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ERIC Number: ED503284
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 76
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Higher Education Crossing Borders. A Guide to the Implications of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) for Cross-Border Education
Knight, Jane
Commonwealth of Learning
This Guide examines the different dimensions of cross-border education within the context of General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS): the present landscape, opportunities and challenges and the implications for policy and practice in higher education. It is meant for a range of stakeholders: policymakers, senior academic leaders, faculty members, students and researchers. The aim is to heighten awareness and knowledge about this elusive and evolving phenomenon so that both policymakers and practitioners can make informed decisions in the light of their own priorities and goals. Initial reviews from countries as diverse as Sierra Leone, Trinidad & Tobago and India suggest that this Guide will be of particular benefit to colleagues in the developing world. Specifically, the major objectives of this Guide are to: (1) explore the new world of cross-border education, especially the new types of initiatives, providers (companies and institutions) and methods of program delivery; (2) provide basic information on, and an analysis of, the principles and rules of GATS as they relate to the higher education sector; (3) discuss the major issues and implications arising from increased commercial cross-border education and the application of new multilateral trade rules; and (4) confirm the realities and challenges that government officials and senior academic leaders face as they reflect on changes to policy and regulations in light of increased cross-border education in the context of GATS. The Guide is divided into six sections, following a foreword by Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, and a Preface by Sir John Daniel of the Commonwealth of Learning. Sections 1 and 2 provide background information on the nature and scope of cross-border education. This is followed in Section 3 with a basic introduction to GATS, explaining some of the key rules and controversial issues of this new trade agreement. Sections 4 and 5 bring GATS and cross-border education together by highlighting potential issues and implications of GATS for higher education in general, and cross-border education in particular. The last section of the Guide, Section 6, reviews the realities of today and identifies some of the new challenges that policy-makers in developing countries face as they think about what policies and regulations would be useful to help maximize potential benefits and minimize potential risks. The issues, implications and challenges are understandably quite generic because they need to apply to a diversified group of developing countries--some of which are friendly to commercial cross-border education trade and GATS--and others of which are adverse to the trade and the agreement. Appended to this Guide are: (A) GATS Commitments to Education, as of February 2006; and (B) The UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge: Declarations and Statements on the WTO/GATS Issue--Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean. (Contains 5 tables and a list of resources.)
Commonwealth of Learning. 1055 West Hastings Suite 1200, Vancouver BC V6E 2E9, Canada. Tel: 604-775-8200; Fax: 604-775-8210; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Commonwealth of Learning; United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris (France).
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: General Agreement on Trade in Services