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The Education industry includes education institutions that are profit-seeking and generate revenue from student fees. At the primary and secondary levels, this includes mostly education management organisations (EMOs) and some businesses. At the tertiary (or higher) level, services are delivered on a full-time, part-time, distance-learning, and occasional basis across establishments such as junior colleges, business and secretarial schools, colleges, universities, and professional schools including medical, pharmaceutical, and veterinary programs. An increasing number of students in for-profit universities take courses online.

Relevant Issues (3 of 26)

Why are some issues greyed out? The SASB Standards vary by industry based on the different sustainability-related risks and opportunities within an industry. The issues in grey were not identified during the standard-setting process as the most likely to be useful to investors, so they are not included in the Standard. Over time, as the ISSB continues to receive market feedback, some issues may be added or removed from the Standard. Each company determines which sustainability-related risks and opportunities are relevant to its business. The Standard is designed for the typical company in an industry, but individual companies may choose to report on different sustainability-related risks and opportunities based on their unique business model.

Disclosure Topics

What is the relationship between General Issue Category and Disclosure Topics? The General Issue Category is an industry-agnostic version of the Disclosure Topics that appear in each SASB Standard. Disclosure topics represent the industry-specific impacts of General Issue Categories. The industry-specific Disclosure Topics ensure each SASB Standard is tailored to the industry, while the General Issue Categories enable comparability across industries. For example, Health & Nutrition is a disclosure topic in the Non-Alcoholic Beverages industry, representing an industry-specific measure of the general issue of Customer Welfare. The issue of Customer Welfare, however, manifests as the Counterfeit Drugs disclosure topic in the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals industry.
General Issue Category
(Industry agnostic)

Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Education

Data Security
  • Data Security

    Colleges and universities are frequent and compelling targets for cyber criminals. The industry may face data security risks because of the large number of personal records processed and stored, the mix of intellectual property and personally identifiable information held (for example, national identification numbers, vaccination records or other information required for admission), and the open, collabourative environment of many campuses. The exposure of sensitive information through cybersecurity breaches, other malicious activities or student negligence may result in significant social externalities such as identity fraud and theft. Data breaches may compromise public perception of the effectiveness of a school’s security measures, which may result in reputational damage and difficulty in attracting and retaining students, as well as significant costs to fix the consequences of a breach and prevent future breaches. Enhanced disclosure regarding the number and nature of security breaches, management strategies to address these risks, and policies and procedures to protect student information may allow investors to understand the effectiveness of management strategies that schools employ regarding this issue.
Customer Welfare
  • Quality of Education & Gainful Employment

    Increasing tuition payments require more students to finance their education with government and private loans. Rapid growth in student debt creates significant economic and social negative externalities if student loans go into default. Many programmes at for-profit colleges prepare students for gainful employment in recognised occupations. Entities that provide high-quality education and facilitate completion of programmes increase the chances of graduates obtaining employment and paying their loans. In the absence of sufficient educational and career management support, students may graduate with high debt and few skills valued by employers. Entities that perform poorly on accountability metrics such as graduation rates, default rates and job placement rates may jeopardise important governmental funding sources. At the same time, transparent disclosure of these metrics to prospective students is related directly to institutions’ ability to attract and retain students.
Selling Practices & Product Labeling
  • Marketing & Recruiting Practices

    For-profit education entities that grow the number of students that they admit and enrol will increase revenue. Therefore, entities may adopt aggressive recruitment strategies, such as spending significant amounts of money on marketing rather than on instruction and student services. Such aggressive recruiting practices have resulted in additional public and regulatory scrutiny of for-profit education entities. Using false or misleading advertisements to recruit prospective students may result in significant fines for entities and loss of eligibility for government-funded student loans. Limited funding sources may create incentives for entities to mislead students into taking private loans they are unable to repay, presenting a significant reputational risk to entities in the industry. Enhanced disclosure may allow investors to understand entity policies and practices for marketing and recruiting to attract students.

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