Hewlett Packard Funds University of the People Research Students

Cover of Open Education book.Image via WikipediaHP is funding research projects with the University of the People, a tuition free open university. I am not sure about your end of the internet, but I haven’t see much out there about this story. This is going to be one of the most significant stories in open learning of the year. There was a story about it at the Chronicle of Higher Ed. Long after the “real” colleges finish debating whether open universities, free universities and alternative schooling is effective or “valid,” the graduates of these programs will be taking their portfolios into the workplace of major corporations. With open universities, MOOCs (massively open online courses), and other alternatives in education coming out of a combination of traditional schools and social networks, the education landscape is changing. This is no longer about creating free content. This is no longer about credentials, although students can go to the University of the People and get a bachelor’s degree in computer science online at little cost. There is a $50 application fee and small fees around the grading of tests. They also offer Associate degrees in computer science and Associate and Bachelor’s in Business Administration. What makes this story so significant is that the president of the college Shai Reshef, is not just interested in getting people educated but getting them jobs as well. The real revolution in education is not going to take place in the usual universities, it is going to happen when the highly motivated, self-directed learners from places like Wikiversity and U of P move into management of corporations. University of the People also offers general studies courses which I like because their students still get a chance to study history and the world around them.

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