I would just shortly like to do some commercial for a university research center called the E.G. West Center. The E.G. West Center is the only institution devoted to international and comparative educational research that is dedicated to understanding the role of choice, competition and entrepreneurship in the delivery of “Education for All”. Much of the literature I have to pass through on my program here in Norway is biased in favor of leftist notions and the other side of the coin is barely being heard at all. I think the role of non-state education (e.g., private, non-formal, philanthropic and public-private partnerships) is highly overlooked and underrated at present in the academic world. It is sad because, even on a neutral level, we can see that we are heading towards these school policies in more and more countries. Therefore it is important to have a better understanding of them. I therefore felt a relief when I found the E.G. West Center, working with delivering somewhat another point of view.
Professor Edwin West conducted research on the role of government and of markets in education. In Britain, West’s ideas affected school reforms during Margaret Thatcher’s years as Prime Minister – reforms which embraced parental choice, local management and devolved budgets, while reducing the power of the local education authorities.