Globalisation and Education

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The global economy is now characterised as informational, networked, knowledge based, post-industrial and service oriented (Castells, 2000). The concept of globalisation, although contested, has been the main driver of educational changes, often undermining issues of social justice. It is argued that since the global economy is characterized as “knowledge-based,” it requires education and training to primarily relate to the imperatives of global economic competitiveness and a workforce more adequately prepared to meet the challenges of globalization. CERT research in this regard has paid special attention to the post-apartheid’s policy on skills development and debates around technical and vocational education and its institutional forms.

CERT’s research interests on the intersection of education and globalisation has expanded in recent years embracing areas such as global education policies, the connections between the global and the local, the role and influence of multilateral organisations on national education policies and the nation state, the impact of technology on education, privatisation of education, the re-emergence of human capital theory as the dominant framework informing views on education’s purpose and value, and the salience of human rights and social justice as a challenge to dominant global trends. Research around the global trend of ‘university rankings’ in relation to the transformation of universities in South Africa will also be undertaken.

Lead researcher: Salim Vally