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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Towards Commercialization of Higher Education: Globalization, Quality Assurance, and Innovation

Pieter Du Toit.

There is currently a world-wide shift towards systems in higher education which are rich through the breadth and diversity of its specializations. Regional initiatives increasingly lead to common approaches to the recognition of higher education qualifications, thus strengthening the globalization of higher education. More and more, the programmes of education providers in different countries are being compared. In the field of quality assurance, systems of mutual recognition are by now relatively well established.

What drives international co-operation in quality assuran-ce? Where are common approaches leading us? What does global provision of higher education mean? What are the pitfalls? Is a global system of higher education desirable? This paper argues that a shift to increased democracy and the impact of new information technology tempts higher educational institutions to invest in subjects that are the most profitable for them, thus strengthening the dominance of certain commercialized innovation-based educational models. The question is whether we should allow higher education to become commercialized?


Pieter Du Toit  (South Africa)
Professor and Head
Quality Assurance Unit
University of Pretoria

Pieter du Toit was Professor and Head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pretoria and is currently attached to the Quality Assurance Unit of the same university. He is editor of Reflections on Marxism, author of Essential Thinking Skills, and co-author of Achiever’s Handbook, Study for Success, Leer Presteer and Practical Guide to Reading, Thinking and Writing Skills.

  • Globalization
  • Transnational education
  • International accreditation systems
  • Global labels
  • Standards
  • External quality assurance agencies
  • Innovation
  • Commercialization

(30 min Conference Paper, English)