$25 million investment backs startup aiming to create elite university | Inside Higher Ed

An interesting model intended to create a cut-price for-profit top-class university. It could work. The combination of online learning with a novel approach to kindling a traditional face-to-face academic community, mixed in with a focus on high quality teaching, no national barriers to entry and, above all, a rigorous selection process that focuses entirely on ability to succeed rather than money or sporting skills, seems to be a good one. Not in itself a particularly disruptive or tradition-defying model, but part of a trend towards eroding traditional university battlements that, despite the profit motive, seems to be a good one. So much of current university thinking, even in a modern and open university like AU, is mired in path dependencies, dated funding models and historical happenstance that maintains a mediaevally archaic status quo. All the arcane paraphenalia of ancient and absurd forms of religion and redundant technologies of learning have no place in learning and yet they drive us still. This kind of minor re-thinking of what it is all about, especially because it retains much of the implicit values and constructs that made universities worth having in the first place, stands a fair chance of success.

Address of the bookmark: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/04/04/25-million-investment-backs-startup-aiming-create-elite-university#ixzz1r6Vy2Sy2

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology and teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems, of which I am the Chair. I am married, with two grown-up children, and live in beautiful Vancouver.

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