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Israeli Entrepreneur Plans a Free Global University That Will Be Online Only

Written By: Youki on January 26, 2009 1 Comment

from today’s New York Times:

An Israeli entrepreneur with decades of experience in international education plans to start the first global, tuition-free Internet university, a nonprofit venture he has named the University of the People.

“The idea is to take social networking and apply it to academia,” said the entrepreneur, Shai Reshef, founder of several Internet-based educational businesses.

“The open-source courseware is there, from universities that have put their courses online, available to the public, free,” Mr. Reshef said. “We know that online peer-to-peer teaching works. Putting it all together, we can make a free university for students all over the world, anyone who speaks English and has an Internet connection.”

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Such an odd-sounding title, wouldn’t it read better as: “Israeli Entrepreneur Plans a Free, Online-only Global University”?

anyways, huzzah for social networking branching out to academia.  Everyone should be entitled to an education.  Of course, the issues with an online credentialed education system are numerous, but hopefully this can signal the emergence of a global approach to education.  We’re already using YouTube as a reference tool, and digital libraries have been around for decades.  Will the day come when a degree from an online university be the norm?


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One Response to “Israeli Entrepreneur Plans a Free Global University That Will Be Online Only”

  1. Usree Bhattacharya on: 26 January 2009 at 7:20 am

    Thanks for posting this, Youki.

    Hmmm 1. Having courses online simply means the lectures will be available online, or does this extend to course materials as well? How about books? Articles? The reason I ask is, of course, not everyone is going to have access to the readings, which should be…let’s see…at least one minor concern.

    Hmmm 2. the idea that e-learning will become the norm is a little unsettling…I think in-class education will survive simply because learning and education is an integral way of socialization, right? Even though “virtual” classroom socialize in their own way, I doubt they’re ever going to fully replace the “real” classroom context.

    Hmmm 3: And yes, ODD title.

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