Monday, February 22, 2010

The Education Business

How do you define success? Do you use quantitative or qualitative methods of measurement?

There are no definitive answers to this question. In the tertiary education sector this an area that we are constantly working towards understanding better.

In order to be successful education providers need to do the following -
  1. Be profitable.
  2. Have customers.
  3. Have outcomes.

Sound easy enough? It may sound easy but achieving each of these in a balanced way is very, very hard. Lets break it down some more.

  1. Be profitable. If we are not making more money than we spend then we will become unsustainable. Simple.

  2. Have customers. Who are our customers? Students and people wanting to learn stuff. Stuff that will make them better people and more employable.

  3. Have outcomes. When a person has finished learning stuff they want to either have a job or further learning opportunities available to them.

So what types of measure's can we apply to measure these? Quantitative or qualitative?

To be honest - there needs to be a solid mix of both. For those persons who are more sensical and logical they will likely err to the side of money. To the people who are more tuned in to the students then they will be looking for qualitative outcomes.

Neither is right and neither is wrong. It is all about balance. And if an educational organisation decides the qualitative is their priority they put at risk the quality of the experience of the customer. When customers can see quality outcomes - they will pay whatever it takes to be a part of your organisation.

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