International Association of Universities: GATS (WTO) and Higher Education

International Association of Universities: GATS (WTO) and Higher Education
‘Commodification’ – the Shape of Things to Come?

At its 64th Meeting in November 2001 in Mexico City IAU’s Administrative Board took the decision to endorse the Joint Declaration on Higher Education and the General Agreement  on Trade in Services. The Declaration was first signed by three IAU member organizations - the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the American Council on Education, the European University Association – and by the American based Council for Higher  Education Accreditation. 

In our March 2002 Newsletter, some of the implications ‘commodification’ - that is making higher education a purchasable and saleable good and subject therefore to international trade law – may entail for higher learning, were touched upon (see Globalization: Threat, Opportunity or Both?). Clearly, ‘commodification’ is an issue of immense significance. 

The full text of the Declaration is at the following address:

Joint Declaration on Higher Education and the General Agreement on Trade in Services
Bibliography (rtf, 2461 Kb) compiled on the basis of the recommendations of the Accra Declaration on GATS and the Internationalisation of Higher Education in Africa (Association of African Universities, South African Council on Higher Education)   

Links to sources of information
 and debate on GATS and the 

implications for higher education
Articles, Papers and News
U.S. Update on GATS: January 2004 by Madeleine Green

WTO booklet: GATS — Fact and fiction 

GATS (WTO) and the implications for higher education in Europe 
European University Association (EUA) 

GATS, Higher Education and Public Libraries
Information for Social Change 

Canadian Higher Education and the GATS: AUCC Background Paper
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) 

Canada targets education in GATS talks 
Canadian Association of University Teachers 

The Threat to Higher Education
A briefing on current World Trade Organisation negotiations 
Negotiations are underway that could dramatically transform the Higher Education sector, yet few people in the UK are aware of them. These crucial decisions are being made through the World Trade Organisation’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which has an agenda of sweeping deregulation and privatisation of services. The implications for Higher Education are enormous.

GATS: Implications of Globalisation on Australian Universities
National Tertiary Education Union 

Australia's Union for Tertiary Education Staff  

Education International
Education International is concerned that proposals for a significant increase in the scope of, and degree of, liberalisation of trade, might cover education services. Education International's central objective is to have education excluded from the scope of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). (Education International  is a world-wide trade union organisation of education personnel)

Council of Europe - Steering Committee for Higher Education and Research
Trade in Higher Education: a possible CD-ESR contribution in the context of GATS

The Belgian position concerning the relations between Education and GATS

National Negotiating Proposals
Negotiating Proposal for Education Services
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Negotiating Proposal on Education Services
The Ministry of Foreign Affaires of Japan 

Negotiating Proposal for Education Services
The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affaires and Trade 

Higher (tertiary) Education, Adult Education, And Training
U.S. Department of State's Office of International Information Programs
United States proposal on higher (tertiary) education, adult education and training services for consideration of all WTO Members.

The European Commission "Info-Point" on World Trade in Services: GATS Commitments by Country (Legal Texts and Commitments)
Countries that have made commitments covering the Higher Education Services.

The impact of the GATS on transnational tertiary education: Comparing experiences of New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, Christopher Ziguras, The Australian Educational Researcher, Volume 30, Number 3, December 2003

GATS, Trade and Higher Education, Perspective 2003, Where are we?, Jane Knight (2003)

EU to block talks on more public services liberalisation
Financial Times; Feb 05, 2003

GATS in the light of increasing internationalisation of higher education. Quality assurance and recognition
by Dr. Per Nyborg (OECD/US Forum)

Porto Alegre Declaration 
Declaration of the Rectors, Presidents,  Directors of Higher Education Institutions and Associations and other academic authoritiesparticipating in the III Summit of  Iberian and Latin American  Public Universities Rectors. (April 27, 2002)

The WTO and the Millennium Round: What is at stake for Public Education ? 
Education International

Trade Creep: Implication of GATS for Higher Education Policy
by Jane Knight
(International Higher Education, Summer 2002)

Trade in Higher Education Services: The Implication of GATS
by Jane Knight.
(Article published by the Observatory of Borderless Education)

Knowledge and Education as International Commodities: The Collapse of the Common Good
by Philip G. Altbach
(International Higher Education, Summer 2002)

GATS - who's for it, who's against it
by James Cemmell 
ESIB-The National Unions of Student's In Europe Committee on the Commodification of Education
NUS UK Environment Committee Member 

by Nico Hirtt
Member of the Belgian organization Appel pour une école démocratique

Expert Meeting on the Impact of Globalization on Higher Education (Presentations / Reference Documents)
UNESCO, Division of Higher Education, 10-11 September 2001.

Higher Education and the WTO: Globalization Run Amok
by Philip G. Altbach
(International Higher Education, Spring 2001)

Trade in Higher Education and GATS Basics
Trade in Higher Education and GATS Links

Higher Education for sale
Higher education is slowly being drawn into the world of the market. Should we be frightened or excited by this evolution?  Focus, a four-page report, looks behind the arguments in this very controversial debate.
Education Today, October 2002 issue of the quarterly newsletter of UNESCO's Education sector