On the Internet, a university without a campus
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.</p>
"The idea is to take social networking and apply it to academia," said Shai Reshef, an entrepreneur and founder of several previous Internet-based educational businesses. "The open source courseware is there, from universities that have put their courses online, available to the public, free. 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."
This has potential. I suspect that it's easier to build a successful online school with plenty of funding to pay good teachers. The sliding scale for student fees is prudent. This project has a chance; I'd love to see it succeed. But wow, I hope the organizers talk to some folks who have already done this. There are a lot of pitfalls in the field of online education, and many of them aren't where you'd expect.