Knowledge and Education as International Commodities: The Collapse of the Common Good

This article examines the commodification of education, and it’s positive and negative implications for how we think about schooling and the university, the ownership and transmission of knowledge, and the role of citizenship in modern society, both for nations and for the globalization and internationalisation of education. Underlying this discussion is a conviction that education at all levels is not simply a commodity to be bought and sold in the marketplace.

Recognising the  inequalities between the well-established, wealthy, and powerful universities of the North and the less-well endowed universities of the South, the article argues against forcing those who are less powerful to be subject to a dramatically unequal marketplace, one that will rob academic institutions and systems of the right to make decisions about curriculum, quality standards, and a variety of other educational factors. Rather, it should be recognised that education in all of its many forms is not a simple commodity but a central part of a culture and of a society and deserves to be treated differently than other parts of the marketplace.


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