Wood, P. (2011) For-profits break the monopoly on what college can be Chronicle of Higher Education, January 11

A thoughtful article on the pros and cons of for-profit post-secondary education. One chilling conclusion:

‘…the great American experiment of mass higher education will begin to dissolve over the next decade or so’.

Although it will resonate more in the USA than elsewhere, there are some points of relevance for other jurisdictions as well.

His main point is that we need more variety in post-secondary educational institutions, and that the monopoly of the predominant academic culture prevents many needs in post-secondary education from being filled in a cost-effective way. In the USA, for-profits offer an alternative route to the predominant culture.

In a country such as Canada, where there is relatively little public support for privatizing post-secondary education, can we build alternative public institutions that have a different mission, management structures, and delivery than those of the four year universities and two year colleges, that will provide a quality education (fit for purpose) at less cost? Or does the current system here already do that?

See also: How does the University of Phoenix measure up?


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