La educación lucrativa, por debajo de lo esperado

NUEVA YORK – Teléfonos inteligentes, transportes de alta velocidad, entretenimiento… el capitalismo creó una larga lista de productos y servicios de alta calidad. Sin embargo, hay un área fundamental donde la búsqueda de lucro no parece haber sido tan eficaz: la educación.

En Estados Unidos, las universidades con fines de lucro tienen una tasa de graduación a seis años del 22%, muy por debajo del 60% que alcanzan las instituciones sin fines de lucro. Las primeras dedican el 23% de sus ingresos a la captación de nuevos estudiantes, contra apenas el 1% de las segundas. En los niveles primario y secundario, las escuelas autónomas con subsidio estatal gestionadas por empresas con fines de lucro tienen un 20% menos de probabilidades que las instituciones sin fines de lucro de alcanzar los niveles de competencia estándar, y las instituciones lucrativas más grandes se llevan algunos de los peores resultados. Ni siquiera las empresas que proveen libros de texto, software educativo, sistemas de gestión y préstamos estudiantiles logran alcanzar el nivel de excelencia obtenido en otros sectores.

La educación lucrativa no es un fenómeno exclusivo de Estados Unidos, sino que forma parte de una tendencia global. Están apareciendo universidades con fines de lucro dondequiera que haya una fuerte demanda de educación superior. En las áreas en desarrollo de Asia y América Latina, numerosos programas de capacitación en inglés a través de Internet y en el aula intentan cubrir la demanda existente, aunque tal vez sea demasiado pronto para juzgar su calidad.

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