Why free online resources will destroy universities

Nothing super new, but a succinct review of why “we” really must keep moving to look into new, disruptive models by Adrian Hon in today’s Telegraph (UK)

“We have a romantic ideal of universities being places of higher education where students absorb knowledge, skills and critical thinking – an ideal modelled over centuries on universities like Oxford and Heidelberg. Since they used a multi-year, highly structured residential course of lectures, tutorials, and exams to produce smart graduates, we now believe that this same model ought to work for the majority of the adult population.

We’re wrong. The simple fact is that university lectures never worked that well in the first place – it’s just that for centuries, we didn’t have any better option for transmitting information. In fact, the success of top universities, both now and historically, is in spite of lectures, not because of it.” …


NOTE – one of the funniest comments and perhaps the reason there will always be a role for the traditional college format is posted by pewkatchoo:
“Please, no, no, no. University is a break for the hard pressed parents as much as it is about educating our young. After 18-19 years of putting up with the growing pains (particularly the post 16s) of our truculent offspring, paying the cost of getting rid of them for 3-4 years is a positive relief.



2 thoughts on “Why free online resources will destroy universities

    • The socializing aspect of face to face will always be desirable to those of us who went through it ourselves. As my kids are still little and (relatively) cute, I can’t imagine wishing them away – but doubtless it’ll come !!


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