BUSINESS TODAY: India must consider allowing For-profit education

Career College Central Summary:

  • Traditionally, education in India has been under the purview of government and private non-profits. It is based on the theory that fundamental purpose of an educational institution is to educate, not to make profit.
  • However, for-profit education-or proprietary education, is also gaining traction in the world at present. As per the data by National Conference of State Legislatures at USA, enrolment of for-profit institutions has increased 225 per cent in the past two decades. Currently, about 2.2 million students attend for-profit colleges.
  • For Indian perspective, we can only envisage by looking at the enrolment trend in unaided private institutions which increased to almost 60 per cent of total in 2013 against 33 per cent in 2001. Supporters of the for-profit model make a point that these institutions operate more efficiently which leads to better services at lower cost.
  • These institutions also provide lot of comfort to students through various distinguished features in their service delivery and product offerings. On the other side, for-profit model is also at the receiving end of the mass criticism. Opponents of for-profit arrangements say that profit-seeking institutions exploit and commodify education degrees.
  • They argue that for-profit institutions often compromise with quality in education for their own economic benefit. In an analogy, some critics call for-profit education as 'subprime education' which results in to higher default rates for students who pass out from these institutions.

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