Universities, valued social institutions, but at what price?

I admired the confidence of respected edtech academic George Veletsianos in his considered post on MOOCs. Writing about the prophecy from the TechCrunch post that ‘”it’s inevitable that online courses will replace schools” he says:

The question to ask here is not whether this prophecy will come true. We know that it won’t because universities are valued social institutions that are embedded in the culture of their times, and even though they may change, they won’t disappear.

I would contend the undoubted value of the peer and instructor social networking of on-campus study is already at the point of being overvalued. With the several tens of thousands of dollars’ cost rising at much more than inflation it can’t be long before simple economics forces universities to close. With MOOC certificates starting to be accepted for credit at a handful of institutions can it be long before employers start to accept them as proof of desired experience as well?

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