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Friday, January 27, 2012

Online Courses Threaten University Model


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which recently launched a new online course initiative. (Flickr/Extrudedaluminiu)

Higher education courses on the Internet are reaching a new threshold, with backing from powerful companies and institutions like the web-browser Mozilla, the Hewlett Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative.

Reporter Jon Marcus says until now, universities have had a monopoly in the field because only they could offer academic credit.

Now the Internet is challenging that model with courses that are free or very cheap, and academic credit that is increasingly viewed as legitimate by employers.

Marcus says higher education is now facing the same challenge from the Internet that the music industry and news organizations have been struggling with.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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