ERIC Number: EJ770994
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: N/A
The GATS: What's at Stake for Higher Education?
Education Canada, v46 n4 p69-71 Fall 2006
One of the most dramatic developments within higher education in recent years has been the rapid expansion of the "international trade" in education services. Universities and colleges have, of course, always been international in scope. Students and faculty have for centuries crossed international borders as part of their academic pursuits. What characterizes the current environment, however, is not so much the international movement of students and faculty, though the sheer volume of this has increased. Rather, it is the increasingly market-oriented delivery of higher education and the prominent role played by for-profit providers offering services directly across borders. The aggressive recruitment of full fee-paying international students by universities, the commercial explosion in borderless e-learning, the franchising of offshore schools and campuses, and the sale of course material overseas are all features of an emerging multi-billion dollar trade in higher education. To date, trade in education has been much more difficult to regulate and codify than trade in widgets or wheat. Nevertheless, efforts are now being made to do precisely this--to develop rules governing the international trade in education services. This is occurring through negotiations taking place within the World Trade Organization (WTO) to expand the scope and reach of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The outcome of these talks could have far-reaching consequences for institutions, students and teachers. This article discusses the GATS and its impact on higher education.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Business, Foreign Students, Student Recruitment, Tuition, Marketing, Educational Technology, Free Enterprise System, International Trade, Educational Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: General Agreement on Trade in Services