, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 141–157 | Cite as

The education policies of international organizations: Specific differences and convergences

  • Abdeljalil Akkari
  • Thibaut Lauwerier
Trends/ Cases


This article analyzes the role that international organizations play in orienting education reforms and changes, based on an examination of key texts these organizations produced in the 1990s. The analysis shows that some specific trends persist: UNESCO and UNICEF centre their philosophy on a humanistic and child-centered vision of education, while the World Bank and the OECD give priority to education policy based on assessing skills and learning outcomes. Over the past decade, however, among the major international organizations involved in education, there has been a gradual convergence in the vision of education, towards learning outcomes. This convergence is illustrated by looking at several topics of common concern: quality, good governance, accountability, privatization, benchmarking, and the measurement of learning outcomes.


Education policy International cooperation Governance Quality Globalization 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland

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