What educators need to know about global trade deals – Unions For Trade Justice

What educators need to know about global trade deals

In this report we will be exploring the wider economic, political and social conditions, development agendas, combinations of actors, and regulatory instruments, which together have challenged the idea of, and conditions for, education as a public service and a human right by locking in a market and profit-based framing of education in trade deals. Aside from the published trade agreements of TPP and CETA (TPP is 5,544 pages long), this Report draws upon an extensive systematic review of the peer-reviewed and grey literatures on globalisation, regionalisation, multilateral institutions, knowledge-based services economies, education markets, development agendas, and trade negotiations. We also drew on a massive amount of material from dedicated websites on the state of different trade negotiations and possible outcomes, from Ministries of Trade to various citizen’s watch and wiki-leaks websites.

We sketch out the global education landscape to reveal competing agendas around education for profit-making versus education as a human right. We discuss the ideological shifts that have put into place new ways of thinking about and doing public sector work. We examine the role of policy entrepreneurs – from the institutional to the national and global – who have normalised talk about education markets, globally-competitive knowledge-based economies, trade in education, and education as an emerging market.