My answer to – What incentives do universities have for offering free courses through Coursera, Udacity, and other MOOCs?
In summary, I don’t believe that the university administrators are pursuing a well thought out business case in regard to free education. I’m sure they also see the cannibalizing threat of participating in the new innovation but they also see the commercial threat of their key resource (passionate teachers), supported by venture capitalists, leaving the institution and developing their own commercial learning models at a fraction of the price of the existing models. Caught between a rock and a hard place, institutions are choosing to protect their short term cash flow option (by keep their passionate teachers in-house for now) in the hope that something will emerge in the new paradigm that will enhance their reputation and ensure their survival. I personally think institutions are operating on false hope and agree withDonna Murdoch‘s view that “this generation may be the last to experience Higher Education as we know it.”
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