Monday, May 28, 2012

Why the University System, as We Know It, Won’t Last …. and What’s Coming Next

Watch Video from NY Times

This weekend, The New York Times took a good look at the financing of a college education and highlighted a few staggering data points.

  • The U.S. has racked up more than $1 trillion in student loans.
  • Today 94 percent of students earning a bachelor’s degree take out loans — up from 45 percent in 1993.
  • It’s estimated that the “average debt [per student] in 2011 was $23,300, with 10 percent owing more than $54,000 and 3 percent more than $100,000.”
  • “Payments are being made on just 38 percent of the balance of federal student loans, down from 46 percent five years ago.”
  • Finally, state funding of education is going down, and tuition is going up, which means that the figures above will just get worse.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Harvard and M.I.T. Team Up to Offer Free Online Courses 

By  Published: May 2, 2012

In what is shaping up as an academic Battle of the Titans — one that offers vast new learning opportunities for students around the world — Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wednesday announced a new nonprofit partnership, known as edX, to offer free online courses from both universities.

Harvard’s involvement follows M.I.T.’s announcement in December that it was starting an open online learning project, MITx. Its first course, Circuits and Electronics, began in March, enrolling about 120,000 students, some 10,000 of whom made it through the recent midterm exam. Those who complete the course will get a certificate of mastery and a grade, but no official credit. Similarly, edX courses will offer a certificate but not credit