Education economics, Sociology of education

In cooperation with the Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations



Course date

9 July - 13 July, 2012
15 February, 2012
Course Director(s): 

Aleesha Taylor

Education Support Program, Open Society Foundations, New York, USA

Faisal Bari

Open Society Institute, South Asia and Central Eurasia Project
Course Faculty: 

Nicholas Burnett

Results for Development Institute (R4D), Washington, D.C., USA

Suhas Ketkar

RBS Greenwich Capital, USA

Daniel Pop

Open Society Foundation, Education Support Program, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Robert Filipp

Innovative Finance Foundation, Baden, Switzerland

The course will introduce participants to the complex political economy of financing for education. With the funding gap for achieving global targets for education estimated at $16 billion per year, the dynamic between commitment to education for all and reduced financial space from traditional sources needs to be appreciated before moving to any discussion of financing issues specifically. After a detailed look at the traditional sources of funding and the dynamics determining their current limits and future prospects, the course will move to introducing broad ideas for possible and non-traditional sources of finance for education. It will then examine in detail some specific instruments that have been or are being developed and how they have been, or can be, deployed such as bond and debt instruments and venture fund approaches. Participants will develop a much deeper appreciation of the political economy in which education finance issues are embedded, the current dynamics regarding traditional sources of finance, current and under-development possibilities from non-traditional sources and future directions in which this work can develop.

At the completion of the course participants will be able to:

  1. Appreciate more fully the complex political economy issues that surround the education debate in general and the financing issues of education in particular. This understanding is essential before global financing issues in education can be appreciated.
  2. Assess the global needs for education funding keeping in mind that the issue is not just access but, and more importantly, quality of education.
  3. Understand the machinations of financing in education, especially with reference to traditional sources of financing, their limits and the possibilities for extending those limits.
  4. Assess the current state of funding for education from non-traditional sources.
  5. Analyse a range of technical financial instruments using conceptual frameworks with the aim of developing new sources of funding.

The course will be delivered using a range of formats; lectures, small group work, films, podcasts, plenary activity. Participants will be encouraged to read prior to the course, as well as during. They will also be expected to be actively involved in exploring ideas, and in offering their own experiences and reflections on the theories and issues being examined. Written student outputs will be expected.