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Korea: KTU demands a stop to Free Trade Agreement negotiations

EI affiliate the KTU is urging the government to cease negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Korea and the United States, fearing that it may make public services, including education, subject to private ownership.

The KTU believe that, if the education market is opened by an FTA, it is inevitable that Korean students will be educated by American teachers using American curriculum. As many employers already prefer their staff to have attended foreign universities, the union finds a real threat that the domestic curriculum in language courses will be used to prepare students for universities in the U.S. In a recent press release, the KTU fear that the subsequent increase in study abroad will "deny a basic human right, namely, equal and universal access to education—the right of every person to an education, regardless of differences in wealth. This, along with the destruction of public health and medical care, would increase the social divide, lessen most people's quality of life and threaten social safety".