This paper discusses the currently changing nature and roles of education through distinguishing between the roles, purposes and outcomes of educational models at national and regional (supra- rather than sub-national) levels. It proposes the emergence of a new kind of regional model of education, that differs from national models in content, role and purpose, and where the relationship between the two models is neither hierarchical, converging or scaled-up. The two models are compared in terms of their role in the social contract for education, and the national education system is taken as the 'default' model. While both models are part of education's contribution to the means of production and distribution of well-being, they play different roles. As examples, the paper examines the EU Bologna Process, and the nature and possible consequences of its projected "export' to Latin America, suggesting that in both cases key outcomes involve the "re-construction" of both the region and, especially, higher education as a sector. The paper concludes by suggesting that such developments may culminate in functional, scalar and sectoral divisions of labour of education.
Regional model of education; National model of education; Social contract in education; Construction of higher education sector; Functional