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Taking action in higher education

Challenging the market in education

'Challenging the market in education' was a major conference held in May 2008 for union activists, MPs, councillors, journalists and anyone interested in the impact of marketisation on education.

We hope this conference will be a significant step in developing the unions' and activists response to the encroachment of the market and of privatisation in education.

Challenging the market in education - Marketisation and the growth of the private sector in tertiary education: a preliminary report, Jul 10 [255kb]


  • Professor Dexter Whitfield, European Services Strategy Unit
  • Professor Ken Spours, Institute of Education
  • Professor Roger Seifert, University of Keele
  • Sally Hunt, general secretary, UCU
  • Christine Blower, deputy general secretary, NUT

The conference also featured workshops led by activists on:

  • resisting city academies
  • the marketisation and privatisation of higher education
  • the skills agenda, Train2Gain and private providers
  • building grassroots responses and organising around marketisation
  • using the political process to challenge the market
  • defending quality and advancing an alternative vision of education.
Last updated: 29 January 2020