International trade in education services has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Trade liberalisation talks aimed at encouraging even more trade in the sector through removal of trade barriers are slowly gaining momentum under the watchful eye of the World Trade Organisation. This paper looks at policy implications of growth in international trade in education for developing nations with more focus on the Sub-Saharan Africa region. In order to do this, the paper first analyses supply and demand conditions of higher education services in different regions of the world. The results of the analysis show that Sub-Saharan Africa is lagging behind most other regions in the provision of higher education services. Growth in international trade has thus the potential benefit of helping improve on student access to higher education. There is however also potential problems associated with opening up of the higher education market to international traders and these have been highlighted in the paper.
Key words: Higher education, international trade; developing countries, Sub Saharan Africa.
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