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Education policy: Mapping the landscape and scope

Edited By Sandra Bohlinger, Thi Kim Anh Dang and Malgorzata Klatt

This book maps recent developments in the landscape of education policy in higher and vocational education, the returns of education, curriculum design and education reforms, driven by social, economic, political and cultural factors. Contributed by over twenty authors from five continents, this collection provides diverse, innovative and useful perspectives on the ways education policy is researched, implemented and enacted. It helps researchers, policy makers, students and practitioners to better understand processes of policy making, its theory, practice and outcomes. Despite national differences, many shared features and challenges emerge from this book as education systems face the common need to reinvent their existing systems and processes.

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Higher education privatisation in Kuwait: Global influences on national policy decisions

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Ahoud Al-Asfour

Higher education privatisation in Kuwait:Global influences on national policy decisions

Across different regions of the world, the growing student demand for higher education over the past three decades has been aligned with a proliferation of private higher education (PHE) institutes (Levy 2009). Lacking public resources, most emerging systems of higher education have turned to privatisation policies as a way of meeting this demand. Similarly to many countries, over the past two decades Kuwait has experienced a rapid growth in student demand for higher education (Al-Atiqi & Alharbi 2009). In the literature, the expansion of PHE has often been attributed to neoliberal globalisation. Accordingly, privatisation policies are often attributed to financial restraints. In Kuwait, however, the financial argument for explaining the adoption of privatisation policies has been discarded, mainly owing to the state’s oil wealth, which has made it one of the richest nations in the world. Given Kuwait’s financial capacity, this chapter identifies some of the key reasons for Kuwait to pursue a privatisation policy in higher education, as a way of understanding, more broadly, the ways in which global processes influence the production of national policies in higher education. It also shows the way in which globalisation has influenced the national policy decision of a financially independent nation-state through tools of ‘soft governance’, which involves representing the power of language through soft tools such as networking, conferences, seminars, consultations, advisory groups, and publications (Lawn 2006).

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