Within the worldwide business community, many analysis tools and techniques have evolved to assist in the evaluation and encouragement of financial health and fiscal viability. However, in the educational community, such analysis is uncommon. It has long been argued that educational institutions bear little resemblance to, and should not be treated like, businesses. This research identifies an educational environment where educational institutions are, indeed, businesses, and may greatly benefit from the use of business analyses. The worldwide effort of Education for All (EFA) has focused on primary education, particularly in less developed countries (LDCs). In Sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda increased its primary school enrollments from 2.7 million in 1996 to 7.6 million in 2003. This rapid primary school expansion substantially increased the demand for secondary education. Limited government funding for secondary schools created an educational bottleneck. In response to this demand, laws were passed to allow the establishment of private secondary schools, operated and taxed as businesses. Revenue reports, filed by individual private schools with the Uganda Revenue Authority, formed the database for the financial analysis portion of this research. These reports, required of all profitable businesses in Uganda, are similar to audited corporate financial statements. Survey data and national examination (UNEB) scores were also utilized. This research explored standard business financial analysis tools, including financial statement ratio analysis, and evaluated the applicability of each to this LDC educational environment. A model for financial assessment was developed and industry averages were calculated for private secondary schools in the Mukono District of Uganda. Industry averages can be used by individual schools as benchmarks in assessing their own financial health. Substantial deviations from the norms signal areas of potential concern. Schools may take appropriate corrective action, leading to sustainable fiscal viability. An example of such analysis is provided. Finally, school financial health, defined by eight financial measures, was compared with quality of education, defined by UNEB scores. Worldwide, much attention is given to education and its role in development. This research, with its model for financial assessment of private LDC schools, offers a new and pragmatic perspective.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Leadership and Foundations



Date Submitted


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Africa, benchmarks, business, business analysis, business practices, corporate financial statements, correlation, development, education, Education for All, EFA, enrollments, financial analysis, financial analysis tools, financial assessment, financial health, financial statement analysis, financial statement ratio analysis, fiscal viability, funding, government funding, industry averages, less developed countries, LDCs, model, model for financial assessment, national examination, national exam scores, norms, primary school, primary education, private schools, private secondary schools, quality of education, ratio analysis, revenue reports, school financial health, schools, scores, secondary education, secondary schools, schools, Sub-Sahara, sustainable, sustainability, Uganda, Uganda Revenue Authority, UNEB, UPE, worldwide