12 de Diciembre de 2018
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Colección: Trends for a common future
Autor: Noel F. McGinn
Título: Toward International Cooperation in Education for the Integration of the Americas

Cooperation by Transnational Corporations

The strong criticisms of education in all the countries of the Americas have been accompanied by increased efforts by private corporations to influence educational policy and practice. In many countries, business-education alliances are on the upswing. In part this is a measure of desperation by educators reacting to declining state spending on education (in many cases the result of lobbying by the business community), in part a measure of desperation by business groups who blame public education for all manner of social and economic ills.

Some of the corporations are multinational or transnational firms. Their participation when accompanied by aid or assistance to education can be considered a form of international cooperation. This aid is most often given to private institutions or individual public institutions. For example, in Mexico domestic and foreign corporations participate in decision-making for public technical-vocational schools.

In exchange for influence on policy corporations offer aid in a variety of categories:

1) funding for the general education budget;
2) funding for specific studies or projects;
3) provision of physical facilities;
4) conferences or travel to raise teacher awareness of certain problems;
5) donation or subsidized sale of books and equipment;
6) provision of instructors for certain types of training;
7) promises to employ graduates of certain kinds of programs;
8) technical expertise in policy formulation and planning (Reiffers, 1982).

In general the value of aid given by corporations is grossly unproportional to the amount of publicity their gifts receive, and often carries conditions.

It is reasonable to assume that corporations would be liable to make the same kinds of errors as international agencies, to the extent that the corporations attempt to impose their models of education on the recipient institutions. At the same time, it is also clear that educational institutions can benefit from direct links to employers.

Not all corporate involvement in education is by means of intervention in existing institutions: large corporations are now competing with established public and private institutions in the provision of education. For example, the Caliber Learning Network, a partnership between MCI and Sylvan Learning, offers brand name courseware and degrees through outlets at shopping malls. Kaiser Permanente has 150 distance learning sites and offers undergraduate and master’s degrees for nurses. The Virtual Online University offers instruction from kindergarten through undergraduate programs. In response, a number of U.S. universities are now offering courses and degrees via the Internet. The corporations also compete in technical and vocational training. Nestle, for example, operates a training center in Mexico that provides training for employees in all of Latin America (Malampally, 1997). Most “cooperation” by corporations is between and within corporations rather than with public education institutions. A critical and yet unresolved issue is whether corporate involvement will have a uniformizing effect on education, or whether it will contribute to diversity in content and methodology.

[INDEX] [Presentation] [Introduction] [The Evolution of International Cooperation in Education in the Americas] [Cooperation After Nationalism] [International Cooperation as Supranationalism] [Cooperation for International Development] [Resistance to Aid] [Cooperation as Collaboration within Latin America] [Cooperation as Structural Adjustment] [The Current Situation of Education in the Americas] [Current Status of Education] [Summary] [Current Forms of International Cooperation] [Aid as a Form of International Cooperation] [Varieties of Aid] [Uniformization as a Consequence of Aid] [Aid or Assistance from Bilateral and Multilateral Organizations] [Cooperation by Transnational Corporations] [Aid and Assistance from NGOs] [Aid by Philanthropic Foundations] [Aid Mediated through Educational Institutions] [International Cooperation in the Form of Collaboration] [Examples of Collaboration in Higher Education] [Obstacles to International Collaboration in Higher Education] [Examples of Collaboration Between Non-governmental Organizations] [Other Instances of Collaboration] [Summary] [Globalization and International Cooperation] [The New Industrial Paradigm] [Implications of the New Industrial Paradigm for Education] [The New Development Model] [An Outline of a New Paradigm for Education] [Alternative Approaches to International Cooperation in Education] [An Example of Regional Collaboration to Develop a New Paradigm] [Notes] [References]