How Universities Are Becoming Business-Driven
Decades ago, the focus of universities was on education. Today things have changed. They are now more aimed at attracting customers.
The job of a university is to pass knowledge and help students apply it. This is why for long, they have aimed at educating students. But this seems to be changing. They are paying attention to teaching students. Their concern is raising their financial status. They do not care about the type of graduates they produce. All they want is more and more money.
Signs That Universities Are Now More Business Driven
Universities are using commercial courses to turn into businesses. These are classes offered at private universities, diplomas, and evening classes. They are very serious about these pay classes. Little attention is given to regular courses. They come with cash benefits. They benefit the teachers. It is not clear how students benefit from these courses.
During these courses, teachers only want to pass knowledge. This is part of their job. But the real job is helping students to use this knowledge. Most of these courses do not have time to learn about its application.
Online courses are a great source of money. Students are charged good money to access them. These classes sound like a good deal. You do not have to go to school to learn. You can do it in your bedroom. But at what is the cost?
- Firstly, you get to pay higher fees.
- Secondly, there are no in person meet up.
- Thirdly, you do not learn how to use the gotten knowledge.
Some people say such produce ‘half baked’ graduates. We are not opposed to online learning. With proper planning, students can benefit from it. But universities should not take this chance to make money.
Facilities make a university look good. Students and donors find them more attractive. Some say that such buildings are essential. We agree that universities should have good facilities. But some them are excessive. You will find a university will residence halls looking like hotels. Others have classic stadiums. You will find a university with facilities put in country club style. Others have climbing walls and lazy rivers.
Birmingham University is one of the universities that has great infrastructure. For example, the university has a superb sports club with several facilities.
- Firstly, it has a climbing wall.
- Secondly, it has a big multi sports stadium.
- Thirdly, it has several activity studios.
- Fourthly, it has a 50m swimming pool.
- Fifthly, it has a gym with many pieces of equipment.
Others across the world have the same trend. They are using a lot of money in buildings. But what is the real motivation behind such? It is to improve the outlook to potential customers. All signs show that this trend will not slow down. They continue to invest in valuable plots in capital cities.
Preference of international students
Most universities prefer foreign students. This is because they are a source of a lot money. They have higher tuition fee compared to local students. They also increase the real estate sector where the universities have put their money in. So, the more foreign students the more money they get. This also happens with out of state students. They also pay more than locals.
Universities leaders now support more the business side. You will hear more executive directors. These new positions do not promote learning. They focus on strategic planning and other areas. While these roles may help learning, they sound more of business than education. Also, the new positions come with big salaries and meetings.
Do you still doubt that they are turning into businesses?
Traditionally, university deans were elected. Specific levels elect the deans. The role of these deans includes defending academic projects, managing students among others. But gone are these days. Today deans are appointed. The major qualification is management skills. They are required to achieve performance targets. They must be good at management decisions.
Some universities are still focused on educating students. They do not just impart knowledge. They also make sure that students can use that knowledge in real life. Congratulations to such kind. They are making society a better place. But other universities are losing direction. They are becoming more business driven. They aim at making money. As discussed, several signs show that universities are now more business driven.
- Firstly, universities are now more focused on construction.
- Secondly, universities are more attentive to commercial courses.
- Thirdly, universities are preferring foreign students.
- Fourthly, universities are no longer having elected leaders.
Why is this a concern? When universities turn into businesses several problems will occur.
- Firstly, universities will not give quality education. This is because the focus is shifting from learning to consumers.
- Secondly, students will not be able to use the acquired knowledge in real life.
- Thirdly, education will become more expensive.
This means that less privileged students will not get higher learning. In short, it will lead to lack of fairness in higher learning.