Building: Jean-Brillant Floor: 3 Room: B-3245
International trade governance intersects with higher education policies across countries, which employ varying educational traditions and technologies and are parties to international trade agreements. This panel assesses trends in trade in higher education services in the advanced countries of Europe and the U.S., as well as for emerging markets and developing countries.
Stakeholders in higher education prefer to conduct international exchanges in higher education outside of a formal trade agreement framework. It is controversial that considering the trade value of higher education may assume a commodity perspective, while higher education is historically considered a public good. The complementarities and tensions between the dual purposes of education, to support civil society and to prepare for employability, are brought into the foreground as nations assess their willing to cooperate across national boundaries in formal trade agreements.
We take into account how higher education is considered in various international trade forums. There are multiple forums for trade governance, and the largest international trade body of the WTO addresses trade in higher education services in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Bilateral and regional agreements consider the place of higher education in the trade of international services. Since early 2013 the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), alongside other mega-regional negotiations, considers how recognition of professional qualifications may be practiced across participating countries.
The European countries and the U.S. are the largest markets for higher education as a destination, and the relationship of higher education to research and innovation is key to an ongoing assessment of academic mobility. While the public sector in education remains outside of the negotiating frameworks, mobility opportunities in private education remain on the trade agenda. This ongoing dialogue addresses the challenges and opportunities for higher education services as related to international trade agreements.