Realising the right to education with non-state actor involvement: is the British Council guided by a human rights-based approach to education?
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The right to education is a fundamentally important enabling right, a public good to be ensured and developed by the state. Education’s promise can bring wide-ranging benefits to all societies. It is therefore critical to examine how education policy and practice is changing on a global scale with an increasing number of actors involved. This thesis will explore how education can both be maintained as a public good supervised by the state and improved through international collaboration with different actors. By examining the work of one non-state actor (British Council) through interviews with country teams, it will become clearer how such an actor may work with states to realise the right to education. Given the influence that education is considered to have on individuals and communities, it is important to analyse not only the multifaceted ways in which education could be affected by increasing non-state actor involvement globally, but also how non-state actors’ work can be directed in a positive rights-based manner. It is emphasised throughout this thesis that bringing the principles of the right to education to the foreground of all actors’ work in the field globally is vital to empowering individuals, combating social inequalities and reducing poverty.