Economics of e-learning in higher education: implantation strategies

Raymond G. Taylor, Javier Osorio


Almost inadvertently, we are witnessing the emergence and expansion of a competitive market in which the agents are institutions, both public and private, some with a long tradition, and in which there are no geographical limits. This new market refers to the sector of higher education through electronic means, that is, computer aided instruction and web-based learning. In this environment, competition, in which traditional universities and higher education centers are strongly involved, is determined by the criteria of profitability. Because this situation is still so recent, there is very little literature on this new sector and form of competition. If we consider that the agents involved can behave in this sector as business organizations that seek profitability, then we are faced with a wide field of study in which economic theories can be crucial to analyzing their possible development. Planning, understood in a business sense, will be of vital importance and, within it, the decisions that guarantee the economic viability of the investments to be made. In the present article we propose some principles that may guide decision-making in this emerging sector in an economic context, in the awareness that a new field of study is opening up in which many contributions can be made. 


higher education; e-learning; strategy; costs; admission



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