What’s new in higher education? – Part I

If you are in business, an aspiring enterpreneur, a social intrapreneur, journalist or a “want-to-know-it-all” person, then you need to check out what is happening in the world of higher education nowadays. Here are some thoughts and observations, Part I.

1. Massive Online Open Courses: high quality, anytime, anywhere and for free. In my previous post “5+1 questions on MOOC” I discussed the way that Massive Online Open Courses are disrupting education. This article sumps up greatly some of the impact that Coursera, Udacity, edX, Khan Academy etc have brought to education. New business models have started to arise, as despite the very generous investors that have stepped in to fund these start-ups, they still need to develop a sustainable revenue model. One example comes with the partnership between Coursera and Antioch College, a small liberal arts institution in Ohio. They have signed an agreement under which Antioch will take content from Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania, provided through the Coursera platform, and offer it to their students. Coursera and Antioch will naturally split the revenues. Universities, such as Edinburgh that already offer distance-learning programs (Master and Bachelor levels) go ahead with offering courses through Coursera; apart from the fact that for one class they reach the number of their total number of students, they advertise their University’s faculty and curriculum directly to thousands of potential students.

2. The best of the best at a hybrid-learning platform.  Or also known as “The Minerva Project”.

Benchmark Capital — the venture capitalists behind companies like Twitter, eBay, Instagram and Yelp — invested $25 million in the new for-profit virtual college, the biggest seed money investment in the firm’s 17-year history

On this post, that I came across today, the picture of the University of tomorrow is described; the best of the best professors gather at one place (the Cloud) in this case to teach/mentor the best of the best students. The best of the best students with half the cost of any other program at a top University can either stay where they are based or have the opportunity to live to the dorms that Minerva offers for them in several cities around the world. You may want to stay at your place, but the College urges you to move. You need to be fluent in 3 major languages when you graduate, I assume apart from your native one.

I mention the word “mentor” at the Professors’ role, as it is mentioned:

The role of an elite university should not be about disseminating base knowledge. It should be teaching you how to think, how to process information, how to synthesize data, how to lead, how to work in groups, how to debate, how to grow as an intellectual member of society.

Oh, the launch is in 2014, so you can start looking it up!

3. Student “flows” show the way : Online courses may grow like no other time in our history. However, the following trends in campus studentship have already appeared. In my view, these will shape global student mobility and the businesses around them in the next years:

  1. According to OECD, the number of higher education graduates will grow significantly over the next years (will come back on it with specific numbers at a later post)
  2. India is now educating only 18% (or less) of its youth. Universities there are preparing to welcome 10 million more in the next 5 years. In addition, over the past decade 250,000 Indian students have gone to study abroad (Source, THE)
  3. According to Inside Higher Education’s post: Approximately 200,000 Chinese students went for studies to the USA, 23% higher than the year 2010-2011, out of the 500,000 that currently study abroad. 35,000 international students in the USA are from Saudi Arabia, an increase of 50% from the same year. The total contribution of international students to the USA economy in 2011-2012 is 22 bn USD. Yes. I guess there is some opportunity here;-)

4. New Education hubs: Middle East and Asia.several new Education Hubs have started their operations in Asia or successful Universities are building partnerships with higher education institutions there. A few examples, Malaysia aims to become the south-east asian hub for international education within the next decade, Singapore‘s strategy and recent improvement in global rankings has also attracted loads of interest. MIT has been operating there since 1998: the Singapore-MIT Alliance is an innovative engineering and life science educational and research collaboration among three leading research universities in the world: the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

India as well as  China markets are two other big players,which Universities from around the world also try to tap in, by creating campuses or offering joint degrees.

A lot more, here.

To put it simply, if the above topics are not in the strategic agenda/discussion of a University’s  management team  that wants to compete in the national, regional or global level, in some way, then it will probably face some great challenges in the years ahead.

Part II coming soon.

Thanks for reading.

3 comments

  1. lista de emails · · Reply

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  2. […] 1. Yes, I will talk about the MOOCs again. From another perspective now. The one that concerns many of us: “What is or will be their revenue model?”. Most of them for profit (apart from edX, from MIT and Harvard) have until now been funded by investors, which is great. Coursera is the first one that has sold some of its courses to Antioch University for a price, as I mentioned in a previous post. […]

  3. […] 1. Yes, I will talk about the MOOCs again. From another perspective now. The one that concerns many of us: “What is or will be their revenue model?”. Most of them for profit (apart from edX, from MIT and Harvard) have until now been funded by investors, which is great. Coursera is the first one that has sold some of its courses to Antioch University for a price, as I mentioned in a previous post. […]

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