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Whereas for-profits in the U.S. have found in the economic downturn an opportunity to marry up, in many other countries, they are the well-heeled spouse. There is considerable demand for higher education in the developing world. In these countries--namely African and South American--the playing field is wide open and dominated only by a handful of well-regarded public institutions. Demand is sky-high, and non-profits--often on account of their foreignness--benefit from a perception abroad that they are fairly reputable and of some, perhaps superior, quality.

Charles Jannuzi

It seems demographically speaking the higher ed sector in many countries is just over-built. As for publicly listed privately owned for-profit companies being well-funded, are they really? Or is this just another investment bubble?

Lloyd responds: Thanks for the comment, Charles. Countries vary enormously in the size of their higher ed capacity vs demand. Japan e.g. is overbuilt, China under built. There are sectors of the US that seem to be have excess capacity given the evolution of demand - the very small rural college may be one. However, there is considerable demand in the US which is not being well met by traditional higher ed, e.g. non-traditional students of all types. So we are over-built for one demographic, under built for another.
I don't know the answers to the funding questions - the downturn has certainly changed the landscape everywhere. However, enrollment has jumped significantly for most of the for-profits, so that it probably still an attractive field for venture money.

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