Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.791028
Title: Buying and selling education policies : educational reform in the Gulf
Author: Mohamed, Maryam
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Abstract:
At the turn of the 21st century, the Arabian Gulf States were confronted with major challenges: mainly, their unsustainable dependence on oil and a rapidly growing domestic labour force, and a labour market that is dependent on migrant workers. This is against the backdrop of globalisation and the emergence of a global system of educational governance. In response, they invested heavily in 'transformational' reforms, producing a set of economic visions, which exhibited strong similarities. These were framed as long-term modernising investments in human capital designed to address the economic challenges as well as promote the nation's branding. Education was portrayed as the key driver of reform and any serious attempt to compete in the global economy therefore required ambitious educational reforms. This study critically analyses the approach to education reforms in the region. A comparison of these reveals a distinctive model that is characterised by commonalities in defining the deficiencies of the education system and how it falls below expectations when compared with other nations on educational league tables. The reforms were based on identifying and transferring 'international best practices' from top performing education systems. More importantly, they were justified, designed and implemented by private sector consultants and other members of the Global Education Industry (GEI) using a distinctive governance model. I demonstrate how the GEI is embedded in all stages of policymaking; how it effectively operates as a shadow education ministry which relies on a substantive form of policy borrowing that revolves around the transaction of products, termed 'international best practices'; and the approach has been largely ineffective when judged against its own metrics. I also demonstrate how the concept of 'context' is employed to both market the services of the GEI and to locate the sources of failure in the domestic context. This study offers a critical insight into the role of the GEI in educational policymaking in a region that is not adequately explained by the literature. I argue that the region's approach provides a vision of the future as nations are increasingly influenced by the power of global governance, the privatisation of policymaking and the GEI. I show how the Gulf's approach has resulted in unintended effects that undermine the reforms and will generate a new form of dependency.
Supervisor: Morris, P. ; Han, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.791028  DOI: Not available
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