What changed in higher education? — from by Gabriel Sanchez Zinny


Higher education is undergoing a number transformative changes, much as the banking, entertainment and travel industries have been doing in recent years. In those sectors, new technology and lower barriers to entry led to new players and increased competition.

The same forces are affecting education as well — but on an even more basic level. The entire model of the university is in the midst of a structural transformation. This is the argument of a recent report released by the experts at Pearson and the Institute for Public Policy Research, entitled “An Avalanche is Coming: Higher Education and the Revolution Ahead.”

In his Forward, the economist Larry Summers summarizes the nature of this avalanche, writing that:

A new phase of competitive intensity is emerging as the concept of the traditional university itself comes under pressure and the various functions it serves are unbundled and increasingly supplied, perhaps better, by providers that are not universities at all.


Also see:

MOOCs in 2013: Breaking Down the Numbers — from edsurge.com by Dhawal Shah
Teasing out trends among the unabated growth of online courses



Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In November 2011 I was taking one of the first MOOCs from Stanford. At that time, many new MOOCs were being announced and I started Class Central as a way to keep track of them and figure out what I should take next. The website gathers course listings through provider sites, social media, and tips from MOOC providers and users. The figures below are based on these data.

200+ universities. 1200+ courses. 1300+ instructors. 10 million students.

For the first time in history, courses that were limited to a small number of students are now open to the entire world–or at least those with access to the Internet. These courses are known as “MOOCs” (Massive Open Online Courses), a term that has now become a part of our everyday vocabulary. (It was recently added to the Oxford Dictionary.) Over the past two years, MOOCs have been embroiled in controversy with regards to their efficacy and role in relation to traditional in-person university classes. And it’s still not clear whether they have a sustainable business model.

The most popular courses, based on clicks within Class Central…

Trends in 2014:

  • Credit-granting MOOCs
  • Corporate-developed public MOOCs
  • Broader access to MOOC creation