Saturday, October 14, 2006

Head of for-profit university discusses industry -

Here's an interview with the new president of the University of Phoenix. Whether you like it or not, this company, and others like it, could be the future of education.

What do you think?


Ioana said...

It's true that the educational services offer and institutions also need to comply to the market laws, especially lately in the context of an increase in educational services offer and number of institutions/programs. At the same time, the distance education is becoming a strong competition for the traditional education (one of your earlier posts talked about online English courses offered to American students by teachers from India or Pakistan). This picture might look wrong at a first sight, but we need to admit that we are experiencing really big changes in the educational field. One of the dangers I see is that a university like Phoenix owened by a for-profit organization, might focus in their investments more on marketing rather than increasing the quality of their services (one of the interview questions touches this issue)or might take decisions in favor of business rather than what's good for education. But on the other hand, I think that the competition they need to deal with regulates somehow this situation and constrains them to keep up with the quality of their educational services offered. Anyway, for me, all these matters are mind blowing, because I come from a country where, at least in my school years, all education up to the university level included, was centralized and offered free by the state.

Dan said...

Hi Ioana,

Yes, I agree that profit motive over educational motive is a concern. However, I would argue that we are already expriencing this at public/private universities. University of Pheonix likely has a collection of faculty and administration who are as dedicated to education as those at IU. AND, IU likely has administration and business managers who are as dedicated to bringing in money as those at University of Phoenix.

Most institutions of higher education have seen their public funding drying up over the years. This has caused them to start looking for alternative revenue streams and, most importantly, to make educational decisions based on fiscal realities. In this context, who can say which entity is more focused on education than money.


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