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UNESCO, Education, and the Private Sector: A Relationship on Whose Terms?

  • Natasha Ridge
  • Susan Kippels
Chapter

Abstract

Over the past 25 years, there has been a steady increase in the involvement of the private sector in the global education landscape. While studies of what is now referred to as the global education industry have taken a critical look at some of these new private sector actors, there has been less attention paid to the role of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in facilitating their entry and growing influence.

This chapter explores the relationship between UNESCO and various private sector organizations active in the global education market. It examines how a multilateral donor organization which, in its own words, is committed to education for all is increasingly appearing as a brand for sale, with its commitment to free, universal education being seemingly diluted over time. It also examines some of the more recent private sector partnerships and trends in private sector funding for UNESCO, alongside exploring the ethical conflicts inherent in some of these relationships. The chapter concludes by considering how the increased involvement and solicitation of funds from the private sector may actually be influencing and driving UNESCO’s global education agenda rather than the other way around, thus potentially placing UNESCO’s own brand and reputation at risk.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy ResearchRas Al KhaimahUnited Arab Emirates

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