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Globalization, Education and

Keiko Inoue and Francisco O. Ramirez

Subject Sociology » Sociology of Education

Key-Topics globalization

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


The globalization of education refers to the expansion and increased interconnectedness of education-related activity throughout the world. Much of the sociological research on this broad subject has focused on the following dimensions of the globalization of education: expansion of educational enrollments at all levels, nationalization of schooling, standardization of education, and the rise of an international educational sector. These studies are guided by functionalist, conflict, and institutional theories of education. Access to education has become a primary concern for states, societies, and transnational organizations. Education as human capital and education as a human right are widely held principles that fuel this concern. Earlier fears of the “over educated” or “diploma diseases” have given way to efforts to identify and correct enrollment deficiencies. The achievement of universal primary education by 2015 is a United Nations Millennium Development Goal that commands great consensus. And indeed, primary, secondary, and tertiary enrollments relative to the appropriate age cohorts have sharply increased since World War II. The world primary enrollment ratio increased from about 80 percent in 1970 to nearly universal (99 percent) in 2000. Similar expansionary trends are found for both secondary and tertiary enrollment ratios. The corresponding change for secondary schooling ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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