Supervisor: Dr. Stephen McBride
Thesis title: Contesting Transnational Governance in Higher Education: a comparative study of the OECD's AHELO implementation in Egypt and Mexico.
Description of Project:
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an important player in the global governance of education. The OECD conducts extensive peer-reviewed, cross-national research and develops detailed policy recommendations upon which countries may model policy decisions. For instance, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), implemented by over 70 developed and developing nations, is widely regarded as the OECD’s most definitive contribution to global education governance.
The OECD is building on the success and methodology of PISA to launch a new study called the Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO), which attempts to develop a comparative framework to measure the learning outcomes of university students in several disciplines, including Economics and Engineering. The purpose of this cross-national and cross-cultural project is to determine what – and, crucially, how – students learn in preparation for entering what the OECD describes as a global knowledge economy. AHELO thus has implications for how higher education institutions reform the delivery of their programs and curricula; for the criteria used by increasingly mobile students in the selection of their higher education institution; and for national policymakers as they contemplate particular governance arrangements for higher education institutions.
My purpose in studying AHELO is to better understand the following:
1. How experts how are selected in determining cross-national learning outcome
2. The consensus-building process between stakeholders in the AHELO project (OECD experts, private contractors that manage the project, national government representatives in charge of implementing the project, and the universities and higher education institutions where this project is in fact being implemented)
3. The importance of non-member countries (e.g., Egypt) to the OECD’s work in higher education governance and in the OECD’s more general mandate to work for the economic benefit of its member states
4. How transnationalization works in practice through the OECD’s work in education governance
This last point guides my research study to the subnational, institutional level by uncovering how universities, as sites of localized political and social activism, either facilitate or resist policy recommendations developed at the transnational level. I am optimistic my research will shed light on the OECD’s strategy for engaging non-member economies through higher education policy governance while clarifying the role of state and non-state actors in this process.
Teaching Assistant for:
- 2J3 Global Political Economy (Term 2, Winter 2013)
- Instructor: Mark Williams
- Tutorials: T01 and T03
Office hours: Thursdays, 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m., KTH-522