Rise of free courses presents a challenge to UC Online
- When UC Online was pitched two years ago, it was proposed as a revolutionary force in the University of California system that would draw thousands of students, bring in budget-cut-alleviating new revenue, and easily raise seed money from foundations and other private sources--but UC Online is now struggling as other highly selective schools rush to offer free, no-credit courses online.
- When officials at the University of California failed to raise those private donations, they were left with no option last year but to prop the effort up with a $6.9 million loan from the system's Office of the President--and several key figures driving the project have stepped back or moved on.
- This winter, UC Online will offer its courses to non-UC students for the first time, and it must attract 3,000 of them and add 1,000 more each year until it reaches the 7,000 non-UC students necessary to pay back its loan on time.
From the article:
Online education was going to revolutionize the University of California system, drawing thousands to the selective institution's online courses and bringing in new revenue to help allay budget cuts. That was the pitch for UC Online, started two years ago with the belief that millions in seed money could easily be raised from foundations or other private sources to get the bold effort off the ground. But UC Online now appears to be struggling, even as other highly selective colleges rush to offer their courses online at no charge (and, unlike the University of California, with no credit). ...
- Chronicle of Higher Education Read More
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