For years a common mantra has been that we are in a knowledge based economy and people with post-secondary education (PSE) earn more money then people that only have a high school education. With this in mind it should not come as a surprise that demand for PSE has grown considerably. This sequence of events presents opportunities for business and some, like University of Phoenix, are taking full advantage.
It was about ten years ago that the Mike Harris government opened the door to private universities in Ontario. While this Wikipedia listing of universities in Canada states that BC, Alberta and New Brunswick are the only provinces with private universities it would not be difficult to take online courses from from anywhere in Canada from a private school.
Private post-secondary education has been receiving some attention recently. In Ontario, this CBC report points out that the provincial government was taking action against questionable behaviour associated with private universities. In the US private universities have also been receiving some attention by the federal government of late. Frontline recently aired College, Inc. which showcases some of the issues that have become prevalent in recent years, such as large student debt. The Frontline program is generating some discussion as outlined here in a blog post by Keith Hampson.
Gaining a solid university or college education is more important now than at any point in history. Providing options on where students can access education is healthy as long schools are held accountable. The media and government seem to be doing just that.