GLOBAL: IFC opens private education forum

The International Finance Corporation has established an online discussion on what it calls "the evolving regulatory context for private education in emerging economies". Dr Svava Bjarnason, a senior education specialist with the IFC, says the purpose is to provide a forum for stakeholders to discuss key questions relating to the evolving nature of regulation of private education.

Bjarnason says the forum should provide an opportunity for those interested to share experiences and examples of good practice so as to facilitate informed policy development and implementation.

"Prior to the IFC international conference in May, we hosted a colloquium that was attended by a small group of government representatives, accreditation body folk, private providers and World Bank Group colleagues," he says.

"The purpose was to begin a dialogue between the various players concerning how the regulatory context is evolving in relation to private sector providers. At the close of that event we agreed to continue the dialogue and to host an online discussion to engage the wider community in the debate. We have almost 150 folk registered for the discussion representing pretty much all the regions globally."

The corporation invited a series of guest commentators from around the world to provide opening statements to act as prompts for discussion. As well, to focus debate, one question is being raised per week and the first is: What are the major challenges in regulating private education and how might they be overcome?

While the discussion is scheduled to last two weeks, the IFC says it will welcome participation well after that. The summary report till not be prepared until mid-December, so as to accommodate more comments. Link to the discussion here: Background material and short introductions to some of the participants registered for the discussion can also be found on the IFC's Health and Education website under Regulating Private Education.