MOOCalypse soon

Online learning will replace residential campuses predicts Nathan Harden in The End of the University as We Know It  in The American Interest.  Only the elite universities will have bricks, mortar and ivy.

The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for everyone; the residential college campus will become largely obsolete; tens of thousands of professors will lose their jobs; the bachelor’s degree will become increasingly irrelevant; and ten years from now Harvard will enroll ten million students.

Community colleges will survive to serve students who need an instructor, writes a professor.

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  1. I think there will still be a few residential private liberal arts colleges for those who can afford and want specialized attention, niche sports, or a specific social scene. They’ll be sort of like spa retreats–nice, but you could have cut your toenails and given yourself a cucumber mask at home for a lot less money.

  2. Hmmm… I think the elite schools will survive…because where else will the children of the elite go to find spouses?

    And schools that want to keep their residential programs will have to add value beyond ‘better parties.’ Access to really smart classmates at all hours of the day or night should keep some afloat…or superior networking capabilities…

    Credentials online, social connections at school?

  3. Mark Roulo says:

    “Harvard” will not enroll 10M students because Harvard’s undergraduate “value add” is not better undergraduate education, but a certificate of intellectual exclusivity. Graduating a few thousand students a year works with this model. Graduating a million does not.

    Now … Harvard might provide some sort of on-line *education* to 10M students … but those students will only get the education. They won’t get the certificate of intellectual exclusivity.

    Without that certificate, there are lots of schools that can provide what Harvard does …

  4. Don’t forget that elite colleges are all about making connections, business/social as well as matrimonial. It’s the rolodex.