Group of 20 nations convening today in Berlin, trade unionists and other activists around the world launched the "Make Finance Pay Week" on Monday calling for the implementation of a global tax on financial...

    Unions call for implementation of global Financial Transaction Tax
  11. News 23 April 2010

    World Intellectual Property Day: EI calls for fair and balanced copyright rules

    Recently recognised as an official observer at the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the global federation representing educators worldwide issues a statement on the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day on 26 Apr, calling for "fair and balanced copyright rules".

    World Intellectual Property Day: EI calls for fair and balanced copyright rules
  12. News 15 April 2010

    WTO “stocktaking” meeting fails to make progress

    The latest attempt to kick-start stalled global trade talks ended on a sour note in March as European trade officials openly accused the United States of foot-dragging.

    WTO “stocktaking” meeting fails to make progress
  13. News 15 April 2010

    European Parliament demands to see ACTA text

    The European Parliament threatened on 10 March to petition the European Court of Justice in an effort to force the European Commission to make public the draft text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

    European Parliament demands to see ACTA text
  14. News 15 April 2010

    Trans-Pacific Partnership talks launched in Australia

    Inaugural negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) aimed at creating an ambitious regional free trade zone were launched in Melbourne on 15 March.

    Trans-Pacific Partnership talks launched in Australia
  15. News 15 April 2010

    EU demands Canada overhaul IP rules

    A leaked text of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) confirms that Canada’s copyright and patent legislation are being targeted in the negotiations.

    EU demands Canada overhaul IP rules
  16. News 15 April 2010

    Trade unions condemn EU-Colombia deal

    Trade unions in Europe and in Colombia are speaking out against a new free trade agreement charging that it provides political support to a regime in Colombia that is deeply implicated in gross violations of human rights and labour standards.

    Trade unions condemn EU-Colombia deal
  17. News 28 January 2010

    Canada-Europe free trade talks under scrutiny

    The second round of negotiations for a Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) took place in Brussels in January amid growing trade union and civil society concerns about the scope and impact of the treaty.

    Canada-Europe free trade talks under scrutiny
  18. News 28 January 2010

    Little movement seen in WTO talks

    Senior trade officials are increasingly pessimistic that a deal to conclude the stalled Doha Development Round of trade negotiations can be reached this year.

    Little movement seen in WTO talks