Science and Engineering Ethics 9 (1):85-100 (2003)

Abstract
The likely impact of applying the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) to higher education are examined. GATS aims to “open up” services to competition: no preference can be shown to national or government providers. The consequences for teaching are likely to be that private companies, with degree-awarding powers, would be eligible for the same subsidies as public providers. Appealing to the inadequate recently introduced “benchmark” statements as proof of quality, they would provide a “bare bones” service at lower cost. Public subsidies would go: education being reduced to that minimum which could be packaged in terms of verifiable “learning outcomes”. The loss of “higher” aspirations, such education of critically-minded citizens of a democratic and civilised society would impoverish the university’s research culture which demands honesty and openness to public scrutiny.
Keywords General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)  higher education  aims of education  Dearing Report  educational values  instrumental science  Merton’s norms  postmodernism  quality in higher education  subject benchmark statements
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-003-0022-0
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Social Theory and Social Structure.Lawrence Haworth - 1961 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 11 (44):345-346.
Non-Instrumental Roles of Science.John Ziman - 2003 - Science and Engineering Ethics 9 (1):17-27.

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