Global Education as Business
Global Education as Business

Introduction

As Thomas Friedman argued in The World is Flat, globalization has, to some extent, leveled the economic playing field.  The robust growth of international trade certainly calls for a more standardized way of doing business.  Education is no exception.  As the economies of developing nations emerge–specifically those referred to as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) nations, the demand for education–especially at the tertiary level, has multiplied dramatically. 

Within the past nine years, there has been a 53 percent enrollment increase just within higher education.  It is currently estimated that there are 153 million university students worldwide (Labi, 2009).  Many multi-national and private companies have stepped in to fill this need spawning dramatic growth in the educational private sector.  Indeed, UNESCO identifies private higher education institutions as the fastest growing sector worldwide(Altbach, Reisburg, Rumbley, 2009). 

To the entrepreneurial mind, with new challenges arise new opportunities to create profit.  In the case of for-profit education organizations, the mission should not only be one of adding to bottom lines, but also a responsibility in crafting a 21st century workforce. 

Creating a 21st century workforce requires teaching 21st century skills. This 21st century skill-set must include the ability to solve multifaceted problems by thinking creatively and generating original ideas from multiple sources of information (Silva, 2008).  Several multinational national companies, such as Pearson and McGraw-Hill, are familiar with both the need for a 21st century work force, and the demand to create one. 

While Pearson and McGraw-Hill are not educational companies, as publishing companies they provide supplemental and related educational services.  A brief look at these two corporations gives insight as to how private companies  identify and expand ways to profit within the educational sector.  By looking specifically at the mission statements of these two companies, we see how they recognize the roll the education as vital to their own success, while simultaneously trying to create demand for their services.

 

 

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