In today’s multinational environment, time is very important to everyone. There is a need in the higher education area to provide accelerated and focused programs designed for working adults and taught by people with on-hands experience. There are many people who need to be able to take advantage of the programs at NU but cannot travel to California to attend classes. A perfect example of this can be seen in students who live in Argentina. To take advantage of the expertise, modern technologies, and degree programs, people from Argentina would have to travel to the United States.
In the international economic arena, American universities are held in higher esteem than many national universities from many other countries. The expansion of NU into Argentina is very important for many different reasons. Even though there are higher educational facilities in Argentina, there are currently no facilities to handle the needs of working professionals in obtaining masters degrees in business administration. Students in Argentina can get degrees but not in MBA programs which have the same models and teaching methods as those in the United States.
Currently, Argentina has positive market conditions and an expected growth in the educational segments. For NU to expand into Argentina, there would be a low capital investment since the organization can formulate a strategic alliance with the local university. Once the program has been established in Argentina, it can be further expanded into the rest of South America. MARKET ANALYSIS Industry Description and Outlook Distance learning has and will provide hope where no hope has existed and convenience where opportunity did not match up with time for completion.
“It’s estimated that online learning may eventually capture as much as 15 percent to 20 percent of total U. S. higher education enrollments” (Roach, 2002, 10). Distance learning is on the rise. Programs have been available at post-secondary institutions for several years. A 1999 Education Department report “. . . found 1,190 distance learning programs in 1995 . . . in 1998, 54,000 online-education courses with 1. 6 million students enrolled . . . ” (Wood, 2001, 3). The number of people attempting to gain an education has increased greatly through the opportunity of distance learning.
One of the greatest areas of distance learning can be seen in the U. S. military. It is very important for military, just like any other professional personnel, to maintain a continuing education program. The easiest way to achieve this is through a distance learning program. The active military has the attention of most Americans with the increased amount of personnel being called up to active duty. They should have caught the attention of the public years ago because distance learning is nothing new to them.
Correspondence courses were a form of distance learning that has been useful to military personnel for years. While the people were serving their country, they were also talking courses from a vast selection of universities across the country. In 2000 and 2001 several universities across the country became involved in a pilot program called eArmyU. In December 2002, “. . . the eArmyU program offers 87 programs from 24 different educational institutions (originally 29 institutions)” (Eskey, 2002, 34). Even though this program is experimental at the present time “. . .
Price-waterhouseCoopers was awarded the $453 million eArmyU contract to serve . . . an estimated 80,000 soldiers over the next five years” (Eskey, 2002, 34). Size of the Industry The industry has been growing for at least the last two decades. In 1997 through 1998 almost 44 percent of all higher education institutions offered distance learning courses. The industry has been divided into two major groups. The public post-secondary institutions and the private institutions. In the past, the public institutions were more likely to offer this type of learning than were the private ones.
In 1999, 78 percent of public 4-year institutions offered some type of distance learning courses. During the same period, only 19 percent of the private 4-year institutions offered the same type of courses (Distance, 2003, 1). The larger institutions have been traditionally more likely to offer customized education programs. The 1997- 1998 school year saw 87 percent of the institutions, that had more than 10,000 students, offer customized classes while at the same time only 19 percent with an enrollment of less than 3,000 had the same program (Distance, 2003, 1).
The total enrollment in these types of programs in 1997-1998 was 1,363,670 with slightly more than half in two year colleges. The use of extension university classes and distance learning courses had to address the situation of tuition. Tuition and fee charges for students in these programs were the same as for campus students. Three- fourths of the post-secondary institutions reported identical tuition structures (Distance, 2003, 2).