Access to education remains a key economic driver of prosperity and poverty alleviation. However, access to education can be restricted as a result of the cost of provision or the opportunity costs associated by not working to earn a living that may be an essential contribution to a family’s ability to feed themselves month by month.
Thus a range of sponsored or funded programmes have emerged from public or private resources to support equal access to education across the world. .
From the institutional perspective of receiving funding to recruit students is a Saviour as it provides the access to education that they would otherwise be denied to the individuals who can benefit from it. However, funding without responsibility or obligations can lead to complacency. The institutions that receive the funding either from the public purse, through benefaction or directly from the student are all surrounded by a fractured and inefficient market in which there is no incentive to compete, provide value for money or innovate and its almost impossible to fail. There is almost a natural stasis or inertia against changing the system or seeking alternative routes of delivery.
Contrast this with the commercial education companies who are under immense pressure to deliver education that is innovative, value for money and subject to real competition. Simply if they do not provide what the customer wants then they will fail. Students of these institutions are consumers of a product which is education. As consumers they are increasingly aware of alternatives and have an inherent powerbase from which to question, negotiate and demand. The consequence is that many public sector providers end up with expensive provision to run as the private sector grow market share in the more profitable areas of provision.
This means that commercial training companies need to be efficient at all level in the organisation. They need to ensure their curriculum is of the highest quality and competitive in the market otherwise a competitor will steal their market share. They need to be creative and innovative in methods of delivery to ensure delivery costs are minimized. There is no public funding subsidy to hide behind and commercial open market is far from protectionist. Did you know that one of the most effective and affordable delivery methods is that of Distance Learning and is raising the bar in terms of quality in the industry.
Distance learning in all of its forms is the fastest growing global phenomenon in education. Increasingly, learning that promotes employment opportunities rather than qualifications are being seen as more important. In the last twenty years this devaluation of the qualification “currency” has seen a dramatic rise in the number of unemployed graduates. Recent surveys have revealed that traditional education simply does not work..
The funding received from Government, alumni, endowments and other sources create an invisible barrier within the state sector preventing them offering what the business world requires and what the student can afford.
Whilst the traditional education sector is content to languish in its artificial bubble, until it bursts, commercial distance learning companies are driven by the market and customer demands. The value of a course will be measure in terms of it ability to that increase employability or provide pleasure. However, regardless of what drives the need customers will not make a purchase unless they get value for money.
So whilst the concepts and motives behind funding education are admirable it continues to have a devastating effect on innovative solutions for UK plc training needs and is arguably one of the biggest Villains in the educational sector today.
www.academy-zone.com www.academy-zone.com/distance-learning.aspx www.academy-zone.com/online-courses.aspx www.academy-zone.com/elearning.aspx www.educational-academy.co.uk www.mycpd.net