Thursday, August 02, 2007

College for Sale

Original Article

Summary goes here!
There are few points that require examination.

Are for-profit and non-for-profit institution different animals?

Does education mean the formality of institution or the gaining of knowledge of the students?

What is in the best interest for the society?

The final goal of governance is to benefit the society. The purpose of all law and regulation is to bring activities in the society toward benefit the society. The law and regulation are tools so are the formality of organizations. For-profit, non-for-profit and business rules alike are all just activities.

In the case of education, the perceived benefits to the society is the gaining of knowledge of students and not the formalities of organizations. The single and most important measure is the result of learning and is not about business logic or faculty governance. Even though, traditionally, higher education, with the faculty governance tradition, have been the voice of advocacy. Faculty governance should not be considered the major benefits of education. If so, we might as well forget about knowledge transfer but talk about social movements.

Traditionally, higher education are construct so that students are required to acquire general education in addition to their specialties. It, therefore, serves two purposes: the knowledge transfer and the social education.

With the world turning, general public are concerned more about the knowledge transfer ( read: finding a job) than the social value provided by the higher education. The question is how we resolve this problem. At this point in time, traditional institutions insist to provide the social value regardless of the cost associated with it, while the general public out cry for an affordable education for job. Corporations with their for-profit nature are, probably, more interested in knowledge transfer part of the higher education.

We all understand that, there are people that values the social education of the higher education. The problem is they will have to convince the general public the value. Otherwise, we will have to find other way to resolve this problem - We must understand that people is what made the society, you can't force them but to guide them. In a way, we have to give what they want and provide incentive to see benefits of other side of the coin.

As for-profit institutions entering the market, the for-profit nature of them will drive them to put less emphasise in social value and, therefore, lower the cost.

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