Education: Profit-Making or Not-for-Profit?
By: Fatmah Azam Ali
Executive Director, Master English Education & Training GCC and Teacher Trainer
Let us admit: Education is among the most successful profit-making sectors. It is a fact. People are investing more and more in the field as it provides better returns. Why? Because it is in the best interest of society! What differentiates the quality of education is the passion which helps make the best use of available resources.
Those who are in this business out of passion, while also making use of such resources, tend to create and rejuvenate students’ experiences by offering top-notch facilities and services. Yes, the fees may be higher than average, but the state-of-the-art facilities and resources, including experienced educators, would be part of the whole package which also includes accreditation by appropriate quality assurance bodies to ensure they meet international standards.
Those who are in the business only for money (without passion or providing facilities and resources to students) eventually run an institution in loss as parents these days are smart enough to choose educational institutions offering more to their children. Money is not the real issue. Resources and facilities are. With more companies funding the education of employees’ children, the need for quality education institutions is becoming an absolute necessity.
“With for-profit educational institutions setting up their bases in UAE, we have seen a tremendous rise in schools, especially for younger children where they bring in creative curriculums with unique instruction and resources which are not available anywhere else in the Middle East. Nowadays, educational institutions are competing to become the best,” says Malek Hafeez, an educational consultant in Dubai.
The other part of the world has also been seeing an increase in school fees, primarily due to demand for better resources to offer students. In the US, statistics have shown schools which offered extra activities, facilities and resources charged up to AED 15,000 more than regular, average-calibre schools.
Education, being a primary need, is an attractive sector for investment with high returns where facilities and resources provided to students would meet top international standards. It makes more sense for parents to invest more in education than anything else as it is the door to their children’s future.
Many may argue that education can be heavily manipulated causing an affordability issue. However, based on my experience and work with schools, I can safely say that there are companies who are willing to invest in educational projects which provide quality curriculum of instruction without compromising standards at an affordable price for average-income families. However, extra perks would naturally come at an additional price.
With standards and government statutes, educational systems can be more controlled yet remain profitable for investors, also providing students with access to quality facilities, curriculums and resources, offering a good return on investment to business stakeholders.