‘Massive open online courses’ could massively cut the cost of higher education

At a time when students are being forced to foot the bill for their own education with steep tuition fees, technology might be ready to step in with an answer.

The Georgia Institute of Technology has announced plans to take a master’s degree in computer science online.

The course, which costs $45,000 to do on-campus, would be a piffling $6,600 as an MOOC (massive open online course), whichallows anyone from anywhere in the world to apply – thus also cutting the cost of a visa.

The uni’s college of computing dean reckons the course could pull in 10,000 students a year, with the college splitting the revenues 60/40 respectively with Udacity, a Silicon Valley firm which would provide the online nature of the course.

Apparently there’ll be a test run in January, and we should hope it proves an immeasurable success.

Master’s degrees and PHDs are often left unexplored by graduates who simply can’t stump up the cash for them – if Georgia Tech’s idea pays off it could transform higher education entirely: will we see as many students taking campus courses?

One thing’s for sure, learning will become a whole lot more democratic.

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