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Unit information: Globalisation and Education in 2021/22

Unit name Globalisation and Education
Unit code EDUC30032
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Sands
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will explore how nation states are being challenged as the primary site for organising education by complex global dynamics that are changing how education is governed. Students will consider how different global actors variously conceptualise education as a means of nation-building, as a human right, as contributing to economic and social development, as an area for trade, and as a means of international security. Using examples from across different educational levels, including basic education, adult literacy, vocational education and higher education, they will analyse the mechanisms through which international, regional organisations, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, commercial firms and counterhegemonic movements, attempt to mediate education at the global level. Through analysis of specific cases, students will appreciate how globalising ideas, discourses and instruments may be interpreted and implemented differently in specific contexts and over time.

The aims of the unit are to enable students to:

  • develop knowledge and critical understanding of the changing nature of global processes in education and the main global ideas influencing education in different contexts;
  • identify the main actors in the global governance of education including the role that nations themselves play in promoting global governance of education systems;
  • appreciate different approaches to global studies of education and synthesise findings from across research studies that identify the influence of global ideas and instruments, and contextual differences in their interpretation and implementation;
  • apply key theoretical ideas to contemporary debates on education and globalisation, and consider the implications they have for social justice across national borders.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. discuss key ideas and actors in the global governance of education and the mechanisms through which they influence education systems, through writing and presentation;
  2. source studies of globalisation and education research, differentiating between research approaches, to analyse influences and their local interpretations and impacts;
  3. apply insights from research and academic debate to contemporary issues in education globally.

Teaching Information

This unit will be taught using a blended approach consisting of a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous activities including seminars, lectures, reading and discussions.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment

Contribute a weekly entry to a collaborative digital glossary explaining a key term or idea from the unit.

Summative assessment

1.Produce a group slide presentation which introduces a selected global actor in the governance of education and explains the key ideas and methods which underpin their approach to influencing education at the global level. Individual marks can be 10+/- the overall group mark based on individual contributions. (25%) ILOs1-3

2.A 2500-word essay which compares and discusses the influence of two selected global actors. Examine how these two selected actors conceive of education, and the ways in which they seek to influence education across national borders. Discuss the implications of their activities in terms of social justice and educational inequalities. Give your essay an appropriate title which reflects your particular focus. (75%) ILOs1-3


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EDUC30032).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.