I think the University of Phoenix is a remarkable institution that tapped into an area of demand that was not being met. Katherine Mangu-Ward argues
that much of the admonishment for it from American academia is because it is a commercial operation. I disagree with that. American tertiary institutions are for more responsive to their customers, ie students, than Australian Universities are. This may be because Australian Universities are micro-managed from Canberra.
John Quiggin recently argued
that the University of Phoenix was more a niche for a trade school than a competitor for the state and high-end tertiary institutions:
It was obvious even at the time that U Phoenix was little more than a grandiosely titled trade school, occupying one of the relatively limited educational niches where for-profit firms have traditionally played a role. But even here it seems, there are pretty big problems, with a graduation rate of only 16 per cent for students without previous college experience. However hard you spin it, this is an unimpressive result.
Admittedly, though, once you accept the defence that Phoenix is not a real university, it's hard to make such comparisons. It's in a different business and can't be compared with community colleges, let alone state universities or high-end (non-profit) private institutions.
As John Quiggin notes tertiary institutions are often served by their reputation and follow-on from it with the old school tie. Think American Ivy-league schools or the Australian sandstone universities. One of the benefits of institutions like the University of Phoenix is that you can sign up and go. Getting into an Australian University of a US State College is a massive pain in the arse that is not customer (read student) driven.
I don't think tertiary education will become completely private, there is too much social utility in government policies to encourage its population to go into tertiary studies. In fact, as Mangu-Ward notes, Phoenix University is dependent on its students having federal loans:
Phoenix's business model relies on federal tax dollars. In 2004-05, its 300,000-plus students received a total of $1.8 billion in federally supported student loans, making it the biggest single recipient of student aid in the country. Because the school, unlike elite universities, receives zero government research grants, every one of those greenbacks from Uncle Sam comes attached to a student, usually in the form of a Pell grant.
This leads to a very simple equation: More students equals more money.
The school helps students apply for the maximum amount of aid they're eligible to receive and speeds the processing of the government money into their coffers. Phoenix has every incentive to be aggressive in its recruiting practices.
I have little issue with government involvement in tertiary education as principle, though I find the Nelsonian micro-management from Canberra
a repugnant form of inefficient organization. I do believe that whatever mix best supplies the tertiary needs of society and the economy will end up in a mix of public and private. Personally I think the whole educational enterprise should be accelerated and the HSC become the educational equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts/Science
More Reading on Tertiary education
Most Popular on South Sea Republic
The articles that have been viewed the most:
Most Popular Restaurants in Phoenix
Phoenix Eats Out
is the restaurant review site for Phoenix
and Old Town Scottsdale
which lists the modernist and contemporary restaurants, taverns and bars in the greater Phoenix area.
This is the list of the most popular restaurants pages from phoenixeatsout.com that have been viewed the most;
My personal favourite restaurants in Phoenix are AZ88
, Humble Pie
, Orange Table
, The Vig
and others coming close behind. View the complete list with the photo-journalistic style images on phoenixeatsout.com
Most Popular Hikes in Arizona
Arizona is an outdoor state and has lots of hiking in the city and around the state. Phoenix is unusual for most cities in having several large mountains in the center of the city with great hiking. Anyone who comes to Phoenix has to do the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback
and the Summit Hike on Squaw Peak
or Piesta Peak. The views of the city, suburbs and surrounding mountains are wonderful from Camelback and Piesta Peak.
For more experienced hikers there is the McDowell Mountains in North Scottsdale that has several difficult and strenuous hikes in Tom's Thumb
and Bell Pass
. Alternatively, you can hike the highest mountain in Arizona. At 12,600 feet Humphrey's Peak
is a long and difficult hike.
Alternate Australian Constitutions
Between 2004 and 2009 this site, southsearepublic.org
, was a constitutional blog based on scoop which focused on Australian and global constitutional issues.
One of the strongest aspects of it was the development of constitutions by those involved in the blog. These constitutions are the outcome:
The constitutions were built using principles from Montesquieu's separation of powers, the enlightnment's universal political rights and the ancient Athenian technology of sortition and choice by lot.
Archives For South Sea Republic
South Sea Republic started in 2004 as an Australian constitutional blog in 2004 based on scoop software. It was an immigrative outgrowth of Kuro5hin. The archives for each year since then;
The articles are ordered by views.
Who Is Cam Riley
I am an Australian living in the United States as a permanent resident.
I am a software developer by trade and mostly work in Java and jump between middleware and front end.
I originally worked in the New York area of the United States in telecommunications before moving to Washington DC and
working in a mix of telecommunications, energy and ITS. I started my own software company before heading out to
Arizona and working with Shutterfly. Since then I have joined a startup in the Phoenix area and am thoroughly enjoying myself.
I do a lot of photography which I post on this website, but also on flickr. I have a photo-journalistic website which lists
the modernist and contemporary restaurants in phoenix. I have a site on the Australian Flying Corps [AFC]
which has been around since the 1990s and which I unfortunately
lost the .org URL to during a life event; however, it is under the www.australianflyingcorps.com
The AFC website has gone through several iterations since the 90s and the two most recent are Australian Flying Corps Archives(2004-2002)
Australian Flying Corps Archives(2002-1999)
which are good places to start.
Websites Worth Reading
Websites of friends, colleagues and of interest;