We touched on innovative aspects of higher education instruction and credentialing in last week’sblog poston Sebastian Thrun’s Udacity initiative. This week we explore another factor that impacts innovation: alternative funding sources.
One of the key thematic questions the Center for 21st Century Universities has been exploring is, "Can an elite curriculum be open, and accessible and still maintain quality and rigor?" If Sebastian Thrun’s Udacity initiative is indicative, it would seem that this is indeed possible.
We first blogged several months ago about our C21U TechBurst competition noting several interesting actors providing online video content. Since that time, a number of major players have entered or expanded their involvement in the higher education video market. YouTube and TED have expanded their online offerings to further catalyze change in education, creating venues that allow others to teach their own lessons.
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently discussed the effect of shrinking university budgets on graduate programs in disciplines such as archeology, language, and fine arts. The article cites a number of universities, including University of Maryland, Harvard, and UCLA, that are cutting back on admissions to graduate programs in the humanities. Other schools are also cutting less popular specializations and subfields.
Last week, the California State University (CSU) system announced an expansion and centralization of the online courseware efforts. Under the Cal State Online plan, the 23 member campuses of the California State University system will combine their online courseware offerings under a single portal. Incentives will be offered to professors at all schools to participate in the program. Cal State Online in limited release for Fall 2012, with a full deployment by Spring 2013.