- A study conducted by a U.K.-based think tank reveals that for-profit institutions in several nations offer great returns in social mobility for low-income students, but offer little in areas of research and limiting personal student debt.
- Institutions in Australia and the United States share similar traits in the aggressive recruitment of students who are unlikely to complete a degree, and graduates who are unlikely to find gainful post-graduate employment.
- High tuition, low post-graduate outcomes and the proliferation of for-profit colleges in the marketplace may attract government efforts to shut down the schools, but some experts say the benefits of educating neglected populations should demand performance-based outcomes reform, instead of elimination of the entire sector.
While the model of for-profit management and industrial value seems to be similar throughout several developed nations, the United States is taking an aggressive and peculiar approach to managing the sector. The U.S. Department of Education is essentially dismantling some for-profit institutions for their failure to engage industries and employers to hire graduates, while taking the model and authorizing specific companies to work and credential as educational proxies with the benefit of federal student aid revenue.
For students, the concept of nearly guaranteed post-graduate employment is the ideal pathway of college education. But for higher education leaders, the signal is clear: Make majors and degree programs more industrially relevant and attractive to companies or risk being replaced by handpicked partners.
Academic executives should begin to analyze the strategies for-profit institutions use to attract large groups of low-income students and working professionals, while integrating options for credentialing and bootcamps to supplement degree progress and completion.