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. Publications and Research

    Briefing: The potential impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on education

    8 February 2016

    This briefing note looks into the potential impacts of the TPP for the education sector based on the text released on 5 November 2015. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a comprehensive trade and investment agreement covering 40% of the global economy.

    Briefing: The potential impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on education
    1. Download
  2. News 5 February 2016

    New Worlds of Education puts privatisation in the crosshairs

    The 45th edition of Worlds of Education takes an in-depth look at the scourge of privatisation and commercialisation, and reveals what needs to be done to ensure the right to free quality public education.

    New Worlds of Education puts privatisation in the crosshairs
  3. News 5 February 2016

    New Worlds of Education puts privatisation in the crosshairs

    The 45th edition of Worlds of Education takes an in-depth look at the scourge of privatisation and commercialisation, and reveals what needs to be done to ensure the right to free quality public education.

    New Worlds of Education puts privatisation in the crosshairs
  4. News 5 February 2016

    The European Parliament takes a stand to exclude education from TiSA

    The European Parliament has demanded that public services, including education, be excluded from the Trade in Services Agreement in its recommendations to the European Commission.

    The European Parliament takes a stand to exclude education from TiSA
  5. News 1 February 2016

    Always Learning

    Sam Sellar, Anna Hogan, Bob Lingard

    Always Learning

    Always Learning
  6. News 1 February 2016

    Selling out the Right to Quality Public Education for All

    Carol Anne Spreen

    In this issue we bring together scholars, educators and advocates who have been working with EI in a global anti-privatisation effort. These scholars are working around the world to raise awareness about how and why education is being placed in the hands of corporations or “edu-preneurs”, instead of educators. The...

    Selling out the Right to Quality Public Education for All
  7. News 29 January 2016

    Global teacher unions say ‘no’ to Trans-Pacific Partnership

    Led by Education International, teacher unions are urging their governments to carve-out education from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement on the eve of the official signing.

    Global teacher unions say ‘no’ to Trans-Pacific Partnership
  8. News 27 January 2016

    Mexican union launches anti-privatisation programme

    Committed to defending the constitutional right to quality education, Mexican union SNTE is gearing up for a campaign to halt the spread of for-profit private education in the country.

    Mexican union launches anti-privatisation programme