What Iraq taught Tony Blair about Education

“My notion of the threat is different today,” former Prime Minister Tony Blair explained at the Future of State Universities conference. When he entered the war, he saw the conflict as a simple process of knocking out old regimes and supporting democracy. He now recognizes that the ideologies behind terrorism run deeper and broader than he once thought. It isn’t just terrorists that hold these ideologies, and it isn’t just Muslims. He sees the real war as one of closed vs. open worldviews, and the long term victory will be won through education, not warfare. To this end he proposed an internationalization of education, presenting a refreshingly broad vision for the ultimate purpose of education that goes beyond the “help students find a job” mentality that seems so prominent today, and challenging us to create empathic global citizens with open minds.


Associate professor of cultural anthropology. Ed Traceur. Hacker. Car-free.

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6 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    In what way does his presented vision go beyond the “help students find a job” mentality? What course of action does he actually present, if any?

  2. MLW-KS. says:

    “Internationalization of education” is not a bad concept and nothing new; realistically, it should be globally propagated. With the likes of MIT’s OpenCourseWare and Khan Academy, I believe they have (and have had) this vision in mind. It is more complicated than this, however. There are too many so called “world leaders” who fear education (or should I say, correct education); they fear their citizens will have their eyes opened to other ideologies much better than theirs; which, in turn, renders theirs useless. True education liberates. In many countries (e.g., China, North Korea, Iraq), free and liberating education is smoothered and condemned by the government.

  3. Imam says:

    Global citizen must open mind, ears and eyes.

  4. Tommas says:

    I am agree and share the point of Imam. they have to open their eyes about certain issues.

  5. sue m-g says:

    Don’t be suckered in by Blair – he tends to have the opinion of the last person he encounters and is a past master at tailoring his view to his audience. Plus it’s oh so easy to be smart in hindsight, it takes a much braver person to consider the critiques and advice at the time and make a really sound decision.

  6. Jerrod Thomas says:

    I think it takes a brave man to stand up to a war involving the US, and his solution is education!
    Regardless of his politics, that is worth supporting.