GATS/WTO and trade in higher education: tension and dissension in the education community
In this article, Antoni Verger of the University of Amsterdam reflects on the complexity associated with the internationalisation of education implied by the World Trade Organisation’s General Agreement on Trade in Services and highlights the tensions arising from the Agreement and affecting the parties involved in the negotiations.
The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)—long an item on the world education agenda—continues to generate tensions and dissent. This article aims to draw attention to the complexity associated with the internationalisation of education implied by the GATS and to highlight the tensions arising from the GATS and affecting the parties involved in the negotiations. We will refer, in particular, to three elements reflecting this complexity.
This undertaking was committed to paper in the Brasilia Declaration, signed by Argentina and Brazil. See article entitled Argentina y Brasil firmaron un inédito acuerdo en educación, available from http://www.clarin.com/diario/2004/11/10/sociedad/s-03201.htm
About the author
Antoni Verger was awarded a PhD on Sociology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) for his work on the WTO/GATS and Higher Education. In the context of the UAB, he has worked in the research projects “Globalization and inequalities in Latin America” and “Beyond Targeting the Poor: Education, development and anti-poverty policies in South America”. Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Amsterdam Institute for Mertopolitan and International Development Studies (AMIDSt) of the University of Amsterdam. Thanks to an IS Academy’s progamme fund (Minbuza+UvA), he is in charge of several research projects in the areas of the global governance of education (with a focus on international organizations and transnational civil society networks), and higher education and international development.
He has recently published in journals such as Comparative Education Review, Prospects, British Journal of Sociology of Education, Higher Education Policy and Globalization, Societies and Education. His PhD thesis has been published in a book series collection on Higher Education Studies coordinated by Philip Altbach, with the title WTO/GATS and the global politics of higher education (Routledge, New York, 2010).
Tuesday, January 26, 2010