Sydney School of Education and Social Work events – 2016 Archive

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The neo-social corporation


6 July 2016

A presentation by the Sydney School of Education and Social Work's School and Teacher Education Policy Research Network.

The global education industry is worth $4.3 trillion annually and is thus seen as a sector ripe for investment and profit making. While state actors, at least for the moment in Australia, still control education provision and regulation, they are commonly viewed as ineffective, inefficient, and in need of privatisation. As such, the provision of education goods and services is increasingly managed by private organisations, including businesses, philanthropists, NGOs, hedge funds, and so on. These organisations often position themselves as operating in the public good, where they have the expertise, capital and connections to deliver a better education to more young people. The concern here for many of us committed to democratic public schooling is: how can the public interest be supported by private-sector organisations when profit making is their bottom line? This presentation explores this question and using Pearson as a case for analysis, provides a succinct overview of how this phenomenon plays out in the Global North and the Global South. It identifies how Pearson works to create markets for its products and services, identifying ‘problems’ for national systems that they can then attempt to ‘solve’ on a for-profit basis. Inherent within this global business strategy are concerns and contradictions that speak to teacher quality, the ideals of public, democratic schooling, social justice, and equity.

Event details

  • When: 4–6pm

  • Where: Room 612, Education Building A35, Manning Rd, University of Sydney
    Education Building A35
    Click image for interactive map.

  • Cost: Free

  • RSVP: RSVP by emailing

  • Contact: Co-convenor, School and Teacher Education Policy Reseach Network
    Nicole Mockler
    T: +61 2 9351 3793

  • Speaker: Anna Hogan is a lecturer at the University of Queensland, Australia. She has been researching the role of global edu-business on education policy and practice. Dr Hogan is currently working on projects that investigate the privatisation of Australian public schooling, the effects of curriculum outsourcing on teachers’ work and the commercialisation of student health and wellbeing. Her recent publications include research papers in the Australian Educational Researcher, Journal of Education Policy and Critical Studies in Education and contributions to two recent books, including the World Yearbook of Education 2016: The Global Education Industry and Mapping Corporate Education Reform: Power and Policy Networks in the Neoliberal State.

The neo-social corporation: the complex phenomenon of education commercialisation

Where Room 418, Education Building A35, Manning Rd, University of Sydney
Education Building A35
Click image for interactive map.


6 July 2016

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