Ducats!! Education in the modern-day is increasingly lucrative and attractive to the business world. Schools are springing up all around the globe with the clear charter of making money. Not necessarily an evil in itself of course, as long as the resulting school is guided by strong values related directly to the student and by principles which place education at the heart of all processes.
And it must be said that any privately operated school, or group of schools, needs to be financially viable, otherwise it obviously becomes unsustainable. Tensions can exist, however, between a culture of profitability and productivity and one of student entitlement and access. The relationship between business and education doesn’t always sit easily; a situation which can apply similarly to the educational and business arms of government systems.
Despite best efforts on both sides, educators and business administrators sometimes just don’t ‘get’ each other’s worlds. It’s partly a matter of language, but that’s not the whole story. It’s also a question of trust. From the educator’s perspective, although some may not be savvy in a business sense, they are typically intelligent and knowledgeable – and they understand that statistics can be manipulated!
As an educator, predictably, I would argue that the educational agenda must hold pre-eminence. If an educational institution is not driven by educational values, then it doesn’t deserve to be sustainable.