Processes of Privatisation in Education

Conveners: Jaakko Kauko & Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret (University of Helsinki, Institute of Behavioural Sciences)

Organising partners:

  • SEDUCE graduate school,Faculty of Behavioural Sciences
  • Nordic Centre of Excellence: Justice through Education.

Please registrer latest on December 1: (inactive link fixed 10.11.2015)

(Students at the University of Helsinki: for credits, please see Details for students)


In the past decades we have witnessed how public sector welfare and infrastructure services have undergone processes of privatisation in a number countries across the western world. Like other traditionally publicly funded and managed services, education has also been subject to increased private sector involvement in several countries. The lectures focus on the interplay between public and private sector involvement in education service provision at local, national and global levels on primary, secondary, and tertiary education.

This intensive one-day lecture series is to draws in established and emerging researchers working either directly on education policy and practice by maintaining an interdisciplinary approach to the subject. They will open up the themes of privatisation processes in education by scrutinising key issues such as freedom, school choice, privatisation and quality in their socio-political context.

For a PhD student this course offers an up-to-date view to some of the most topical issues in education of today. After the course the students will have the theoretic-conceptual tools to understand processes of privatisation in education. They will also understand the politics of ‘choice and voice’ in education.

Programme: December 10

Venue: Minerva-tori, Siltavuorenpenger 5 A

12.30–12.40     Dr Jaakko Kauko (chair): Opening words

12.40–13.10     Dr Barbara Schulte (Lund University): Freedom, choice and privatization in education: neoliberal cure or philanthropic disguise?

13.10–13.40     Dr Piia Seppänen (University of Turku): School choice as education policy: Comparing extremes Chile and Finland

13.40–13.50     General discussion

13.50–14.20     Coffee break

14.20–14.50     Dr Berglind Rós Magnúsdottir (University of Iceland): Cultural politics of middle-class parental choice and school quality in neoliberal times

14.50–15.15     Discussant Sonja Kosunen (University of Helsinki): Discussant’s remarks

15.15–15.30     General discussion



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