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 1 December 2020

    Educators seek to influence UNESCO's 2021/22 Global Education Monitoring Report

    Teacher unions have a key role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their voices must be heard. That’s according to Education International in its latest contribution to the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report consultations on non-state actors.

    Educators seek to influence UNESCO's 2021/22 Global Education Monitoring Report
  2. News 25 November 2020

    Survey Report | Teaching with Tech: The Role of Education Unions in Shaping the Future

    Today Education International released the report of its Future of Work in Education Global Survey on the use of technology in education. Produced by Dr Christina Colclough, the report was launched during a special session of the Education International Executive Board.

    Survey Report | Teaching with Tech: The Role of Education Unions in Shaping the Future
  3. Opinion 20 November 2020

    The World Depends on Public Services and Public Services Require Political Will.

    Rosa Pavanelli, David Edwards

    As G20 world leaders meet, it is time for a fundamental overhaul of global investment policy to build for the future. That future depends on public services and the people who provide them. Crisis has brought recognition to “front-line” workers, public and private, who are both visible and essential. However,...

    The World Depends on Public Services and Public Services Require Political Will.
  4. News 18 November 2020

    Asia-Pacific : Global Union Federations in Region Condemn RCEP Trade Agreement

    Education International and six other Global Union Federations joined together in the Asia-Pacific Region to condemn the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), signed on Sunday, 15 November 2020. The trade pact was negotiated in secrecy over more than seven years and many provisions remain unknown. The GUFs cited the danger...

    Asia-Pacific : Global Union Federations in Region Condemn RCEP Trade Agreement
  5. Publications and Research

    Teaching with Tech: The role of education unions in shaping the future

    Christina J. Colclough
    27 October 2020

    The Future of Work is not just making the headlines - it has become an issue of increasing importance for students, teachers and the whole of society. While there is always an element of anticipatory anxiety when facing the future there has also been real concern about the arrival of...

    Teaching with Tech: The role of education unions in shaping the future
    1. Report
    2. Summary
  6. Opinion 16 October 2020

    “Privatisation tendencies in Dominican education: Heterarchy, network governance and new philanthropy”, by D. Brent Edwards Jr., Mauro C. Moschetti, Alejandro Caravaca.

    Alejandro Caravaca, Mauro Moschetti, D. Brent Edwards Jr.

    The privatisation of education is manifesting in increasingly complex ways. These range from the participation of private actors in the provision of education services to the incorporation of business logics in public education. To be sure, the variety of forms in which this phenomenon manifests presents challenges when it comes...

    “Privatisation tendencies in Dominican education: Heterarchy, network governance and new philanthropy”, by D. Brent Edwards Jr., Mauro C. Moschetti, Alejandro Caravaca.
  7. News 16 October 2020

    New Study Examines Privatisation of Education in the Dominican Republic

    A new study published by Education International reveals the mechanisms that favour the privatisation of education in the Dominican Republic, exploring its impact on the education system and the right to quality education.

    New Study Examines Privatisation of Education in the Dominican Republic
  8. News 15 October 2020

    Iraq: Education union demands improvements in the education sector

    On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, 5 October, the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU) called on the government to improve educators’ working and living conditions and the quality of education at all levels.

    Iraq: Education union demands improvements in the education sector
  9. News 9 October 2020

    Global Unions call upon the World Bank and the IMF to support public investment

    The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will hold their Annual Meetings on 16-18 October. The International Financial Institutions can play a critical role in ensuring that there is a real and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Trade Union Confederation and Global Union Federations, while...

    Global Unions call upon the World Bank and the IMF to support public investment
  10. Opinion 16 September 2020

    “Teachers taking the lead to effect real change: a once-in-a-generation opportunity”, by Howard Stevenson

    Howard Stevenson

    These are the most extraordinary times. At the start of 2020, almost nobody could have anticipated the extent, and the manner, in which the world has been turned upside down by a virus that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and left nobody unaffected.

    “Teachers taking the lead to effect real change: a once-in-a-generation opportunity”, by Howard Stevenson
  11. Opinion 21 August 2020

    A question in the wilderness, by Joseph Jovellanos.

    Joseph V. Jovellanos

    A story was once told that after WWII, the then Emperor Hirohito of Japan called one of his soldiers and asked the question: “How many teachers survived?” This question is an acknowledgment by the emperor of the crucial role of teachers in building or re-building a nation. Without teachers, a...

    A question in the wilderness, by Joseph Jovellanos.
  12. News 3 August 2020

    Education International and the Global Campaign for Education condemn GEMS Metropole School's stance on education during the COVID-19 pandemic

    GEMS Metropole School threatened parents with withholding students’ report cards and transfer slips unless school fees were paid. Education International and the Global Campaign for education call on the United Arab Emirates to not tolerate extortionary manoeuvres against children in private schools.

    Education International and the Global Campaign for Education condemn GEMS Metropole School's stance on education during the COVID-19 pandemic