Christel Adick

Transnationale Bildungsorganisationen: Global Players in einer Global-Governance-Architektur?


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Global Players in education have been discussed in respect to international governmental organizations (IGOs) such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as well as to international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), e.g. OXFAM (Oxford Committee for Famine Relief) as a lead agency in global campaigns for education. Research on transnationalism and education, however, is much less developed and sometimes suffers from a lack of distinguishing between what is international and what is transnational. So far research has mainly focused on phenomena of Transnational Education (TNE) in various fields of Higher Education, and less so on transnational actors in schools, tutoring, vocational or other sectors of education.
In the following article it is suggested that transnational educational organizations might bear a challenge to national education systems as well as to international educational policy making in IGOs. They are therefore discussed with reference to an emerging ‘global governance architecture’ in education, in which different interests of national, international and transnational actors may be identified.
For this matter the author will first define the concepts of educational spaces and transnational educational organizations, also distinguishing them from international ones. The article then proceeds to give an overview of transnational organizations and their educational operations under various profit and nonprofit arrangements, including some, which might be identified as ‘global players’. In the next step the main ideas of ‘global governance’ are introduced and related to educational policy making. The possible influences which transnational educational organizations might have will be discussed. The article concludes that, in general terms, transnational educational organizations hitherto seem to be less powerful than international, and the latter less powerful than national. This picture must, however, be differentiated, when applied to different sectors of education. It is suggested, that ‘compulsory education’ is and will be less affected by transnational actors than sectors outside and around this ‘core’ of national education systems, e.g. tutorial systems, language schools, continuing education, adult education. The case of higher education, however, remains highly debatable: In countries which already witness a high degree of privately run colleges and universities and/or other post-secondary institutions, transnational actors might come in and pose a challenge to national educational policy.

Adick C. (2012). Transnationale Bildungsorganisationen: Global Players in einer Global-Governance-Architektur?. Tertium Comparationis, 18(1), 82-107.