Terry Anderson in his Disruption Effects of Free Education writes:
Obviously the fee scale of the University of the People has potential to ‘vaporize demand’ for expensive online programs. The challenge that especially public higher education institutions face is to constantly implement means to reduce costs at all levels of the organization. In addition, to compete with ‘free’, public institutions will have to devise additional review streams – beyond government subsidy and tuition so that they are able to continue to serve disadvantaged citizens and meet their continuing “open” vision and mandate.
Where there is a challenge, there is an opportunity….
Would this be an opportunity for all higher education (HE) institutions to re-conceptualise what higher education could and should offer to society, from a social, multi-cultural and “free-open” perspective?
Would HE institutions be able to provide alternative models which go beyond the traditional egalitarian or elitist, cost-based educational model?
MIT, Stanford and Yale Universities have all opened their doors to this movement of free open educational resources. This trend has great implications for all HE institutions since its inception. Any HE or educational authorities could exploit such resources and leverage the movement to create an “education economy”.
This coupled with the various social media networking, communities of practice development and Web 2.0 application have benefited hundreds of millions or even billions of people around the globe, for people nearly of all ages. This movement would just accelerate with an exponential trajectory, under the current ecology.
So I see the University of the People launch as just one move in the emergent “chess” competition.
What would be the next strategic move for most HE institutions in the chess play?
Would this be the critical moment to develop innovative and emergent social and educational “universities” that could better serve the community?
I have included a few questions and comments in HE in my previous posts.