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Rethinking trade in education services: A wake-up call for trade negotiators

Education plays a crucial role in fostering personal and social development, as well as economic growth. Government policies play a dominant role in this sector. Over time, trade in education services, particularly at the tertiary level, have been growing in importance. Driving factors include a combination of demographic changes, technological developments, national development goals, and governmental reforms to the funding and provision of higher education. The educational market has grown in size with more exporters entering the field to satisfy growing demand worldwide. The education sector today truly operates in a global context with institutions, programmes, and people supplying services across borders at an unprecedented scale. This article describes the educational service market, the key actors in this field be they importers or exporters, and discusses the market opportunities and risks for countries.

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