Education in Small States

Policies and Priorities

image of Education in Small States
This publication argues for work by the Commonwealth and others on the particular and distinct challenges of education in small states, and for the need to examine the impact of changing global contexts, to document the changing nature and significance of recent and contemporary education policy priorities, and to advance the case for new and strengthened initiatives for education in small states.

The study will be of direct interest to a wide range of stakeholders involved in educational and social development in small states, to policy-makers, administrators, researchers, students, comparative educationalists, international agency personnel and practitioners at all levels in small states, throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.



New Challenges and Opportunities

A decade into the 21st century, partnerships in international and educational development are at least as important as they were during previous eras. In many respects, however, contexts and modalities for collaboration have changed. Especially evident is the increased intensity of globalisation, which brings both challenges and opportunities. As noted by Bacchus (2008: 141), getting the best from these developments is something that small states cannot do by themselves ‘because they are usually “takers” rather than “makers” of the world economic policies’. The global economic crisis which commenced at the end of 2008 hit at least some small states disproportionately hard, especially those that rely heavily on banking and tourism (World Bank, 2009a). Trade liberalisation has been a mixed blessing for many small states, and in some countries the issues of migration and brain drain have become even more prominent than they were before. Climate change has also brought major challenges, especially for island states vulnerable to rising sea levels and intensified hurricanes (Sem, 2007).


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