Global business models may be key to for-profit survival
- The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the growing success of Laureate International Universities, a Baltimore-based for-profit institution seeing great growth internationally, despite growing domestic pressure from the federal government.
- Laureate's American online imprint, Walden University, has received marks for graduates earning an average salary of more than $59,000, but has faced criticism for students' above-average loan debt. Its financial support of Bill Clinton as a spokesperson — to the tune of $17 million — has also been a source of critique.
- The World Bank invested $150 million in the company in 2013, citing its international work in educating students in underdeveloped nations.
Laureate International Universities is an example of a company which understood how to maximize its mission while simultaneously making money and avoiding public scrutiny from the federal government. Where other institutions continued a culture of aggressive and faulty recruitment, Laureate continues to maintain a relatively low price point and testimonials from graduates who attribute their success to the access the institution provides.
The model of higher education, at its heart, is for-profit in nature even if conducted under a nonprofit banner. This is why large colleges and universities can build massive funds for investment while families take on increasing debt, and why schools of all sizes are some of the biggest investors in major American industries like construction and real estate and sponsored research.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education Election casts spotlight on unusual for-profit with global ambitions