Selling Out Education

National Qualifications Frameworks and the Neglect of Knowledge

  • Stephanie Allais

Part of the The Knowledge Economy and Education book series (KNOW)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxviii
  2. Stephanie Allais
    Pages 1-25
  3. Stephanie Allais
    Pages 27-50
  4. Stephanie Allais
    Pages 51-76
  5. Stephanie Allais
    Pages 77-111
  6. Stephanie Allais
    Pages 113-137
  7. Stephanie Allais
    Pages 139-170
  8. Stephanie Allais
    Pages 171-216
  9. Stephanie Allais
    Pages 217-233
  10. Stephanie Allais
    Pages 235-257
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 259-274

About this book


Selling Out Education argues that basing education policy on qualifications and learning outcomes—dramatized by the phenomenal expansion of qualifications frameworks—is misguided. Qualifications frameworks are intended to make education more responsive to the needs of economies and societies by improving how qualifications and credentials are used in labour markets. But using learning outcomes as the starting point of education programmes neglects the core purpose of education: giving people access to bodies of knowledge they would not otherwise have. Furthermore, instead of creating demand for skilled workers through industrial and economic policy, qualifications frameworks are premised on the flawed idea that a supply of skilled workers leads to industrial and economic development. And skilled workers are to be supplied not by encouraging governments to focus attention on creating, improving, and supporting education institutions, but by suggesting that governments take a quality-assurance role. As a result, in poor countries where provision is weak to start with, qualifications have been created and institutions established to monitor providers without increasing or improving education provision. The weaknesses of many current policy approaches make clear, Allais argues, that education is inherently a collective good, and that the acquisition of bodies of knowledge provide the basis for its integrity and intelligibility.


education policy government qualifications framework

Authors and affiliations

  • Stephanie Allais
    • 1
  1. 1.University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

Bibliographic information