1 July 2015

The Oxford Human Rights Hub and the Open Society Foundation will be hosting a participative and interactive online workshop exploring the challenges of public and private partnerships in realising the right to education.

The online workshop will take place at 14h00 BST on 29 July 2015. 

Public-private partnerships are an increasing phenomenon in the field of education. The growing influence of a market model of private education, particularly in providing low-fee schools, has challenged the traditional understanding of education as a public good. This brings with it the risk that the State will abdicate its public responsibilities, and education will be viewed as a market commodity. This raises the question of how to retain the fundamental nature of the right to education as a societal or public good, rather than a private good.

The aim of this online consultation is to develop a human rights understanding in relation to several crucial issues raised by public-private partnerships. The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Dr Kishore Singh, will be participating in the online workshop and will draw on the workshop discussions to inform his annual report to be submitted to the Human Rights Council in September 2015.

The online workshop will investigate three key questions:

  • How do we conceptualise education in public-private partnerships?
  • How can the state and private providers be held accountable for both quality in education and against corruption?
  • What enforceability measures are needed to hold actors in public-private partnerships accountable?

This workshop will be conducted online. There will be a ‘live base’ at the Oxford Human Rights Hub in Oxford, with allocated experts and an audience participating ‘virtually’ from around the globe. On the day of the workshop the experts and the live virtual audience will sign into allocated software hosting the workshop (instructions will be provided when you sign-up). The expert speakers will prepare pre-recorded videos which will play in succession. Participants will be able to pose comments and ask questions of the experts during the question and answer session.

To participate:

  • Sign up here before noon (GMT) on Wednesday July 29
  • Instructions on how to participate as a virtual audience member will be posted here in due course.

The webinar will be recorded and archived on the OxHRH website, so those who are unable to participate on July 29 can still access the webinar.

For more information on the privatisation of education, see here.

To learn more about the current debates and challenges on the right to education, see OxHRH’s first webinar by Professor Sandra Fredman on the right to education.

For those in Oxford, please do participate as a live audience member by coming down to Harold Lee Room at Pembroke College!