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|Title: ||Jamaica's Higher Education Committment under the GATS|
|Authors: ||Frater, Terence George Anthony|
|Advisor: ||Mundy, Karen|
|Department: ||Adult Education and Counselling Psychology|
Higher Education Policy
|Issue Date: ||31-Jul-2008|
|Abstract: ||This research seeks to answer two questions: why did Jamaica include its higher education (HE) sector in its General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) ‘Schedule of Commitments’; and, how do the politicians and policy makers view the impact of this decision? For answers, I looked at arguments linking the GATS with national development and with HE. The thesis explores Jamaica’s HE policy strategies, how they are formed, how well, even after the fact, the decision-makers understand the implications of the regulatory framework of the GATS and the loss of control implicit in some of its tenets. This study is anchored in research findings by UNESCO and the World Bank, among others, which show that HE systems serve as the foundation for nations’ social and economic development, in providing the required knowledge and high levels of trained manpower to build their human capital. However, suggestions have been made that inequities in the global trading system constrain small developing countries in implementing policies that serve these objectives. Therefore, the emergence of the GATS as a new regulatory structure for trade in educational services raises concerns about the ability of countries like Jamaica, to promote an HE system likely to meet their needs.
Twenty senior policy actors within Jamaican society were interviewed to elicit their views on national priorities for HE and, the opportunities or threats to their fulfilment presented by the GATS Commitment. Of particular interest is the growth in cross-border HE services found in Jamaica. The research found that notwithstanding the inequities of the global trading system, Jamaica embraces the concepts of liberalisation and free trade, and its negotiators, in formulating the Commitment, were seized with GATS’ potential for rapidly expanding access to HE. However, the evidence of this research suggests they were ill-prepared to make this decision, and clearly there is need for a better understanding of the role of HE in Jamaica’s development.|
|Appears in Collections:||Doctoral|
Department of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology - Doctoral theses
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